Tauranga Libraries providing answers and finding your roots

Monday 02 August 2021

The month of August is Family History Month and what a more perfect time to dig out that family tree, find the research and discover your own family history. 

To help filter that curiosity, Tauranga Libraries are holding workshops and drop-in sessions throughout the month of August with volunteers to help you with your questions and research. 

Alongside, Family History Month, on the second Tuesday of every month at the Tauranga City Library, you’ll find Joy Edmonds, as well as other volunteers who are a part of the Mount Maunganui Genealogy group, facilitating the Drop-in Genealogy Help event.

During these sessions, each of the volunteers who have a wide range of expertise, will be able to guide you through any questions or curiosity you may have to help you on your genealogy research.

We got to chat to Joy Edmonds and find out more about the drop-in sessions and why genealogy research is so popular. 

What is your role at the drop-in sessions and how does that play a part in helping people? 
Joy Edmonds: Our role is to try and provide answers to the queries that people want to know. Each one of us (the Mount Maunganui Genealogy group) has a different field of expertise. 

What are some of the reasons that people are wanting to find out their genealogy? 
JE: People come to the drop-in sessions to try and find their roots, ethnicity, want to prove or disprove family lore, they have inherited papers, documents, photos, and want to know what the best way is to use these records. There may be medical problems that may be inherited. They may have had their DNA tested and not sure what to do with the results. 

Why do you think there is a demand for research like this?

JE: People just need to know how to get the answers to their roots. They hope that we can guide them to where to find the records that are available as not all records are online due to the 100-year privacy policy. 

Doing this work, it’s all volunteer-based from your side of things – what makes you keep sticking at it and helping others find out their genealogy? 

JE: It is very satisfying to help others as we have a passion for our own family history. Over the years we have gained knowledge as to where to look for records which are sometimes not freely available, and not everything is online. 

There are a range of events and workshops taking place during Family History Month covering the subject of genealogy. Head to the Tauranga City Library website to find out more. 

Words: Caitlin Houghton