A gold mine not to be overlooked

When sorting through some books that had been donated to us, a while back, I came across a copy of NZ Pioneers’ & Descendants’ Club Inc. Silver Jubilee 1939-1964 booklet of which there are several copies in the libraries’ collection. This small publication runs to 63 pages and probably would not attract the attention of many if seen on the library's catalogue or a shelf somewhere.

How wrong we would be to disregard this little gem! It gives a brief history of the club and why it was set up: "To create the spirit of friendship; To get memories of the early days published in detail…"

The rest of the booklet offers much for those whose forebears either belonged to the club or are the subjects of the histories included.  There is a list of present and past officers, list of current members and date when forebear arrived, ships date of arrival and member’s name, alphabetical list of surnames mentioned in articles followed by many brief details about (mainly grandparent) immigrants who arrived in the 1840s-1870s.

Some entries give a human insight into events such as the Waikato and Taranaki Wars that you don't get from the many history books available to us; while many of the members were living in Auckland their immigrant forebears settled all over New Zealand.

The following is an extract from a typical entry "…The family travelled by bullock waggon along the coast to Bulls, finally settling at York Farm, Marton.  He was hopeless as a farmer, so became a teacher."  This man was not alone in failing at what he chose to do on arrival in order to put food on the family table.

An interesting read, and pure gold for anyone whose ancestor is listed.

Author: Marie Hickey