Pandora Research - Background
Establised 01 September 2014

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Pandora's Box (1990-1997) - last updated 17 Oct 2014

This is mostly a collection of abridged transcripts of manuscripts held at Archives New Zealand and the intention is to increase awareness of the Wellington Office collection. With a yearning to better use the years of acquired research knowledge and experience, the decision was made in June 2014 to spend time searching through collections of undescribed records held at Archives New Zealand. While doing so improved inventories will be generated and for records particularly rich in details partial or full transcripts may also be made.

In the first instance New Zealand Company records have been chosen due to the richness of a significant group of manuscripts that are under-represented in published histories. Suggestions for looking at other sets of records are welcome especially if this would provide assistance to researchers working on 19th century NZ history projects. Help with genealogical research is also offered.

The passion to build resources for researchers of 19th Century New Zealand emerged in the early 1990s. Initial efforts focused on indexing official publications and the resulting index, called Pandora's Box, was donated to the New Zealand Society of Genealogists in 1997.

Two years later the www.nzpictures.co.nz website was established and over the years genealogical and historical data along with various images has been built and rebuilt into the form that it takes today.

In 2006 the transcription of New Zealand Government inwards correspondence registers, held at Archives New Zealand, was commenced and is now one of the core resources making up Pandora Research.

About one million letters were written to the New Zealand Government between 1840 and 1900. These are generally recorded in registers and most communities will be represented within the many thousands of letters that have survived. A few of the registers have been transcribed. In recent times more than half a million references to surviving documents have been added to Archway. These are mainly the results of a concentrated effort to better describe the correspondence collection. Much applause!

Article: The Register Room: Mining Gems from Inwards Correspondence
by Thomasin Sleigh and Heidi Kuglin
In: Genealogy Absolutely Positively 2007 Conference Proceedings


Articles by Dawn Chambers
Letters to the New Zealand Government 10 June 1886
In: Genealogical Research Institute of New Zealand (GRINZ) Yearbook 2000

Assisted Immigration to Nelson 1855-1871
In: Centred on Nelson 2005 NZ Society of Genealogists Conference Proceedings

The Wainuiomata Bush Lokey named “Pio Pio” (Jan 2016)
Ward Family Origins, Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, England (Dec 2016)
Oddfellows Hall Petone (Dec 2017 updated May 2018)
Daniel Baxter (1792-1881) of Avening, Gloucestershire, England (Jan 2018)
Private William ALLEN of the 58th Regiment (No.1222) - killed 16 May 1846 at Boulcott Farm, Lower Hutt (May 2018)


Famnet Newsletters: Digging into historical records series

May 2017 When did Opunake first appear on a map?
Mentioned: Edwin HARRIS (1846) and New Plymouth Hospital, George KING a Putiki Chief (1860)

Jun 2017 Ship 'Timandra' 1842
Datalink: Partial transcript of ship Log-book 1841-1843

Jul 2017 Halifax, Yorkshire & the New Zealand Company
Datalink: Register of Applications for Land Orders 1839
Datalink: New Plymouth Settlement from 1840 - Numerical Register of Land Orders
Datalink: New Zealand Company Accountant's Office Papers (Harry Hughlings)

Aug 2017 Opua Road Co-op Dairy Company Ltd 1951
Mentioned: Ronald Jefferies GIFKINS, R. L. FEAVER, Albert Victor TOMASI

Sep 2017 Durban Firearm Registrations 1869-1871
Mentioned: W. WOOD, Collector of Customs; South African Firearms Statutes
Datalink: Transcript

Oct 2017 Otago - Cancelled Deposit Cheques on Contracts 1865-1875
Mentioned: Robert COTTON (1837-1918), Samuel HENRY (1843-1915), Gavin WHITEFIELD (1875)
Datalink: List of Cheques

Nov 2017 Influenza 1918 - Plight of the Registrars
Mentioned: Mary Crawford Paul COBOURNE (1856-1930) Port Waikato, Wilfred Wulstan COOK (1876-1962) Registrar General,
Mrs Jane MACKAY Omarumutu Opotiki, Abigail MONFRIES (1880-1949) Ruatahuna, Stephen TILL (1874-1955) Hawera
Datalinks: Notifications of deaths from infections diseases and Statistics

Dec 2017 Commissioner of Crown Lands Wellington (Francis Dillon Bell) - Outwards Letterbook 1855-1856
Mentioned: David Stark DURIE, John McLAGGAN, John HUGHES, Michael FITZGERALD, Richard Thomas SHIELDS
Datalink: Inventory

Feb 2018 Three Wellington Ladies of 1854 (recorded in Wellington Commissioner of Crown Lands Cashbooks)
Mentioned: [1] Isabella MENDES, Charles LETT, John McLAREN; [2] Helen BYRON, Ellen BYRON;
[3] Elizabeth TOMLIN nee HARRISON, John TOMLIN, Morris ESSEX, Mary Ann ESSEX, Richard TOMLIN, Thomas TOMLIN, Charles TOMLIN, Silas TOMLIN, Henry TOMLIN, James Harvey TOMLIN, Arthur Edward McDONOGH, Matthew RICHMOND

Mar 2018 Cape Egmont Lighthouse - Nelson visitors November 1881
Mentioned: Michael FLEMING, Robert SMITH, Charles SHARP, William ATKINSON, C. EDMUNDS, W. HODGKINSON, L. JAMES, J. HOLMES, James HOLMES of Ahaura
Datalink: Cape Egmont Lighthouse Visitor Book (1881-1904)
Datalink: Opunake Historical Notes
Datalink: Nelson Contingent at Parihaka November 1881
Datalink: Nelson City Rifle Volunteers Capitation Roll 1882
Datalink: Waimea Rifle Volunteers Capitation Rolls 1881 and 1882

Apr 2018 Cape Egmont Lighthouse - a beacon to more than ships
Mentioned: Sergeant-Major William WHITE and family from East Loe, Cornwall; William Tynan POWELL, Frederick Abraham WILD, Isabella Garrick MACRITCHIE, Joseph WAGSTAFF and family of Waimea and Opunake, J. ROTHERAY, William FOWLER, Amelia Violet EDMUNDS, William Loftus CASSIDY, Thomas John BILLING, Willie CROCKETT, Thomas REARDON, James Laurence HORNBY, James JONES, Raymond John HOUGTON
Datalink: Cape Egmont Lighthouse Visitor Book (1905-1925)

May 2018 A Whakarewarewa Postcard (FT 2150A "Mud Volcanoes, Whakarewarewa")
Mentioned: Mercy CLARIS, Warwick Rusydael CLARIS (1884-1938), Trefoil Creamery Opunake, William Holman CLARIS (1847-1930), Sans Souci Opunake, William PETTIGREW, Fairbank Nurseries Stratford

Jun 2018 Vogel Assisted Immigrants at the Hutt 1873
Mentioned: Constable Martin CONNOR (1822-1897), Frederick ATCHISON (1829-1902), George William SCADDEN (1835-1917), James BEGG of Westmeath Ireland, Michael HOGAN, Robert CLELAND, Mary Ann Maria COLEMAN nee HOGAN

Jul 2018 Opunake Station, Permanent Militia 14 September 1886
Mentioned: Thomas BLAND (1851-1925), William Frederick STONESTREET (1859-1929)

Aug 2018 Trademark of John Chambers and Son Limited
Mentioned: Arthur Pollard WILSON, William Joshua BEALE, Wunderluch Patent Ceiling and Roofing Co., Redfern, New South Wales
Datalink: Name Index to New Zealand Trademarks (1868-1906)
Datalink: Third Schedule Classification of Goods for Applications

Oct 2018 Nelson Labourer's Wives 1841 and Barometer Accident in Akaroa?
Mentioned: Ann PERRY, Edward WHIBBEY his wife Mary and two sons John and George
Datalink: List of 75 Nelson Wives

Nov 2018 New Zealand Company Vouchers
Mentioned: John TOONE of Leamington, Joseph PHIPSON of Birmingham, CATTELL, JENKINS and FITCHETT families.
Datalink: Archives NZ Reference AAYZ 8980 NZC 32/12/29 Vouchers N-S (Phipson vouchers)
Datalink: Archives NZ Reference AAYZ 8980 NZC 32/12/28 Vouchers I-M (Mears vouchers)

Dec 2018: The Explosives Act 1882 - where are the records?
Mentioned: Hon. Richard OLIVER (1830-1910) and Thomas Birt ULPH (1834-1871) of Dunedin
Customs Office Wellington: William Thompson GLASGOW, Chief Clerk; Kaiwarra Magazine - Joseph SAUNDERS
Inspectors: Alexander Ramsay CARNIE (North Island) and Thomas Hopper HUSTWICK (South Island).

Feb 2019: Northern Steamship Company - Opunake Branch
Mentioned: Walter Lawrence Frederick CHAMBERS (1867-1932) who kept a ledger covering the period 1912-1917; Proprietors of Middleton's Hotel - William Kingston CONNELL (1852-1930), George GIBBS (1849-1926) and Albert Edward BRUNETTE (1861-1938); the impact that influenza had on the Connell/Murphy families in 1918.
Datalink: Transcript of the Opunake Branch Northern Steamship Company Ledger
Datalink: "Census" of Opunake families impacted by influenza 1918-1919

Mar 2019: Pencarrow Quarry
Mentioned: Eight named men of 32 living at the quarry in 1908.
Datalink: Named Hutt Valley Residences 1899-1914
Datalink: Rail Heritage Trust of New Zealand (Documents tab) Station Archive Snippets about NZR locations by Juliet Scoble


Wainuiomata Museum
2018 Sep The Wainuiomata Suffrage story - display panels and talks
See Wainuiomata News 17 Oct 2018 and 24 Oct 2018

2018 Oct Publication: Tales from Wainuiomata's Past Volume 2 by Gavin Wallace and Dawn Chambers
Brief CV Details:

Dawn Chambers
Born Opunake, Taranaki; Dairy Farm background
Education - Opunake Primary School; Opunake High School
Massey University - 1986 BSc Microbiology & Genetics

Employment 1986-2014 DSIR & GNS Science
(Cancer research technician; Administrator Rafter Radiocarbon Laboratory)

Voluntary Genealogical Activites
1990-1997 Pandora's Box
1999 to current www.nzpictures.co.nz
2006-2014 Pandora's Box 2
2012-2015 Hutt Valley Biographical Index and Genealogies (HBIG)
2014 to current Pandora Research (full time volunteer)
2017 Joined the team at AkoAko Films
Any financial support for this website is welcome and appropriate acknowledgment given.

Last updated 19 December 2018