Friday, August 13, 2010

Auckland City Council Archives

This Auckland City Council records archive is next to the Auckland City Council main library in Lorne St in the city. It's down stairs and you can miss the entrance easily. Just aim for the the Academy Cinema. It is open 2pm to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

On passing one day recently, I called in to see if there was anything new. First of all there was a very helpful archivist and she reminded me about their online search facility.

To try it out, the archivist let me see the Valuation Field Sheets 1912 to 1990 for Ponsonby after I spotted one or two relatives in that area.

No. 46 Franklin Rd was examined (as an example). It was a wooden house owned by Miss Maggie Ann Burnett Farquhar in 1912. Then it belonged to Maggie Ann Burnett Newill, wife of Charles Herbert and they rented it out whilst living at Great South Rd, Otahuhu. They erected a new garage in 1930 (plans for this are likely to be available) and then moved in. They lived there until 1958 and the property changed hands a few times, Fennell to Driesewerd to Manuella before the Auckland City Council purchased it and leased it to Maori Affairs.

The archivist explained that it is possible to go back year by year in the rates books to find out when it was built.

In 1957, a field survey estimated the house was then about 65yrs old. I went online to Google Maps New Zealand and could see what the house looks like now. Many of the old houses in Ponsonby have been extensively renovated and are worth millions and some people like to know the history of these houses.

This is the Mount Eden Borough MBE 155/13, Council Valuation Roll, 1st April 1922 for Dexter Avenue, Mt Eden. Some of the books have indexes at the back, this one didn't, but its not a big book to look through.

To begin a history of your home, the first document needed is a title. You can buy this inexpensive document online at LANDinfoNET.

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