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Auckland 'Family Discovery Day' Inspires Expert and Novice Genealogists

Over 150 family history enthusiasts and beginners attended a “Family Discovery Day” at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Pah Road, Mt Roskill meetinghouse on Saturday (23 May).

The day began with a devotional address given by Michael Higgins, Pacific Area Family History Manager for the Church.   He spoke of the faith’s Pacific Area Presidency’s invitation to individuals to learn about their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents in 2015 – also known as researching your “15 in 15.”   

“I encourage everyone to become involved in researching and finding your relatives,” said Mr Higgins.  “We gain strength and understanding from the experiences of our forebears.”

A variety of 40 minute workshops were offered to meet individual needs.  These workshops included instruction on getting started in family history, writing personal histories, ideas for youth, scrapbooks, journals and indexing.  There were also classes focusing on different areas of research such as Tonga, Britain, Maori, Samoa, Niue and Cook Islands. 

Collections of family heirlooms and treasures were displayed for participants to view between classes.

Wendy Lelo, former family history consultant, conducted the workshop on British research. She said, “It is wonderful to observe the excitement people experience as they discover ways to connect to their families.”

Participant Gerhardt Sorensen said, “I enjoyed learning about the Germans in the Pacific. This is the first event like this I have attended. I’m looking forward to learning more about my ancestors.”

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