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Welcome to the South Canterbury GenWeb, the place to be. 
 A NZ GenWeb Project.
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South Canterbury, New Zealand lies in the centre of the South Island bounded by the Rangitata River to the north and Waitaki River to the south and stretching from the east coast to the Southern Alps where Mount Cook dominates the range.  The 5,276 square miles or 3,504,640 acres of land changes from plain to downland to foothills and mountains.  The Mackenzie Basin has three large lakes; Ohau, Pukaki and Tekapo that are all part of the Waitaki River catchment and contributes to the supply of water which provides electric power for the South Island. Discover the Waitaki Hydro Scheme (June 2). Industries include grain growing and sheep. The port of Timaru is a central multipurpose bulk handling facility.  The foothills - Four Peaks, Hunter Hills, the hills behind Fairlie and the Two Thumb Range are often dusted with snow. Refresh page to view the images above - four of the photos are views on the opposite side of Four Peaks, the Fairlie Basin, looking back towards Four Peaks from Middle Rd, Sherwood Downs and a painting of the run "Ribbonwood" on the Two Thumb Range, Sherwood Downs, Fairlie.

Timaru - one of New Zealand's best kept secrets. Through the eyes of a visitor.
part one - the port.
part two - Caroline Bay
part three - CBD

   Add input regarding migration in and out of the area.      Why did the settlers select South Canterbury to settle? Hint: Construct your entry off line, do spell check, then cut and paste.


Also check out Directories, Electoral Rolls, and Sheepowner Returns as they are images. 

Mailing Lists
, Boards & Archives etc. 

NZ Mailing List: A closed mailing list for anyone with a genealogical or historical interest in New Zealand. All subject lines include "[NZ]" and so easily filtered to a special folder  for reading.  Usually I am not subscribed but do browse the Archives daily and subscribe when I want to contribute.  Approx. 15 messages daily. Replies may be made in the public forum or in private, depending on the nature (public interest) of the reply.  email for posting, only use if you are subscribed. 

Message Board: GEDCOM files and pictures can be attached, .JPG or .GIF format to a message. Maybe you have unidentified photos you would like to upload so that others might view and possibly identify or decipher the place, people, medal, signature, passenger list, etc. If you have a photo of an ancestor's headstone upload it when posting an obituary for that individual. New Zealand mailing lists

Hint: use Google to search Papers Past e.g. copy & paste "T. Thompson" 1882 -"l=mi" site: into Google
Hint 2: the use of "" can restrict a search to exact i.e. "Waitangi Station" The same can be achieved by using Edmumd.Gibson as would Gibson.Edmumd or Waitangi + Station + Gibson
Genealogy sites
NZ BDMs online. Look under stillbirths for DOB. Some of them are late registrations and others probably reregistrations in the name of the adoptive parents for adopted children, not ordinary late registrations.
Ancestry NZ BMD records from the fiche
Australian BMD Index
Archways for WWI service records AABK as the Agency, 1914 1919 for years and Held at Wgtn. Probate items. Transcribe reference numbers correctly! NZ BoundNZ Bound Google books 
more genealogy sites World Connect

New Zealand GenForum

 *RootsWeb mailing listsearch engine
19th Cent. NZ Artists Una Platts
Search sites ebay New Zealand ebay time ad If a link is broken use
Tools Map NZ Top Wises 1912 Everyplace in NZ Cenotaph Database + Cemeteries   Te Papa
Newspapers & News New Zealand Newspapers
display Timaru Herald Deaths

Timaru Herald 1864 -1920 

  Trove, AUS
Community newspapers
One News
Pictorial Collections South Canterbury Museum online database - rate rolls. Pioneer Hall was built in 1966.  
Heritage Images
AKL Libraries
Christchurch City Libraries
Hocken Snapshot
Archives & Manuscripts Combined Collections of Unpublished manuscripts and pictures collections in the ATL
1854 to 1950
1940 Vol. 2
Ka Kohika 
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THE MOUNTAIN SIGNAL - Special thanks to the volunteers and visitors who help make this site grow and bloom!! Cheers, Olwyn

Be sure that your family is represented - send me an email with your information or corrections. Please email me if you have enjoyed visiting or if you found the site useful or interesting.  

Photos of the month: The photographs are courtesy of photographer, George Empson, Lake Tekapo, March 2015.


The Open Country [from Towards Otago]
I see again the upland wilds, stern, rugged, bleak and bare;
The strong winds sweep o'er the hill sides steep
And the tussocks toss in the icy air,
Silver and gold in the changing light,
Gold and silver far-up on the height
Of the mountain wild and bare."
by David McKee

A tarn has dried up owing to the drought conditions we have had this summer but this really is not unusual.  Another hot dry dusty Mackenzie day. Tussock country is dearly loved by New Zealanders. It is found upon the hills throughout the South Island especially on the eastern slopes of the ranges. In the foreground I see snowgrass, the larger tussock, and the common fescue tussock (Festuca novae-zelandiae).  Heart of the Mackenzie notes: "Where a runholder sees working country, others see 'iconic' landscape and tourism potential or a fragile ecosystem demanding protection. The Mackenzie is changing fast and consensus on whether it's for good or bad is as hard to spot as merino on a tussocked slope."  The cover photograph of “The Heart of the Mackenzie – The Glenmore Station story” is the work of George Empson.

Taken virtually on the highest point of Braemar Road before you drop down to Guide Hill of course Cook on the left and Tasman just visible to the right.

Timaru Herald, 23 March 1908, Page 7 NEW ZEALAND ALPINE FLORA.
The most beautiful thing in the Mount Cook region, in my opinion, is the alpine vegetation mantling the lower few thousand feet of the ranges. Seen from a suitable distance, under favorable, condition's of light and atmosphere, the steep slopes appear to be clad with a soft carpet dyed with rich warm colors, in an indefinitely varied patternless mosaic. There is nothing like it in the low lands, or in the frontal ranges. It is not a wilderness garden, and does not suggest a garden. Its color owes little to flowers. Its beauty is quite different from that of a bush or scrub clad hill. The tallest of its growths are the long spikes of speargrass; the majority of them are stunted bushes. The speargrass spikes are flowers, of course, and the white celmisias and the almost, white plumes of snowgrass lend their aid, but in the main the colors are those of the endless variety of tints in the leafage of shrubs and other plants. There are countless shades of green and grey, in the young and healthy leaves; yellows, red and greys in the buds and growing tips browns, reds, and yellows in dying leaves and grasses; and the black and dark greys of shaded stems and branches that the steepness of the hillside allows one to see. The beauty, of sunlit bush or scrub-clad hills is entirely different. In these one can distinguish the several trees or bushes by their conical or bulbous tops being outlined by individual color or by the light and shade upon them. Not so with those drapings, of the steep walls of the alpine valleys. The vegetation is short and dense, and at a distance its surface seems quite smooth. The secret of its beauty, is that the vegetation is rightly varied, while the conditions of soil and moisture differ every, few yards, and this allows different plants to predominate over small spaces. From this arises alternations of tint, patternless melting into each other where they meet. The rocky slopes are uneven, and provide light and shade in broad masses, small gullies throw, the glorious curtain into folds, and larger ones divide it. Seen from a greater, distance the beautiful mosaic blends into a rich brown with a tinge of green in it; seen more nearly, say from half a mile to a mile away, the details come out, a marvel of Nature's artistry.

Taken near the Cass looking across Tekapo to Richmond.
Taken near the Cass looking across Tekapo to Richmond."It was iconic high country. The people who appreciated the Mackenzie Country remembered it as sparse, brown with shades of yellow and orange" GH, New Zealand's longest-serving Fish & Game officer, March 2015

Please email me any photographs and old postcard images of South Canterbury for the site! Thanks.  Adopt a cemetery in South Canterbury.

forecast & tides

My viewers know more than I do.  We are very interested in what you know. We want to help you share.  volunteer: There are many opportunities for people to become involved in the GenWeb Project which is dedicated to making genealogical information available online for free.  South Canterbury war memorial transcriptions, cemetery listings, electoral rolls, Wises Directory information, school reunion announcements are areas where you can get involved. Does not take any special skills other than the desire to help others.  Also looking for volunteers to do lookups in genealogical material.  If anyone knows of information sources for South Canterbury or if you want to volunteer to help with lookups etc., please send me an email . I am looking for three more photos on South Canterbury scenes, buildings, events etc. with similar dimensions.  Images welcomed.

Keeping Internet Genealogy Free. If you have an interest in South Canterbury this site will be a good starting place.  My mission is to provide local history and family history scholars information to help facilitate research.  If you would like to contribute information to these pages, please email me.

NZGenWeb Regional Projects are dedicated to the free exchange of public - domain records via the internet. Volunteer's are still needed to adopt other NZ regions.



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The South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project has no affiliation with any commercial enterprise. This site may be freely linked to but not duplicated in any fashion without my consent except for private study. ©1998 - 2014 Olwyn Whitehouse