Hutt Valley Genealogy Branch :: News


Newsletter Snippet - August 2015

Christine Clements ( talked of new features: Life Story, Facts and 
		Gallery; and search using the Card Catalogue. Copyright Helene Philpott.

Christine Clements
[Click image to see a larger one.]

Photos - Family History Open Day

View our gallery of photos and associated write-up for the Family History Open Day that was held on 22 August 2015.

"What did you do in the war, Grandy?"

Genevieve Woolf

Genevieve Woolf

This was a national genealogy competition for schools, organised by the NZSG. 

Read the article about a local winner, Genevieve Woolf, and her grandfather.

The top entries (including Genevieve's) were on display during the Family History Open Day on 22 August 2015 for everyone to view.

Newsletter Snippet - July 2015

Obituary: Elizabeth (Betty) Pyne 1922 - 2015

Some of Betty Pyne's scrapbooks held at Petone Library

Some of Betty Pyne's scrapbooks held at Petone Library

Betty Pyne at Hutt Valley Branch's 20th Anniversary celebrations, 2003

Betty Pyne

Betty joined the Hutt Valley Branch in February 1983 soon after the Hutt Valley branch began.  This was also when she began her own family history research.

Betty was best known for her scrapbooks for which she was given life membership in December 1999. 

We have 49 files of Betty's scrapbooks in our library at Petone Library.  Subsequently, these have been compiled onto CDs by Deb Beban and Lois Bartlett - The Betty Pyne Collection Index.

Newsletter Snippet - May 2015

With funding from the Lottery Grants Board, Hutt City Libraries has published a fascinating history of the Taumaru Military Convalescent Home in Eastbourne.

In 1916 well known lawyer and politician Francis Henry Dillon Bell offered his house at Lowry Bay to the New Zealand government as a convalescent home for wounded soldiers.

Around 500 soldiers passed through its doors before it closed in 1919.

'That Dear Little Home on the Bay' [PDF] is the story of that house which for many is now long forgotten, if known at all.

Newsletter Snippet - April 2015

An article in the Hutt News gave us publicity for our 2015 Research Day: 24 March 2015, Hutt News :: Branch helps trace family tree

Thanks to all the Hutt Valley Branch members who assisted at the Research Day on Saturday 28th March 2015.  30 non-members attended with 3 becoming members and others taking brochures away.

Welcome to our New Members.

Newsletter Snippet - March 2015

'Looking at Wellington's Archaeology' was the basis of two very interactive presentations by Consultant Archaeologist, Mary O'Keefe.

"It's not all trowels and camel hair brushes, more likely a 40 ton digger", said Mary.  "Small things, like these artefacts, can tell big stories."

Recent media articles that mention some of her work:

Newsletter Snippet - February 2015

The topic for our meeting on Thursday, 11 December 2014 was 'Our first arrivals in New Zealand'.

Members spoke informally about their families' first arrivals to New Zealand, saying when they arrived, where they were from, why they came, where they settled, where they moved to, what they did in their country of origin and then in New Zealand.  See map of landings and migration within NZ.

You can also read back copies of our information-rich Branch newsletters, and see who our speakers were and what topics were covered at previous meetings.

Our 30th Anniversary Celebrations

During May 2013, Hutt Valley Branch of the NZSG celebrated its 30th Anniversary with cake, good company and recollections of how family history research has changed since the formation of the group in 1983.  See the 28 May 2013 Hutt News for Yvonne Airey's article about the event and a lovely photograph of life member Lynly Yates and long-serving secretary Joan Bray.

Hutt Valley Biographical Index and Genealogies (HBIG) Online

Hutt Valley High School Roll of Honour 1939-1945. Click on image to see a larger version.

Click on image for larger version.

In May 2013, two of our Branch members, Lynley Yates and Dawn Chambers launched the Hutt Valley Biographical Index and Genealogies (HBIG) website.

HBIG is a collection of Early Settlers Genealogies and historical information covering the Hutt Valley. The foundation stone for the website is the publication "Genealogical Resources in the Hutt Valley" edited by Peggy Crawford for the Hutt Valley Group of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists (1992).

The main aim is to provide a guide to the types of records available and where they can be found. These may be held in local libraries, historical societies, council archives, private collections or national repositories. New resources are being added as they are developed and most of the information is in the form of fully searchable PDF documents that can be readily updated.

The area covered includes Eastbourne, Pencarrow, Turakirae, Wainuiomata, Gracefield, Waiwhetu, Petone, Lower Hutt, Korokoro, Maungaraki, Normandale, Belmont, Naenae, Taita, Stokes Valley, Silverstream, Akatarawa, Pinehaven, Upper Hutt, Whiteman's Valley, Mangaroa, Maymorn, Te Marua, Kaitoke and the Rimutaka Hill Summit.

Hutt News Logo

More Hutt News Online at Papers Past

In June 2013, the National Library of New Zealand's digital newspaper archive, PapersPast, added eleven years worth of issues of our local weekly, the Hutt News, to their searchable database (1934-1945).  This means that 946 issues of the Hutt News are now available, covering 1 April 1927 to 26 December 1945.  You can search the Hutt News on PapersPast here.

Hutt Valley NZSG Branch Volunteers Transcribe Cemetery Records

Old Taita Cemetery

Did you know that about a dozen members of our Branch volunteered their services to help get the last batch of the Hutt Valley cemetery records on line, with our secretary, Terry Stock, co-ordinating this significant effort.  About 20,000 entries had to be put into the Council's electronic database.  The council-managed Garden of Remembrance in Wainuiomata was already on line, as was the Lawn Cemetery in Taita, leaving only the old section of the Taita burial ground to go electronic.

In the 13 March 2012 Hutt News article, Council's corporate information manager Chris Gousmett said that, for the sake of completeness, the council is adding about 1500 names to its database from nine non-council cemeteries.  They are St James churchyard, Lower Hutt; Christ Church Taita churchyard, the Bridge Street Wesleyan Cemetery, Lower Hutt; Korokoro Cemetery; Knox Presbyterian churchyard, Lower Hutt; Homedale Methodist Cemetery and Sinclair Cemetery, both in Wainuiomata; and two Maori urupa in Te Puni and Seaview.

On behalf of the Branch, Terry said that the work is proof of the Society's belief in the value of making the material available to the public.  The online service is primarily about modernising information management, but the spinoff is easier access for people outside the region who want to research family histories.

Read the 13 March 2012 Hutt News article.

To search the Hutt City Cemeteries Online database, go to

See our Branch Newsletters for further news highlights