Where we tell our family stories

Because Family is Important.

Sponsorship Opportunity


Knowing where we’ve come from – our family background – is important to us all, so students do family history projects from primary to secondary school. Today’s students are computer-literate and Internet-savvy: they will turn to the Internet to research their ancestors and use computers to tell their family story.


FamNet is a web system developed in New Zealand that makes it easy to research, record, and share family history, and put it into the context of world and New Zealand history.  Since its release in 2007, FamNet has put together one of the largest collection of New-Zealand family trees on the web. With powerful searching, on-line tree editing, reporting and chart printing facilities, and unique record-level security balancing publication and privacy, FamNet is extremely well positioned to become the preferred tool for school family history projects. Experience shows that using FamNet helps to make family history more fun, and makes it easier to involve the pupil’s extended family.


While students can use FamNet’s free facilities for their projects they will get more out of the system if they and their family have subscriber-level access to FamNet.  To make this possible and to continue FamNet’s development we are seeking sponsors for our “FamNet in Schools” program.  For the sponsored school this gives full access to FamNet for the school’s pupils and teachers, and their parents and grandparents. For the sponsor this provides positive publicity and the benefits of assisting a worthwhile community project.  Sponsorship costs are small – we suggest $500 + GST per school, or a negotiated amount for many schools.


Attached is some information about FamNet, and for further information please contact me: -

Robert Barnes




+64-9-418 4415

+64-27- 459 2702

More Information

Facilities offered by FamNet

For a quick introduction either visit the web site (www.famnet.net.nz) and view the 3-minute guided tour video, or see the attached 2-page overview. Essentially participants are normal FamNet users.

FamNet in Schools

Currently (July 2012) we have been running our pilot project at Chelsea Primary School for a term, and we’re just about to start a similar project with Verran Primary.   Both schools are running this activity as a lunchtime club.  Some other schools have indicated that they will use FamNet as a class activity next yet.


In June the North Shore Times published an article about Chelsea’s Family History Club.


The move from paper to the Internet system makes family history more fun and makes more young people interested in hearing what their grandparents have to say. School, parents, and pupils are all enthusiastic about this project which is mostly done as a whole-family activity at home. One pupil has a grandparent living in the South Island who “is spending a couple of hours a day researching for him”. Another has his tree set up so that his mother and his grandfather can also update it – the grandfather lives in the UK.


Initial homework was to complete their tree to grandparents at least, with a picture of each person: most pupils had achieved this within a week, many filling in the next level as well. My granddaughter, who only had to do a search to find a family tree of 210 ancestors and 15 generations, had different homework: to pick an ancestor and tell the club this ancestor’s story. She picked her great great great grandfather, and brought along her mother’s heirloom broach made from gold that he’d dug from the Otago goldfields.


There are some notes on the site about setting up and running a school project

FamNet School Sponsorship

Chelsea Primary School are sponsored by RSM Prince, an accounting practice (one of the partners of this practice has a child in Chelsea’s Family History Club).  What they get for this: -

·         A link from FamNet:  see any FamNet page and look at the column of links at the right.  Click the RSM Prince link.

·         Their sponsorship was recorded in the FamNet Newsletter (produced monthly, emailed to about 7000 people), and in the school’s own newsletter going home with pupils to their parents.

·         Plus of course the satisfaction of helping with a worthwhile project.