Family stories of our ancestors

Family historians spend a lot of time researching and collecting their facts and stories. Many have been spurred on to share their research with other family members or even the wider general public.

Often the stories are shared in blogs, but some have been keen enough to share in books. We call these "published family histories."

In New Zealand, a couple of copies are sent to the National Library in Wellington to be preserved as part of the nation's memory. Sometimes, Auckland Libraries is also also sent a copy or two as well. Often we purchase them for our family history collection. - You should come in and have a look if you haven't already!

We don't just collect New Zealand family histories, we also collect published family histories from all over the world - particularly if they relate to the historic areas that many of us emigrated from.

One such book caught my eye today. Written by a New Zealander about her English grandfather's family.

My Mountain, My River, My People - The story of Lewis S Medcalf  by Valerie Jabir

The book was in the England section of the Family History Collection, and reminded me of the Māori spirit of belonging to the land.

And sure enough, when I read the introduction, the author talks about wanting to teach her multicultural grandchildren about their English side of their family.

She recites her grandfather's pepeha:

Tihe mauri ora! . . . . Let there be life!

My canoe is the Thames barge

My mountains are the North Downs of Kent

My river is the River Medway

My tribe is Metcalfe, originally from Yorkshire

My sub-tribe is Medcalf from Rochester, Kent, England

I am Lewis Spencer Medcalf

An awesome way of introducing her grandfather to her younger New Zealand family members in a way that they can relate.

Happy hunting