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New Zealand Genealogy

The First Immigrant Ships is an interesting narrative on New Zealand immigrant ships to Port Nicholson in Wellington, the Waitemata in Auckland, and other regions including New Plymouth.

The Amelia Thompson features the passenger lists of 187 Devonshire emigrants who arrived in New Plymouth, New Zealand on the 3rd September 1841.

Boyton - a website about modern day Boyton in Cornwall, England, with a section on its history and old pictures. John Oliver (b. 25 Apr 1774), resided at Boyton Mill from 1827. Boyton Mill is in Devon, just across the Tamar River which separates Cornwall and Devon. John's son Samuel (of Alpha Mill New Plymouth New Zealand), was only 7 years of age when his father took up tenancy of Boyton Mills in Devon, England.

Papers Past is operated by the National Library of New Zealand. The site contains more than one million pages of digitised New Zealand newspapers and periodicals. The collection covers the years 1839 to 1945 and includes 61 publications from all regions of New Zealand. You may search by exact phrases, any of your words, or all of your words. You can also browse by Newspaper by date, by region, and by by title.

DigitalNZ is a collaborative initiative led by the National Library of New Zealand. They work with a wide range of contributing institutions and organisations such as museums. It features a Search Bar prominently displayed on the home page. A search for James Oliver brings up our James Oliver b.1805 as the number 1 result and featuring a photo of James from the Puke Ariki museum.

New Zealand Yesteryears is a privately funded project with the aim to make it the largest New Zealand passenger list site on the internet. It features passenger lists and shipboard diaries from 1800 to 1900. Also included are photos, maps and documents from the Provinces of New Zealand and also links to other online New Zealand Genealogy Resources.

The Archives New Zealand Library holds New Zealand’s most comprehensive collection of archival and records management texts and serials. It holds the archives of New Zealand government, including many national treasures.

The New Zealand Society of Genealogists assist members with their family history and genealogical research. They have branches throughout New Zealand that meet regularly.

FamNet - The Family History Network is operated by the FamNet Trust with its Genealogy Data Base (GDB) holding over 15 million people in family trees, many with attached documents and pictures. The site claims to have the largest collection of New Zealand family trees available on the web with an ever increasing number of other databases such as shipping, useful web sites, soldiers, etc. Plus, there are articles and newsletters that help with researching your family. You can join/register for free although to get full access a subscription is required - individual subscriptions are NZ$30.00 including GST per year. Credits on the subscription fee are offered. For example, you are given a credit of a year’s subscription for every 2,000 people stored in the FamNet Genealogy Data Base.

Wise's ‘Post Office’ Directories, a resource often used by genealogists, was the subject of an excellent article published in Wellington’s Dominion Post in May 2019. First published by Henry Aitken Wise in 1872, the directories contain names of the head of the household along with their occupation, as well as businesses, by street. An interesting read on history of this fine resource.

Other Genealogy was launched in 2006 and is part of which was originally founded back in 1983. Ancestry has over two million paying subscribers and more than six million DNA customers. User-generated content tallies to more than 70 million family trees, and subscribers have added more than 200 million photographs, scanned documents, and written stories. Some records are free for anyone to access, but the majority are accessible only by paid subscription. Membership starts at AU $249.99 per year for the UK Heritage Plus Package, and up to AU $449.99 per year for the World Heritage option. There are also monthly and Pay As You Go membership options.

Familysearch provides access to the vast genealogy records held by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the USA. The site provides step-by-step research guidance and searching for your ancestors, view maps, forms, guides, and other research helps, and find other Web sites containing family history information.

Leister Productions is located in Pennsylvania, USA, and is respected internationally as a leading developer and publisher of genealogy software for the Apple Macintosh computer. Their best known genealogy application is called Reunion and has been used to build the descendant charts and "The Tree" pages accessed through this website. is an excellent guide to genealogy. In January 2017 this link was suggested by students of the “After School Care Programs” in the heart of El Paso County, Colorado, where tutors and peer mentors, provide a positive role model to help educate the youth, while simultaneously providing a positive influence. The ‘kids’ enjoyed our genealogy resources in "nzolivers" and have bookmarked them for their  family tree project. is another excellent guide to genealogy. In April 2017 this link was suggested by “The After School Center” in the heart of Bernalillo County, New Mexico, where their group of tutors provide kids and teens the adult mentoring they need to succeed. yet another great site, this one site recommended by Jessica Milly in May 2017. Household Quotes was originally set up for homeowners and tenants to avoid paying too much for jobs in the home. They also feature this Home Genealogy Guide and a good section on how to start your genealogy quest. is a very comprehensive beginners guide to genealogy, written by Mark Orwig, and posted here in June 2017. Mark writes that Genealogy is all about understanding the history of your family, and gives tips to get started, where to find records, DNA testing, and a review of popular genealogy TV shows. is another very impressive guide by Mark Orwig and posted here in July 2017. This one, on how to choose the best DNA testing kit for you. It starts off with a chart showing comparisons between six different DNA test providers available on the market, and continues with excellent explanations on different types of tests and how they work. Towards the end of the article, Mark gives the Pros and Cons of each provider's test. has been written by genealogy researcher in the USA called Rachel. Titled, “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Genealogy”, she alerted us to her guide in May 2018. Rachel explains the difference between genealogy and family history and includes how to organise your findings, which records to examine first, how to conduct oral histories, and DNA testing with explanations of autosomal DNA, Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), and Y-DNA testing. A very helpful resource. is an introductory guide for those getting started on exploring their family history. Written by Clarie Mitchell, and posted here in July 2018, topics include 'Where to Begin', 'Paid Subscriptions', 'Books', and 'Library and Parish Records'. Claire found the whole experience of exploring her family tree to be very rewarding and wishes to share her tips with others. is a very well laid out and informative guide on DNA testing, comparing what’s available on the market. Recommended by Stephanie Adams of ‘Honest Product Reviews’, and added here in August 2018, this resource contains a wealth of information, answering many questions you may have, and gives the pros and cons of each testing company. It gives great background on how the test process works, the types of DNA tests and what information they can give you. is a page on the CruiseDirect website and offers a number of links to historical passenger lists and information of value to genealogists, especially those in North America. It was recommended in August 2018 by Elise Owens on behalf of her son Jake. Elise writes that Jake was very close to his late grandfather and genealogy, “has allowed him to continue to feel connected”. is part of the ‘Exploring Life’s Mysteries’ website and offers an up-to-date resource on at-home DNA tests. The article explains how DNA tests work, the benefits from using one, comparisons between the different tests and a discussion group. Recommended by Diane Moore of ‘Exploring Life's Mysteries’, and added here in November 2018, there are excellent graphics throughout and a compilation of these graphics may be viewed here.

Mae Richards in California USA has recommended two comprehensive articles written by Kushal Tantry in November 2018, editor-in-chief at “DNATestingGuides”. The first is “Best DNA Testing Kits for Ancestry” at for which Kushal hired P.h.Ds to do scientific research. The page is huge and takes a few seconds to load. However, the article is very comprehensive with an explanation on what is DNA, understanding genealogical DNA tests, and detailed review of the tests and comparisons. The second article is “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Genealogy” at explaining what genealogy can tell you, how to interview your family, types of public records, and where to look for online resources and, what is involved in doing a DNA test. The two links were added here in February 2019, both articles well worth reading. is a concise guide on how to find your family history. This page was recommended by Emily Fletcher, a volunteer that helps people find their family history via online courses and guides. Topics include, approaching your family, online investigations, DNA tests, putting together your pieces of history. Added here In June 2019. is a comprehensive guide explaining DNA direct-to-consumer test types and explores the main differences between providers, including a useful chart. This page was recommended by Olivia of STEMfans, an extra-curricular group looking to encourage more people to pursue study and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Added here in June 2019, this year, they have been focusing on genealogy for their summer program in the U.S. They have been trying various DNA services to learn about their ancestors and keen to inspire site visitors to this page to do the same. is a resource different from those others presented on this page. The article here looks at the steps to take to start a genealogy business, legal and tax obstacles commonly encountered, tools to use, and more. Very comprehensive and most interesting. Although written from a USA perspective, it may none-the-less have similar relevance to those interested in this line of endeavour both here in New Zealand and, for our readership internationally. Recommended by Sarah Graver, Community Outreach of and added here in June 2019. is a guide to help travellers plan a meaningful heritage trip - for exploring ones homelands’ culture. The popularity of at-home DNA tests has sparked an increased interest in travel to family origin places. This page explains how to plan a meaningful trip, points on accommodation, and also how to use credit card points and miles to save on travel costs. Although aimed at the US audience, does have worthy relevance for travel from other countries. Recommended by Ryan Noonan, Communications Specialist of in Texas and added here in June 2019. features in-depth and impartial reviews of leading DNA test kits, all done via hands-on testing. Recommended by Claire Hodges, Outreach Executive of DNA Weekly, and added here in November 2019. The site has detailed kit comparisons to help make the best possible informed choice between different DNA test kits. There are links near the bottom of the page to user-generated reviews of every DNA test kit tested. Very detailed and informative.

A Genealogist's Guide to Tracing People from Our Past is a one-page web guide recommended by “Avery”, a 12-year old participant in a youth mentor program in the United States. Her mentor is David Goldman who writes, “Avery also wanted to pass along another article she found. It's made for beginners and she found it was an easy read for kids her age”. Added here in December 2019, this page offers many excellent links to 'records databases' and links for those starting the family research process. is a website dedicated to answering questions readers have about at-home DNA tests. Founded by Donna Moore of Denver, Colorado, USA, the site answers many questions for those exploring tests for health predispositions/wellness information, for finding long lost siblings/reconnecting with families, as well as genealogy. Donna explains to nzolivers, “We have no affiliations to any services we cover, we don’t get sponsored, we pay for the tests we take, and we have no obligation to anyone other than our readers. Our mission is to empower the average consumer to take their health into their own hands”. This link added here in January 2020.

Two links to genealogy guides written by James Cali in the U.S., and added here in January 2020. The first is A Genealogy Guide which neatly draws on links to other web resources. The second is Genealogy Research Strategies and covers the various records available to genealogy researchers in the U.S. Both sites are useful tools to consider. is a guide that specifically helps travellers plan a meaningful genealogy trip. This is recommended by David Lafferty of 'Million Mile Secrets' in South Carolina in January 2020. It is particularly of value to US credit card holders where as David explains, “it details the different ways to explore your ancestor’s homelands, while also utilising points and miles to save on travel costs”. links to a report by Victoria McIntosh, an Information and Privacy professional residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Here Victoria explores the privacy issues around DNA testing and how people can protect their privacy and their family’s privacy when researching their ancestors. Recommended by Hannah Bowen of Comparitech Limited and added here in March 2020. Comparitech is a registered company in England and Wales and operate this pro-consumer website providing information, tools, and comparisons to help consumers to research and compare tech services. is a comprehensive website examining what DNA is, the types of tests, and review of at-home DNA testing kits. Recommended by website founder, Dan Miller, a professional genealogist specialising in eastern European family history research. Throughout his career, he has helped many people trace their lineages. The site also looks at the best tests for Irish, Asian, Jewish, Filipino, Hispanic, and Native American ancestry. And, looks at the best DNA test for adoptees. Added here in April 2020. is of particular interest to those researching their North American ancestry. This page is recommended by ‘Amelia’, a member of a fun beginner genealogy ‘online’ class for 11-14 year olds in the USA, through librarian and educator, Barbara Lincoln. The link  added here in May 2020; the page includes a breakdown of the history and significance of Ellis Island, how to read passenger arrival records, its importance to genealogy and ancestry research, and lots of links to other resources. Amelia believes this would be of interest to other young genealogy enthusiasts. is a guide on getting started with genealogy. Recommended by Wesley Parker from HomeSage in England, and added here in October 2020, the site gives a list of sites for tracking ones ancestral history or finding out more about your DNA. And, online resources to access records that are most commonly used by genealogists such as census, military, and immigration records. A very useful section is about interviewing relatives and example questions to ask them. Well worth a look. is a great one-page site recommended in October 2020 by Daisy Evans who volunteers at a local charity for the elderly in her spare time. Home Owner Costs is based in the UK and set up to make pricing and job quotations easier to understand for the average person. Their website also has a ‘Blog’ section that features this genealogy guide. The guide covers where to begin, creating an account on an online genealogical database, key documents to look for, DNA testing, and a list with links for further resources. is an excellent one-pager, written and recommended to us in November 2020 by Lily Jones in the UK. Lily writes that after doing a lot of research, she decided to write this page on the subject. It covers resources to kickstart your genealogy expedition, gives a summary of some of the reputable DNA tests now available online, and lists the genealogical societies based around the world that may be able to assist. The page concludes with a section on careers in genealogy and a summary of useful online links.

Donna Moore of Denver, Colorado, advises in February 2021 her "knowyourdna" website, (advised nine paragraphs above), has two new articles: and Donna writes they have had countless inquiries asking for additional information on test accuracy as well as food sensitivity information. The site answers many questions for those exploring tests for health predispositions/wellness information, for finding long lost siblings/reconnecting with families, as well as genealogy. approaches genealogy from an interesting angle, by reconnecting with your family history through food. Recommended by Oliver Smith of Kitchen Works in Atlanta USA, and added here in March 2021, Oliver writes, that food is a cultural touch-point for many of us and, "how we relate to our family, and how we pass down traditions from generation to generation". The article gives an excellent overview of genealogy research including questions to ask immediate family right through to resources available and building a family tree. offers an easy way to understand doing genealogy research online. Added here in April 2021, this guide was recommended by Maria Jones, a friend of the reviewer - an avid genealogy enthusiast. In this guide, you will find the 25 best genealogy websites that can help you find the information that you will need to build your family tree

New Zealand Search Engines

Google Inc. is a multinational public cloud computing, Internet search, and advertising technologies corporation. As of June 2010 it held the dominant market position of 84.80% according to Net Applications, a web analytics company. Initial results include all of the web and this can then be narrowed down to, "Pages from New Zealand", by clicking on a link on the left-hand pane. Access to an excellent search of images is possible on a menu at the top of the page.

Yahoo! is great for searching names of NZ persons, Yahoo! is a web search engine, owned by Yahoo! Inc. and as of June 2010 Yahoo was, the 2nd largest search engine on the web by query volume, at 6.19%, after its competitor Google at 84.80%. A simple page allowing text to be entered. On the results page can refine by selecting NZ only searches. The full web portal version that includes News, sport and weather can be found here.

Bing is a relatively new web search engine from Microsoft that was launched in June 2009 and features the option for NZ only searches. As of June 2010, Bing was the third largest search engine on the web by query volume, at 3.24%, after its competitor Google at 84.80% and Yahoo at 6.19%, according to Net Applications, a web analytics company. Results are displayed in the centre. The left side navigation pane shows related searches and prior searches, while the right side features an extended preview which shows description from the page itself.


Hamology is a website promoting two eBooks written by Brian Oliver: "Hamology - amateur radio... the course", and "Hamology - amateur radio... the answers".

Based on actual classes taught by Brian, the course book was originally published in print. Brian has updated the content throughout, and is available in electronic form. The book covers a wealth of easy-to-follow electrical, electronic, and radio theory, along with hundreds of diagrams.
The second book contains the answers to test questions found in the course book. These two books together, form a powerful learning tool for students, especially those studying for their amateur, or 'ham', radio licence!

Tony's Satellite World features audio podcasts made in 2013 with Tony Dunnett and interviewed by Brian Oliver. Discussions on setting up satellite dishes for reception of international television stations.