I must admit that I had fun this past weekend. I had an opportunity to visit and to speak to the Auckland (New Zealand) Family History Expo. I found a very enthusiastic group of genealogists at this event.
Sponsored by the Auckland Council Libraries in cooperation with the New Zealand Society of Genealogists, this turned out to be a major genealogy conference. Approximately 500 people attended the Expo on Saturday and 350 were there on Sunday. Those are large numbers in a country with a smaller population! Many of the presentation rooms were full to maximum capacity and the exhibits hall was crowded almost all the time when there were no presentations in progress.
While there were many obvious similarities to genealogy conferences in the US, Canada, and other countries, I also found a number of presentations and display stands that are unique to New Zealand genealogy. The most obvious one is: where else will you find genealogy organizations devoted to Maori ancestry? (The Maoris are the native people of New Zealand who were there long before the Europeans arrived.) I was also impressed with the exhibits and presentations on other minorities, including researching ancestry in India, China, Fiji, and elsewhere.
I decided to share a few of the pictures I took in this article.
I had the honor of joining Shauna Hicks as one of the two presenters from overseas at the Auckland Family History Expo. She and I also offered additional presentations at the genealogy and family history centre of the Auckland Central City Library on Monday, the day after the Auckland Family History Expo closed. If you have not heard any of Shauna Hicks’ presentations before, you need to attend her lectures any time she is speaking near you. She is from Australia so may not be available in your area often. However, if she is, you will be able to listen to interesting, educational, and humorous talks as she describes her adventures and mis-adventures researching her family tree. I know I enjoyed her presentations and suspect you will also.
I am taking a bit of a holiday this week, spending time in Singapore. Admittedly, it is a bit of a “busman’s holiday” as I am still publishing a genealogy newsletter more or less daily. I’ll be back in the US next week.