Amateur Genealogist Looking For A Challenge

Did the title catch your eye?

Good.  Now to the details…

I am an amateur genealogist and have been so since I was fifteen years old.  For those who don’t know me in real life – that’s a very long time, nearly two thirds of my lifetime in fact.  But I was not born where I have resided since I was three years old and that means all of my research has been spent in another part of the world.

Now I am interested in learning more about my local resources and local family history.  That means I am looking for a New Zealander who is interested in having their tree shaken about a bit.  Ideally you will believe that your family has been here in one form or another for 4 to 5 generations, for ease of access to the archives you would be an Aucklander – but don’t let that stop you since more online access is occurring all the time and I have already touched briefly on folk in Wellington and New Plymouth (for an extended family member).

You must be willing to be patient – this sort of research tends to come in hops and skips with gaps in between.  This will be partly due to the need to keep on top of the (now digital) paperwork this sort of research can generate and partly because I have a young family with the attending time constraints that brings.

What can you expect to get for participating?
You may get an ancestor chart like this one (as a pdf file), a descendent chart like this one (as a pdf file), and if you get really excited by the whole process I can even provide a full gedcom file for your very own.  If you get that excited, I’ll explain about the gedcom file then.
You might get lucky and receive photographs of: headstones; original archival documents like wills and testaments; hospital admissions records; and the like.  I may even be able to provide clippings (digital, of course) from newspapers.

In the process you may find that you did not come from where you thought you did.  You may discover that you had interesting and worthy ancestors, or that you come from the hardworking but not so noble end of society.  Most of us have a smattering of all sorts, noble and not so.

Before you think that this sounds just the ticket, there is the obligatory fine print.  My terms and conditions for working with & for you are laid out below.  I don’t think you’ll find them to be too onerous.

Terms & Conditions.

  1. You must provide enough reasonably accurate details for me to start working on. Not just “My mum’s name is… and my dad was…”  I’m good, but I’m not a miracle worker.  So if you’re not sure what I need to get going with, I’d be happy to send a questionnaire you can fill out or ask the oldest member of your family to help with.
  2. You must be willing to fork out the odd bit of cash to ensure I’m not sending you up the wrong tree.*
  3. You must have a strong stomach for “interesting” ancestors.‡

* this means dollars for certificates or, if required, useful other documents – NOT for my time.  My time is yours for free – 100%.  I will also NOT spend any money without first a) explaining why I’d like to spend your money, and; b) having your agreement to do so.  This is to ensure that a particular John Smith actually is YOUR John Smith.

‡ if squeamish about the possibility that your family tree contains the usual number of drunkards, loose women, bigamists, adulterers, unmarried couples or “early arrival” of the firstborns, then this isn’t for you.

Still with me, after the T & C section?

Right, your first port of call is dropping me an email.  If you know me in real life, you’ll already have that.  If not, just leave me a comment here saying that you’d be interested in talking about doing this.  I will then contact you and we can chat about it.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.  🙂

2 thoughts on “Amateur Genealogist Looking For A Challenge

  1. Hello fellow amateur genealogist. Where on earth do you find the time!!!!

    I have two branches to my family tree where I am stuck and could do with some more expert help….. so may just take you up on that!



  2. In the one hour before I fall into bed. 😉
    Thank goodness for the internet or I’d be having to traipse down to the local Latter Day Saints and nothing would ever happen.
    This year I finally cracked a brick wall going right back to when I first started out and my great-grandfather’s family. And when it came down, it came down hard and fast. The 1911 census gave me the confirmation I needed and almost immediately after I did the work going back two or three generations a “cousin” popped up over the internet and we compared notes – and both expanded the related family lines massively. He even had photographs going back to the 1860s and entries in a family bible too. I just love it when that happens. Makes waiting nearly 20 years worth it.

    If I can help with the stuck lines, I’d be happy to – even if it’s just as someone to use as a sounding board. 🙂


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