Since 2007 I have lived in Auckland, New Zealand, but my heart will always be in Christchurch where I was born and bred. I work within the heritage field as Collection Manager - History at Auckland War Memorial Museum.
I am an avid genealogist and taphophile having begun researching my family histories from the age of 14 which I thank my mother and aunt for spurring my interest. I have a very keen interest in things historical. My first ancestors to New Zealand were my GGGG grandparents John and Mary Ann [nee LAWSON] PAWSON who arrived in [Port Nicholson now Wellington] New Zealand in August 1840 and removed to Banks Peninsula in 1850. The last 'newcomer' to New Zealand - my grandfather from Wigtownshire, Scotland in 1926.
I have a love of Canterbury history/heritage with my Cantabrian ancestors GGG Grandparents Robert and Sarah [nee KITCHENER] EVANS arriving in December 1850 onboard the Cressy [their son Richard, my GGG uncle was the second to last Canterbury Pilgrim to die and was a Patron of the Canterbury Pilgrims & Early Settlers Association]. The EVAN's family ended up populating both Christchurch and Rangiora.
Previously, I have held the position of Secretary/Treasurer of the Canterbury Pilgrims and Early Settlers Association [1999-2001] and am currently enjoying having the role of voluntary researcher and facebook and twitter co ordinator for The Friends of Linwood Cemetery Trust and humbly, now an honorary life member.
I enjoy photographing military headstones especially those that aren't all that obvious, then researching and writing small bios for these people. I then add them to sites such as Cenotaph database, my flickr pages and any relevant website such as 28th Maori Battalion, Embarkation database - NZ units in South Africa 1899-1902, New Zealander's in Vietnam or Mapping our ANZAC's in the case of Australian soldiers graves in New Zealand. Hugely rewarding in 2014 was Sapper Robert Hislop being recognised as New Zealand's first WWI casualty and in 2015 - Constable Adam BEGG being memorialised on Police Remembrance Day.
My other interests are: museums, archaeology, anthropology, heritage, digital photography (my own), miniature hobbyism, mourning art and jewellery, general headstone photography, social history and collecting ephemera.
Blog - http://invokinglibitina.blogspot.com/
Facebook - 1:12 miniatures
Twitter - Magna_Quies
Flickr - porkyNZ
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Websites: www.magnaquies.com and www.sarndra.com
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