During a holiday to New Zealand, FIBIS President, Peter Bailey was very pleased to attend two special meetings to talk to members, and other family historians, about tackling special problems encountered by those researching their ancestry in British India.
He firstly addressed a special meeting of the Society organized in Auckland by Eleanor Neil who co-ordinates FIBIS members’ activities in New Zealand. “I was so moved to see the high degree of interest, keenness and knowledge exhibited by our members in New Zealand and to sign copies of FIBIS Guides and Fact Files in just the same way as I do back in England.” “Because of the difficulty in organising a live Webinar, due to the differences and inconveniences of time zones between New Zealand and the UK, the only way to make direct contact with our numerous members down under, was to visit them in person. So, this is what I did – and a great success this has been!“ Peter spoke about the records of Births, Marriages and Burials with emphasis on the ones missing from those available in the India Office Records at the British Library in London. He listed some dozen or more alternative sources for researchers to try. Following his talk, the meeting, which was attended by about 40 persons, Peter moved on to answer general questions of the overcoming “brick walls” in British India.
Peter provided a second talk in , in the Wellington Area. This time it was organised by the Porirua Branch of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists and was attended by 54 experienced family historians. The talk was on the same subject, and was very enthusiastically received. The questions afterwards were equally varied and made for a very successful meeting.