A 1931 picture taken from the slopes of the mountain, looking across Mt Albert Rd. A historical society-organised series of public presentations will help you to discover when your home was built – and who lived in it before you got the keys. Picture: Sir George Grey Special Collection, Auckland Libraries
As a leading light in the Mt Albert Historical Society, Mary Inomata gets quite a few calls from people whose opening line is “I wonder if you can help?”
Instantly, she knows what they’re after – and she wouldn’t mind a dollar for every time she’s predicted what they want to know.
“Almost invariably they have just bought an old house in Mt Albert and they’re trying to find out exactly when it was built and who lived in it – anything they can discover about the history of the place,” says Mary.
She gives them what information she can and sends them off with some ideas of how they can get to the bottom of tracing the background of their new pride and joy.
Over time, Mary and the society have thought about putting together a “where to go and how to do it” for local family home researchers and in 2018 her ideas will crystalise in a series of free public presentations for amateur bricks-and-mortar (or, more likely, weatherboard) detectives. The first is on March 10.
All up, Auckland experts will deliver five “lectures”- all of them at Ferndale House – and sessions will last an hour, with plenty of time after for questions.
The experts will use case studies of a 1926 Mt Albert bungalow and a 1865 house to bring their subjects alive, and printed summaries of the presentations will be available.
Saturday, March 10, 2pm: How online geomaps can help you, and how to navigate them. Presented by staff from the Geomaps Department at Auckland Council.
Sunday, May 6, 2pm: Deeds, indexes and cadestral maps. Presented by Lisa Truttman, historical researcher.
Saturday, June 30, 2pm: Information held at Auckland Council Archives and how to access it. Presented by senior archivists James Armstrong and Keith Stuart.
Saturday, September 1, 2pm: How to locate details of your property through central government records held by Archives New Zealand Auckland Office. Presented by Mark Stoddart, senior archivist.
Saturday, November 3, 2pm: Information available at Auckland Central Library and how to find it. Presented by senior librarian Joanne Greaves.
If you’re interested, you’ll need to register because there are just 40 spots available for each session. Email Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org and detail what presentation(s) you want to attend. Register for all five, or just one or two that hold particular appeal.