Introducing our blog series – “Little Lives”

Women and children are often less studied in archaelogy – this blog series aims to put that right!
A woman breast feeding her baby, with a dog sitting next to them in a rural setting. Etching by C. Lewis, 1848, after Sir E. Landseer, 1837.. Credit: Wellcome CollectionAttribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

This coming week the blog will be a little bit different because we’re taking part in New Zealand Archaeology Week. Hooray! Normally Archaeology Week involves a series of talks and workshops around the country, with archaeologists giving the public some hands-on insight into what we’re doing. This year, rather than hosting public events, archaeology week has gone online. We might be in lockdown, but the New Zealand Archaeological Association still wants to introduce people to the archaeology happening around the country – and that’s where we come in!

We’ve decided to use the Archaeology Week spotlight to shine a light on some of the people whose stories often don’t get told in the history books. Specifically we’re going to be looking at the children of the colonial period. In the past, especially in Victorian times, children were seen and not heard, and their important stories were often lost. If you read the history books sometimes it seems as though society was only populated by middle class men… women are barely mentioned, and children may as well be invisible. But even though children may have been little in stature, their lives were certainly not of little importance! Children give us an important window on the health of populations, family life, values and culture. Their stories deserve to be told, and that’s what we aim to do.

So stay tuned, because from this Monday (27th April), Southern Cemeteries Archaeology will be posting new content EVERY DAY in a blog series called Little Lives, focusing on children in colonial New Zealand. So sit back and enjoy, as we bring colonial archaeology into your bubbles…

Charlotte King, 24th April 2020

2 thoughts on “Introducing our blog series – “Little Lives”

  1. Fyi Charlotte,

    I am impressed with your professional passion, .great reading and of the team in general.

    My passion, Hobby, is-

    A life member of the Otago Settlers Association. A member since 1971, nearly 50 years.

    Note my card was signed and handed to me personally by the redoubtable Miss Pryde.

    My first family history enquiry was made to the Dunedin Drainage and Sewerage Board in July 1969 over 50 years ago.

    After making contact with relatives throughout New Zealand and abroad for the past fifty years I now have extensive archives, text and images. Being used along with the latest technologies to obtain information and transform into stories of the ancestors.

    Writing now needs to take precedence over further research!

    I have started writing and publishing -see below-and have plans for many many more. Today Topread publishing, is my hobby vehicle for doing so. The name inspired by A H Reed after reading “Boots and Books” by Ian Dougherty.

    The financial returns are negative, I end up subsidising them which will eventually restrain the numbers I will be able to print. My principle aim is to assign ISBN and lodge in the National library and the likes of Otago Settlers Museum, the Hocken Collection and the New Zealand Soc. of Genealogists library. For the record and future generations.

    Hopefully one day some planned non- family history topic may sell well, if I get time to write them!

    Problem trees, how to spot them a kilometer away.

    A fencible soldier of Otahuhu. Lieutenant Hickson. Education sector

    Main Street. Otahuhu

    As Winston Churchill once said “only the written word survives”.

    I am also looking at publishing in digital format in order to save costs. I have also set up to print and bind smaller documents myself.

    My great great grand parents ‘Robert And Jessie Findlay”# arrived in Otago in 1863. I have published their story ISBN 978-0-473-36247-8 2016. A copy is in the Settlers Museum library.

    As I have ”The Life Of William Findlay 1800-1862” (Roberts father, of Kincardineshire) by Lorraine Stewart “Kincardine Ancestors“ . Ver 2. ISBN 978-0-473-33030-9. 2015 Also in the Settlers museum library.

    The book “Progeny of Dunedin.” currently being formatted before printing is about the second generation of this Findlay family raised in North Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand.

    There were nine in the family plus niece Eliza who came to live as one of the family 1884 . Her descendants were only located in 2018 after 59 years searching. They had no knowledge of her early history.

    The lives of this north Dunedin family totalled 662 years between 1862 and 1987. 435 of those were in Dunedin, 66%.

    The rest were in the East Coast-Gisborne, Northland-Whangarei, Hawkes Bay- Napier, Masterton-Wairarapa to Taranaki- New Plymouth with Alfred living in several North Island locations before returning to Dunedin

    “The Life and times of “Harry” Henry Arthur Finch Findlay 1915-1998”. July 1999

    A second edition “An Unlikely Hero, Harry Findlay of Ahipara” is a work in progress.

    Many of my wife and my ancestors arrived in Otago on sailing ships from 1848> Finch, McGrouther, Findlay, Taylor Ralston, Gamble.

    I attended The Taieri High School and Otago University. BSc. 1962 -1978

    Currently I am convening a small group writing “A History of the Taieri High School of the Hislop Era 1956-1966” due to be electronically published in time for the celebration of the 150th Anniversary Of Education On The Taieri.

    I worked for the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries as a Horticulture Advisory Officer based in Roxburgh, 1975-1983. I have published “Memories of a Horticulture Advisory Officer -the ninth and last in the Roxburgh Office.” ISBN 978-0-473-378873-8 2016 In time for the centenary of the Ettrick Fruit growers Association. 2016

    I currently have at the printers “The Burnside High School Foundation Pupils 60th Anniversary Reunion”. An event organised by me. Comprising the pre and post event newsletters produced Nov 2019- March 2020. Awaiting an ISBN number

    I published, A history of the St John’s Burial Ground Back Road. Tokomairiro. Otago. ISBN 978-0-473-35119-9 April 2016 . After initiating, convening the research team and helping compile this publication in time for the St Johns Milton 150th anniversary. A second edition is proposed to include additional burials “uncovered”.

    My great great grand parents John and Elizabeth Finch were passengers aboard the John Wickliffe. Into Port Chalmers, 1848, they are buried in the Back road burial grounds.

    A major publication “The family of George and Jessie ( McGrouther ) Finch of the Tokomairiro” is awaiting compilation. Jessie being the niece of the Rev Dr Donald McNaughton Stewart/Stuart, my great great uncle.

    I have published “A Centennial Biography Of Donald McNaughton Stuart Finch Of The Tokomairiro KIA Passchendaele 12 Oct 1917.”ISBN 978-0-473-37874-5 October 2017. In the TOSMuseum library.

    Proposed Dunedin/Otago related publications include:

    The Building Activities Of Lambeth And Findlay, Building Contractors Dunedin 1875 -1880

    Findlay’s Dunedin Directory,- Places Of Interest To Descendants Of Robert & Jessie Findlay.

    The Ships They Came On. The ships ancestors of Robert and Ivy (Ralston) Findlay came on.

    They Served, Findlay & Ralston ancestors who served. From Edward Samuel Rabone New Zealand medal. 1828-1899

    The life of Liz (Gamble) Ralston 1912-2002. In draft form.

    The Ralston’s of Greytown/Allanton, from Southend, Argyll. 1865. All material is on hand.

    The Rev. Dr. Donald McNaughton Stewart/Stuart. A montage of images of the life and family of my Gt. Gt. Uncle. Most material is on hand.

    Major proposed works in progress include:

    New Zealand Government Horticulture Experts 1893-1987

    Manukau City Council Parks staff 1965-2010


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