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Free family history talks in August. Bring your lunch, and learn!

The NZ Society of Genealogists, Southland Branch, in association with the Invercargill Public Library, is presenting a week of Family History lunchtime sessions.

Each session runs for 45 minutes, starting at 12:15pm in the Library Meeting Room. Bring your own lunch along, and enjoy. Tea and Coffee will be provided.

Family History Talk Timetable

Monday 7 August
Image of Victorian family

Introduction to genealogy & family history and how to record your  results.  

Session is run by Roger Washbourn of NZ Society of Genealogists Southland Branch.

Tuesday 8 August
Image of Maori Family in 1800s

The journey of my whakapapa: How I used the resources available to explore my Māori Heritage.

Session is run by Jay Coote, Community Connections Coordinator at Invercargill City Libraries and Archives.

Wednesday 9 August
Image of English Church

Family Research in England and Wales.  

Session is run by Lesley Instone of NZ Society of Genealogists Southland Branch.

Thursday 10 August
Image of a photo in our Archives

Highlights from the Archives Collection. A brief look into what’s new and popular in our Archives.

Session is run by Elyse Clark, Archives Assistant at Invercargill City Libraries and Archives.

Friday 11 August

Gold rushes and Wardens Court Records. 

Session is run by Prue Turnbullof NZ Society of Genealogists Dunedin Branch.

Contact

For more information about these session, please contact the event coordinator, Family History and Research Librarian Denise Grant.

Denise Grant

Family History and Research Librarian
Email Denise
(03) 2111 444

Celebrating Matariki. Our list of must-read Matariki Books.

Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades. It rises in mid-winter – late May or early June. For many Māori, it heralds the start of a new year.

Matariki Non-Fiction

Together in love : a legend of Matariki by Xoë Hall

The loving embrace of Ranginui and Papatuanuku keeps the land in darkness. When their children discover there is light beyond their parents love, chaos is unleashed. This creates the stars of Matariki. 

He Aroha Pumau Tetahi Ki Tetahi: He Korero Mo Matariki by Xoë Hall

Ka po te ao i roto i te kauawhi o Ranginui me Papatuanuku. Ina puta te mohio ki a raua tamariki he maramatanga kei waho i te aroha nui o o raua matua ki a raua ano, ka wehe te ao, a, ka puta ko Matariki.

Matariki by Sharon Holt

This Te Reo Singalong series follows a family through their Matariki celebrations. Each Te Reo Singalong book includes a song CD, English translation, guitar chords and extension ideas. This book also includes information about Matariki.

Matariki : the Maori New Year by Libby Hakaraia

Matariki marks the beginning of the Māori calendar. It was used as a guide to planting and harvesting and was studied by tohunga. It told whether the food-gathering season would be plentiful or lean.

Celebrating Matariki by Libby Hakaraia

Celebrating Matariki explains what Matariki is. It shows where and when the constellation can be seen and  the importance of Matariki in Maori culture. The book includes 10 Matariki-related activities for children to try. 

Matariki Picture Books

Daniel's Matariki feast by Rebecca Beyer

Starting something new is always difficult. How will Daniel fit in? Luckily for him Matariki is a time of sharing and new beginnings.

The seven kites of Matariki by Calico McClintock

A fictional retelling of the traditional Matariki story.

Te Huihui o Matariki by Toni Rolleston-Cummins

Mitai's seven handsome brothers are bewitched by seven beautiful women. He seeks advice and learns that the women are patupaiarehe. They are given to Urutengangana, the god of the stars, who places them in the far away heavens. Yet once a year he allows them to shine in the Eastern sky. A contemporary myth of love, magic, and adventure that celebrates Matariki.

Matariki by Melanie Drewery

A family celebrate the Māori New Year and talk about what Matariki means to different people. 

Tā Daniel hākari matariki by Rebecca Beyer

Starting something new is always difficult. How will Daniel fit in? Luckily for him Matariki is a time of sharing and new beginnings.

Ngā manu tukutuku e whitu o Matariki of Matariki by Calico McClintock

A fictional retelling of the traditional Matariki story.

The Seven Stars of Matatriki by Toni Rolleston-Cummins

Mitai's seven handsome brothers are bewitched by seven beautiful women. He seeks advice and learns that the women are patupaiarehe. They are given to Urutengangana, the god of the stars, who places them in the far away heavens. Yet once a year he allows them to shine in the Eastern sky. A contemporary myth of love, magic, and adventure that celebrates Matariki.

The little Kiwi's Matariki by Nikki Slade-Robinson

Can you feel it coming? The little kiwi knows a special time of year is almost here. But will she wake up her friends in time?

What if Hitler Won? Our Favourite Alternate History Books!

This week we have been thinking a lot about a popular genre; alternate history. Alternate history fiction is where an author takes a point in history and asks what if it had happened differently.

We have made a list of our favourite alternate history books which we think you will enjoy! If you love this list an excellent resource we recommend is uchronia.net, a website dedicated to alternate histories.

What if... Germany won World War II?

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Weapons of Choice by John Birmingham
Weapons of Choice by John Birmingham

A military experiment throws a multi-national fleet from the year 2021 back in time to the start of June 1942 near the Hawaiian Islands. But their mere presence could change the outcome of the war.

Genre: Science Fiction

Dominion by C. J. Sansom
Dominion by C. J. Sansom

Winston Churchill did not become British Prime Minister in May 1940, and the Brits surrendered to Nazi Germany. By the 1950s, the UK is a satellite state of the Germans, while they continue to fight their long campaign against the Soviets.

Genre: Science Fiction

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

What would 1960's America look like if Germany and Japan won the war? This slice of life novel explores just that, with a scifi twist. Has also been made recently into an amazing TV series.

Genre: Science Fiction

The Darkest Hour by Tony Schumacher
The Darkest Hour by Tony Schumacher

Imagine living in Britain in 1946 if the Nazis had won the war. This story follows British policeman and war veteran Rossett as he carries out his day to day life in Nazi occupied Britain while you wonder - is he a hero? Or is he the worst kind of traitor?

Genre: Science Fiction

Fatherland by Robert Harris
Fatherland by Robert Harris

An alternative history set in Berlin 1964 and the Nazis have won the war. March is a police officer working on a murder case who stumbles across the truth of what exactly the Nazis have been up to.

Genre: Suspense

One of the best books I have ever read. Absolute page-turner. I could not put this down!
bonnie
Staff Pick!
Bonnie Mager

What if... Anne Boleyn bore a healthy son?

The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen
The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen

Reimagining history in sumptuous detail, Laura Anderssen takes readers back to the deadly intrigue, turbulent affairs, and treacherous passions of Tudor England - and answers the compelling question What if Anne Boleyn had given Henry VIII the son he so desperately wanted?

Genre: Historical Fiction

What if... the Black Death was even deadlier?

The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson
The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson

The novel explores how subsequent world history might have been different if the Black Death plague had killed 99% of Europe’s population, instead of a third.

Genre: Science Fiction

What if... Alaska was a World War II refugee settlement?

The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon
The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon

In 1940, the United States voted to create a refugee settlement in Alaska for Jews being persecuted by the Nazis. The State of Israel is destroyed in 1948 and Sitka Alaska becomes a vibrant home city for the world’s Jews. The novel follows Detective Meyer Landsman as he investigates his neighbour's murder.

Genre: Suspense

What if... Stalin was born in the USA?

Joe Steele by Harry Turtledove
Joe Steele by Harry Turtledove

After the suspicious death of Franklin Roosevelt, Joe Steele [Better known to us as Stalin] captures the 1932 Democractic presidential nomination and goes on to defeat Herbert Hoover and bring totalitarianism to the USA.

Genre: Suspense

What if... Franklin Roosevelt lost the 1940 Election?

The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
The Plot Against America by Philip Roth

Roosevelt is defeated in the 1940 presidential election by Charles Lindbergh, and anti-semitism becomes an accepted part of America. The novel tells the story of the Roth family living in Newark, who are persecuted in different ways.

Genre: Historical Fiction

What if... the Civil War never happened?

Underground Airlines by Ben Winters
Underground Airlines by Ben Winters

Set in an United States where the American Civil War never occurred because Abraham Lincoln was assassinated prior to his inauguration. As a result, slavery has remained legal in four southern states: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and a united Carolinas.

Genre: Science Fiction

What if... you could travel to the past?

11/22/63 by Stephen King
11/22/63 by Stephen King

Jake Epping's friend Al divulges a secret to him: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops and of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald.

Genre: General Fiction

Making History by Stephen Fry
Making History by Stephen Fry

What if Hitler was never born? Follow the amusing tale of Michael, a young historian, who manages to turn back time and ensure Hitler was never born, with devastating results.

Genre: General Fiction

Set over a century ago...

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik
His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

The Napoleonic Wars were full of tales of heroism, adventure, intrigue — and in this version, dragons. Imagine the Battle of Trafalgar, with the added excitement of dragons.

Genre: Science Fiction

1632 by Eric Flint
1632 by Eric Flint

The town of Grantville and its power plant are sent from the year 2000 in West Virginia to 1631 in central Germany, in the middle of the barbaric Thirty Years War. American-style freedom and justice are introduced to Europe, and the American Revolution starts much earlier than before.

Genre: Science Fiction