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Did you know that celebrating Christmas was once banned in Scotland? Or that Christmas Day wasn’t a public holiday until 1958 (and Boxing Day in 1974)? Early Scots Presbyterian migrants to New Zealand didn’t observe Christmas, but began to loosen up towards the end of the 19th century. Don’t listen to your ancestors! The trustees

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December newsletter

Our December newsletter is out! If you’re an email subscriber, check your inbox. If not, you can sign up at no cost on our website. Read about an Otago family, a Scottish tragedy, Highland games, bagpipes, artificial intelligence and a library that’s growing by 4,000 books every day. Thanks for your interest and support over

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The house marked in blue is where William and Barbara Matheson (nee Campbell) lived and died at 18 George Street, Fodderty, Scotland. Historical maps are a great tool for finding out more about how our ancestors lived. There’s an article on the Clan Matheson New Zealand website with some tips.

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Remembrance Army

The New Zealand Remembrance Army is a volunteer group maintaining the graves of former servicemen and women, and locating and identifying unmarked graves of service people. Barry Gamble of the Waitaki branch wants to locate Matheson relatives to get permission to place a headstone on an unmarked grave at Oamaru. Two of those buried were

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