Monday, July 23, 2018
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Editor - Bruce Mathers

Bruce Mathers - I have always had an interest in the family tree, but unfortunately it was not until after my paternal grandfather passed away in 1983 that I actually realized the wealth of information I had lost… if only I had asked more questions and started earlier!

The following year (1984) my maternal granny Addison mentioned that her own grandmother was also a Mathers from the same County in Ireland that my paternal family originated from so my quest began basically to see if both my maternal and paternal families were related.  At the time I was also breeding and showing Cavies (guinea pigs) so granny and I sat down with a blank cavy pedigree form and we filled in what we know… so yes my first family tree was actually on a guinea pig pedigree form – I wish now that I had kept it.

I freely admit that I was very naive in the beginning and my first letter to the Christchurch Registrar of Birth, Deaths & Marriage must have raised a few laughs (or shudders), as I basically asked for ‘my family tree’.

In 1986 I joined the New Zealand Society of Genealogists and soon began to learn the rights and wrongs of research and also joined other Interest Groups within the Society.

In 1993 the Māori Interest Group was formed and I soon became a member.  With the growing popularity of the internet I volunteered to design a website for the MIG in 2000 which was initially intended to be nothing more than a contacts and information page and then thereafter became the group’s newsletter editor.

In 2003 I was asked to write a How To… article for the New Zealand Genealogist on researching Whakapapa and after it was published I literally thought nothing more about it.  To my absolute surprise I was honoured to be co-awarded the Lucy Marshall Award in 2004 for this article, which was subsequently reprinted in the Australian Family Tree Connections magazine the following year.  

With a huge amount of assistance from Brenda Joyce, this article then became the basis of our Whakapapa Research Guide we see today, which is still selling well.

In 2006 I was again humbled to receive an NZSG Interest Group Service Award for my work as MIG editor and webmaster.

I am extremely proud of these achievements and get great satisfaction out of seeing the Māori Interest Group going from strength to strength.

Bruce Mathers #6666

I am a Pakeha-Māori of Ngati Maniapoto, Ngati Ngutu, Waikato, Irish, English & Scottish ancestry.

PS It did indeed transpire that both my Maternal and Paternal Mathers are related, but to my regret granny Addison passed away in 1993 only a few months before I confirmed the link.


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