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Confirming a family story

An interview with Malcolm Banks

We asked one of our library customers to answer a few questions about using Ancestry Library Edition, and his exploration of his family history. Malcolm participated in one of our computer/digital skills classes on using the Ancestry Library Edition online resource. 


How long have you been using Ancestry?

Probably about a couple of years.

What’s one skill or technique you’ve learnt from our Ancestry Stepping Up classes?

Just the way to sort of move around the site; I think it opens up so much. I’ve been able to uncover the truth behind some of the myths I’ve been told about my family, and find out which family stories are actually true or not.

Is that your favourite thing about exploring family history?

Yes, because it allows to you to flesh out the legends you were told as a child. I was under the impression that Banks Road in Matamata was named after my grandfather, and that he’d had a farm on that road.

I found out that he was originally from Southland, but moved north on the advice of his doctor, who said he needed a warmer climate. He may then have moved in with his brother, who was an early settler in Matamata, and was, in fact, the one who had the farm on Banks road.

My grandfather then moved to Kaitaia, but was ultimately buried at the Matamata Cemetery.

What’s something you have yet to discover, or would like to know more about?

Well, my father’s side of the family goes back to the Orkney Islands, so there’s a bit of a block there. And on my mother’s side, the family came over from Ireland, then went back to Ireland, then back to New Zealand again, and I’d like to know why.

There are all sorts of stories waiting to be found, it’s just a matter of knowing where to search.


To discover answers to your family secrets, check out  the Ancestry database in one of our libraries, or join in one of our classes.