Auckland Family History Expo in Pictures

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.

Maori Interest Group


Smita Biswas presented an excellent talk on “Recording the Family History for People of Indian Origin”

Jan Gow has long been the major genealogy vendor in New Zealand. She offers a wide variety of products and services and she had a very busy stand at the Expo!



It was nice to see the Guild of One-Name Studies well represented at the Expo.


Many of the well-known international vendors were represented at the Expo. This group represented Findmypast. was also in attendance. I snapped this picture before the Exhibits Hall opened so there was no one in the stand just yet.


This self-service kiosk can provide genealogy information to the public even without an expert in attendance. This is an excellent example of a traveling kiosk being available in public places.



Not everything was perfect at the conference. A loud alarm went off in mid-conference and we all evacuated the building, expecting it was a fire alarm. After standing outside for a bit, we were informed that it actually was a burglar alarm and there was no danger. We then returned inside where we had to listen to the piercing alarm sound for an hour or so until a person from the alarm company arrived to reset it. Not fun! I have no idea why a burglar alarm would go off in mid-day in an unlocked building filled with people!


Just to be annoying? [the alarm]


Many thanks Dick for that lovely feedback on my talks. Like you I thought it was a great event, well organised and everyone seemed to have a good time. I hope we get another opportunity to present talks together, and until then I will continue to practice your ‘paperlite’ philosophy, just one of the many things I picked up from your talks.


Thanks for the article on NZ. I enjoyed it.


Thanks Dick for your kind comment. I will be forwarding my article on the topic to you shortly


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