Danish Berkahn Ancestors


As part of the recent update to my Family Tree on RootsWeb WorldConnect (16,270 people), Danish ancestors of the New Zealand Berkahn family were included.

Preben G. Kristensen from Denmark contacted me regarding the Berkahn family tree. Preben lives in Denmark in the area where Franz Frederick Heinrich BERKAHN and his wife Inga Maria LARSDATTER were living before migrating to New Zealand in 1874.

Preben has been documenting family in Denmark and around the world. Information he has collected can be viewed at The Gravgaard family and other of our relatives website, in both English and Danish.

Following contact with Preben I have been able to add ancestors of Inga Maria LARSDATTER to the family tree on RootsWeb, dating back to the 16th century.   Inga Maria POULSEN‘s name was corrected to Inga Maria LARSDATTER in the update. Birth and christening information for her children born in Denmark was also added to RootsWeb.

Thanks Preben for sharing your information which I am sure family in New Zealand will find interesting.

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Updates


I have not done much genealogy research since 2013, but having retired from work, I now have more time available to update my family tree database and project web site.

Project website

I no longer have access to Dreamweaver, so now using CoffeeCup HTML Editor to manage and edit web pages.  Changes to date include:

  • My bookmarks for research page checked and hyperlinks updated where out of date.
  • Page outlining history of the Korte farm Ruanui at Matawai near Gisborne in New Zealand updated. Additional details added/corrected based on information from Papers Past.
  • Contact details page updated following change of address: from Horsham to Ballarat, Victoria.
  • Copyright date information updated on all pages.
  • Site visitors page updated with data from Google Analytics for the period 2010-2016. The previous site visitors page with data for 2010-2013 is still available.
  • Home page redesigned to show project updates, with a new About page added to explain site layout.
  • RSS feeds for site updated, and displayed on Home page. There is now a feed for changes to the project site and a second for changes to the family tree database.

Family Tree website

  • Family Tree updated on RootsWeb WorldConnect (16,091 people, 5,316 families). Corrections and additions mainly based on emails received.

Updates – April 2014


Updates have been added to my New Zealand Genealogy Project website.  Previous updates were in December 2013.

Genealogy Project Website Masthead

Changes and updates include:

  • Additional biographical details added for Frederick Ernest Trueman (1897-1903) and Norman Edward Trueman (1903-1903) based on newspaper reports of their deaths.
  • The Site Visitors page updated to include visitor details from Google Analytics for 2013, and statistics on the 25,000 visits over four years.
  • Additional family photo added to photo page for Christian August Berkahn.
  • Photographs of Alice Jones (1894-1981) and Walter Jones (1896-1980) added to page of Family notes for David Jones.
  • New page added to site with photograph of nurse Alice Jones (1894-1981).
  • An 1894 letter from Elizabeth McLaren (nee Duxfield) to her children, in case she died, added to her biographical notes. A photograph of Elizabeth’s notebook that contains the letter is shown below.
  • New photo of St Mary’s Matawai Anglican Church added to Matawai page, replacing a previous photo from Google.
  • New page added to site with historical photographs of the Gisborne to Motuhora (Moutohora) railway.
  • Menus and Site map page updated to include links to new pages.

People photographs were obtained during a recent visit to New Zealand. In a visit to Tairawhiti Museum in Gisborne, Dudley Meadows was very patient in looking for photos about Matawai I could use – a couple have been used for the page of photos from the Gisborne to Motuhora (Moutohora) railway.

Elizabeth Duxfield's notebook
Elizabeth Duxfield’s notebook. The 90 mm by 60 mm notebook is closed with an ivory pencil.

Updates – October 2013


Today updates were posted to my family tree on RootsWeb WorldConnect and to my New Zealand Genealogy Project website.  Previous updates were in June 2013. Recovery from  recent surgery delayed these changes being completed and posted.
RootsWeb logo
Family Tree Changes

Changes to the family tree file that is on RootsWeb WorldConnect on Tuesday 29 October 2013 include:

NZ Genealogy Home Page
NZ Genealogy Project Home Page

NZ Genealogy Site Changes

Changes on 29 October to Chris Korte’s New Zealand Genealogy Project website include:

  • Tree Visitors page updated based on six months Google Analytics data for March-August 2013. This replaced the previous two month data for March-April 2013.
  • New page added to site giving details of Carmavy (Carmavey) in Northern Ireland. Carmavy was the birth place of Thomas McLernon, my great grandfather.
  • Update to 1921 Letter from Northern Ireland page to include links to family members from Ireland mentioned. This became possible after reviewing 1911 Census returns.
  • Menus and site map page updated to include the new Carmavy page.
  • Photograph of Elizabeth Redpath (1856-1933) headstone added to her photo page.
  • Additional photographs added to the Berkahn notes page (Gordon and Reynold Berkahn) and Christian Berkahn family photo page (group photographs of Christian’s children).
  • Details of Emily Mist updated when additional details were found in the electoral rolls.

Updates to Tree and Project Site


Tree Changes

Changes to the family tree file that is on RootsWeb WorldConnect on Sunday, 14 July 2013 include:

  • New GEDCOM uploaded to RootsWeb (15,508 people, 5,074 families).
  • Obituary for Patrick McKONE, killed in Belgium during WW1, added to his page.
  • A link to biographical details and photo (where available) added to pages for people on Family Notes pages for Jones, Korte and McLaren.

Site Changes

Changes on 14 July to to Chris Korte’s New Zealand Genealogy Project website include:

  • Facility for visitors to add comments to Family Notes, Family Photos and Places pages.
  • Visitors Comments page added to site.
  • RSS feed added to site.
  • Menus updated on some pages so they were less obtrusive.

Previously, on 29 March, the page with details of visitors to RootsWeb WorldConnect family tree was updated.

James Wallace 1826-1899


Tracing James Wallace has been a mystery for me and other researchers for some time.  Sue Penrose put me onto some information that I believe solves the question.

A query was posted by lynbee on Rootschat.com – James Wallace-I have lost this line of the family!  She posted what was known about James Wallace: his birth in Ireland in 1826, his enlistment in the 65th Regiment, guarding convicts on a voyage to Tasmania, posting to New Zealand, and discharge from the army in Wanganui in 1849.  Lyn’s question – did anyone know what happened to James?

Descendants of James Wallace and Maria Brophy from Tasmania replied to the query because they thought they might be related. Their James was also from Ireland, had been to Australia before being posted to New Zealand “and fought in the war there which we believe was in Wanganui. In the 1850’s he moved to Tasmania and married.”  However marriage and death registration did not have details of James’s parents.

The Rootschat.com exchange does not provide a definitive and documented link between the James Wallace in my tree and the James Wallace who died in Tasmania.  There is considerable overlap of the facts though.

Discharged in New Zealand, by Hugh and Lyn Hughes, lists soldiers of the Imperial Foot Regiments who took their discharge in New Zealand between 1840 and 1870.  A search of the book shows that there was only one James Wallace discharged in New Zealand. This was the brother of Arthur Wallace and John Alexander McKane Wallace who were also discharged in Wanganui.

The headstone for James Wallace in Westbury Cemetery gives his age at death as 72 years (see image below). This matches with his birth in 1826.

Headstone of James Wallace, his wife Maria and son; Westbury, Tasmania
Headstone of James Wallace, his wife Maria and son; Westbury, Tasmania. Photo from Darryl Booth.

I believe that the story passed down to the children of James and Maria from Tasmania matches sufficiently with what was known from army records and New Zealand to conclude that this James Wallace is the the brother of Arthur Wallace and John Alexander McKane Wallace.  I will be updating my tree accordingly.

Please let me know if this is an error and you have an alternative James Wallace who fits better.

NOTEDischarged in New Zealand, by Hugh and Lyn Hughes, was published by the NZ Society of Genealogists in 1988.  A pdf version is now available on CD from the Society’s website.

UPDATE (6 June) – I have now updated the tree on Rootsweb with descendants of James Wallace I have found to date.

Get Visitor Comments on Websites at RootsWeb


Enabling – and encouraging – your visitors to contribute to your website through comments is a great way to develop an interactive and engaging website, and build a regular audience. And a powerful way to gain invaluable feedback so you can adjust your website to meet the needs and expectations of your audience.

Although I had a Guestbook on my website, Chris Korte’s New Zealand Genealogy Project, it was not really adding to the website, with comments being viewed on Rootsweb. It was obtaining some comments, but relatively few.  Also, because I did not have an email link, I did not review visitor comments frequently enough.

I hope I have fixed this now by using some software from htmlCommentBox on my website.  The javascript code was flexible enough to meet my needs and has several advantages when used on free Rootsweb websites:

  • The comments are stored and the scripts processed on htmlCommentBox, not Rootsweb.  Rootsweb limits the processing of some code needed for adding visitor comments to a web page.
  • The same code script can be inserted on the pages where you want to get and display visitor comments.  Only comments for that page are displayed.
  • You are emailed when visitors leave a comment, providing an alert.
  • Moderation of comments is easy; that is approval of comments so visitors can view.
  • The code can be modified to meet different requirements.  I have a new Guestbook, and can now accept visitor comments on Family notes pages (e.g. see comments on biographical notes for Korte family).  In addition, I am able to show recent comments from the whole site on the home page.
  • Visitors can be emailed automatically when a person replies to their comment.

If visitors provide comments to the pages I have set up, it will be easy to add additional code so comments can be added to other pages.  I am waiting to see how useful it is for visitors.

Image showing Example of htmlCommentBox
Example of htmlCommentBox showing input form and a posting.

Visitors adding comments to this blog is easy.  I hope it will be just as easy now on my website, Chris Korte’s New Zealand Genealogy Project.