Showing posts from February, 2017

Churches in Onehunga

There are several historic churches in Onehunga, reflecting the early European settlement of the area.

Early Church Services in Onehunga

The first church services in Onehunga were held on the first Sunday (21 November 1847) after the arrival of the first contingent of the Fencibles. There was an Anglican service in the morning and a Catholic service in the afternoon.

St Peter’s Anglican Church

St Peter’s Church was one of the earliest churches in Auckland, constructed in 1848. The first service was held on Saint Peter’s Day, 29 June 1848.The stone wall at the church was built in 1853, a part of which still stands. In 1857, the tower and the spire were moved to the south side of the church. As the numbers of people attending the church grew, the original wooden church was extended in the 1860s and 1870s.
Ref: St Peters Church, Onehunga, 1860s, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 957-192-1.

Captain Swing and his riots in 1830s England

If you had an ancestor who was working on the land in the 1830s in England there is a chance that they were involved in the Swing Riots.

These started in the Elham Valley in Kent and quickly spread among the rural workers of the south and East Anglia. The unrest was caused by a number of reasons - machinery taking jobs from men, farmers offering lower wages, payment of tithes to the Church of England whether or not you were a member.

Threatening letters were sent to those who were considered in a position to resolve the situation signed by "Captain Swing" who was fictitious. If the warning was ignored it was followed by destruction of threshing machines, their engines, attacks on workhouses and tithe barns and later turned to burning hay ricks and other arsonist attacks.

If caught, the rioters faced imprisonment, transportation or execution. Of the 2000 (approx.) rioters who were caught 252 were sentenced to death (only 19 were hanged), 644 imprisoned and 481 transported.


Manurewa Library celebrates

In February 2017 Manurewa Library celebrates its 50th anniversary. On 20 February 1967 it was opened on the first floor of the Natali Buildings on the corner of Great South Road and Station Road. It was Manukau City Council’s first full-service free public library.

Ref: The Natali's Buildings, c1979, South Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, Footprints 01617.
Known as Pegler’s Building when it was opened in June 1930, this originally housed seven shops on the ground floor and a reception room or hall, four offices and two flats on the first floor. In 1967 the reception room was converted into a library.

Back in the day: The ways we died

This was an interesting post from a few years back that we thought you'd enjoy again.

An interesting little read on our shelves is the book 'Til death us do part : causes of death 1300-1948.

As the author Janet Few says in the introduction, “One thing that all but our most recent ancestors have in common is that they are dead.”

This small but fulsome book discusses the many possibilities of our ancestor’s deaths. The cancers and heart disease that end our lives today were much more difficult to diagnose until the twentieth century and the lifestyles of our ancestors made them less prone to contacting them. Instead, they could look forward to famines, epidemics and infectious diseases.

Few describes the different kinds of plague that could be experienced and their symptoms’…hard dry boils, particularly in the groin or armpits and it normally took three days to die.’ A range of preventatives included what was known as a ‘tuzzy muzzy’ , a bunch of herbs to warn off the bad smells…

On the tented fields of the south

With the cricket season in full swing it’s timely to look at three of the earliest books about cricket in New Zealand. On the tented fields of the south, 1882 along with Pavilion echoes from the south, 1884-5 and the less poetically titled The Auckland cricketers’ trip to the south [1873], are early accounts of the Auckland cricket team’s tours of the country that helped popularise the sport in the province.

Ref: Henry Winkelmann, Showing a group of schoolboys playing cricket in Auckland Domain..., 9 December 1901, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1-W152.

'ello, 'ello, 'ello - NZ Police Gazettes

The NZ Police Gazettes (Wellington series) have now been digitised and are available for viewing on the Archway website. While these are the National Headquarters (Wellington) set, they include occurrences from all over New Zealand.

In order to access these files:
Type New Zealand Police Gazettes into the search box on Archway’s home page and click "search"Now click on the "go" button to the right of the 909 lineAt the results page at the bottom of the screen are the number of pages. Change the number 1 to 7 and then click the >> buttonScroll down and you will see the gazettes 1878 (vol 2) onwards to 1945 have "view or download digitised record" beneath each record - click on this for whichever year you wish to viewThen click on “New Zealand Police Gazette … vol…Click on view or download digitised record
To view 1877 vol.1 you need to do the following -

Step 1 as aboveClick "go" to right of 23 ….. series of recordsScroll down to Police gaze…

Manurewa Central and Finlayson Park Schools

The South Auckland Research Centre has recently processed two collections, which provide an insight into the history of two local schools: Manurewa Central School and Finlayson Park School.

Manurewa Central School opened as Manurewa School in 1906, after the Woodside School Building was shifted to its new site on the corner of Hill Road and Great South Road. The building was later demolished in 1972. You can read more about the move and opening in the 31 August 1906 entry on Manukau’s Journey – a Manukau timeline.
Ref: Opening day, Manurewa School, 3 September 1906, photograph reproduced courtesy of Manurewa Historical Society, South Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, Footprints 01209.

86th anniversary - Napier earthquake

Eighty-six years ago today on the 3rd of February 1931 at 10.47 am, New Zealand’s deadliest earthquake struck the Hawkes Bay. Centered 15kms north of Napier, it lasted for two and a half minutes and measured magnitude 7.8. Napier was levelled and at least 258 people were killed.

Thirteen-year-old Cecil O’Halloran and her sister Joy lived with their parents, Ivy and Kevin, on the Napier hills, in Brewster Street. Their house was built by Ivy's builder father, Thomas Bailey, as a wedding present for his daughter.

When the earthquake struck, Ivy was at home. It was fortunate she'd just left the laundry for the kitchen as the only damage to the house was from the chimney crumbling down on to it.
Auckland Libraries Sir George Grey Special Collections has digitised a view of the city taken before and after the earthquake. The house that Thomas built for Ivy and Kevin is in the foreground, second house from the right in the photos below. In the first one you can see it has a chimney,…