Site Update

This post is to let you know about recent changes to my website – Chris Korte’s New Zealand Genealogy Project.

The Site visitors page was updated using visitor data from Google Analytics. Information for three calendar years is included in the report. The number of visitors increased in 2012 compared with 2010 and 2011. In 2012 there were over 190 visits per month by visitors who looked at the site, each looking at 3-4 pages on average per visit (these were the “non-bounce” visits).

A new page added with information about Awatuna in Taranaki was added to the site. Awatuna is the district where the Korte family settled in Taranaki, cleared the forest, and dairy farmed.  The purpose of the page is to provide some photos and history on the settlement, now almost gone.

Details of Thomas McLAREN (1862-1958) have been updated, following research showing that his brothers emigrated from Ireland several years before him (instead of all traveling to New Zealand together).

The location of Abergavenny Farmhouse, Scoulton, United Kingdom was added to Rushbrooke family notes. I had visited the farm in 2005 but was unable to locate it on a map previously. Abergavenny Farm is where Ernest Edwin RUSHBROOKE (1859-1940) spent his early life.

A new page was added to the site giving details of Clipbush Barn, Abergavenny Farm, Scoulton – a farm building converted into a residence.  When I visited Abergavenny Farm in 2005 the barn was derelict, but it has since been fenced off and converted into a modern residence.

Abandoned farm buildings in 2005 at Abergavenny Farm, Scoulton.
Abandoned farm buildings in 2005 at Abergavenny Farm, Scoulton, Norfolk.
Clipbush Barn
Clipbush Barn, Abergavenny Farm, Scoulton, Norwich. This is the building front right in photo above.

Another change to the site has been to better enable it for mobile devices like the iphone and ipad.  To achieve this three templates are used for layout.  For iphones, tap on the text to expand to screen width – the layout is affected by a rootsweb header that cannot be reduced in size to match the screen size.


Auckland Weekly News

I have just discovered an online database at Auckland Library that has thousands of historical images from New Zealand – Heritage Images Online. The images are sourced from the Auckland Weekly News photographic supplements published between 1898 and 1943.

Photos in the database can be found in a Google search, but I have found searching the database on the Library website more useful. Heritage Images Online can be accessed through Auckland Libraries website at

I have found historical photos of places in New Zealand that I can use for my website. The photo of the opening of Matawai Post Office (below) will be added to my web page for Matawai.

Photograph of opening of the Matawai Post Office in 1921
Opening of Matawai Post Office in 1921
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19210811-37-4

Searching for family names can turn up photographs of relatives.  The newspaper published portraits of many servicemen in WW1.  An example is shown below from a 1915 issue of the newspaper.

Photograph of Edwin Rushbrooke
Ernest Edwin Rushbrooke in 1915
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19150916-39-39

Auckland Weekly News images cover a broad range of subjects from global conflict of the day, scenic views of Auckland, royal visits and local events. They provide a pictorial depiction of New Zealanders and New Zealand life at the time of publication, with a focus on events within the Auckland region.

Images were taken from large bound volumes of newspapers, using a digital camera to capture an entire page of photographs. To protect the fragile volumes, photography was carried out onsite at the library, using specially modified equipment. The digital image of the single page was then transformed into separate records for each photograph, with searchable information about each one including a transcription of its original newspaper caption.

Voyages to NZ

One of the questions we ask is how did our ancestors get from Europe to New Zealand? What ship? How long did the voyage take? What was the voyage like?

Photograph of an unknown barque (left) and the Gothic (right)
Photograph of an unknown barque (left) and the Gothic (right)

I have researched the story for Christopher Korte who went to New Zealand in 1865 by sailing ship and for the Rushbrooke family who went to New Zealand by steamship in 1897. Details of the 1865 voyage and the barque Dona Anita are rather limited. More information is available about the 1897 voyage and the steamship Gothic. I have posted a page for each voyage on my website.

As can be seen in the table below, advances in shipping between 1865 and 1897 halved the voyage time and increased the number of passengers transported.

Voyage to New Zealand: 1865 – Dona Anita 1897 – Gothic
Gross weight of ship: 500 tons 7,755 tons
Power: Sails 700 horsepower steam engines
Duration of voyage to New Zealand: 103 days 43 days
Passengers: 58 243

Alban Rushbrooke 1820-1895

Biographical details for Alban Rushbrooke (1820-1895) do not fit the structure of my project website, where I aim to put details of people who immigrated to New Zealand, and their descendants. Alban lived in Norfolk, England, all his life.

Alban’s second son Ernest Edwin Rushbrooke (1859-1940) immigrated to New Zealand, and his descendants form part of my family tree. Ernest was my great grandfather. Ernest’s biographical details are shown on my project site.

I decided that the best way to share information on Alban, and other relatives like him, was to include details on the Rootsweb WorldConnect site. Notes about individuals can be displayed on the site.

I will now start adding biographical details, where I have them, for people displayed in the family tree.

The technical details: biographical details are displayed in a blue box on the Rootsweb WorldConnect site.  To create this box, the notes for an individual are put between <div id=”ged”> and </div> in my genealogy software (Brothers Keeper). “ged” is defined in the css file I use on the Rootsweb WorldConnect site (see below).  The notes are then exported from Brothers Keeper to a GEDCOM file that is uploaded to RootsWeb.

#ged {
border: 1px solid black;
background-color: #3FF;
min-height: 180px;