Over the years that this website has been in the gestation period I have tapped into many people. Some have contributed in a small way, with new names to the family tree, details of a family branch, and snippets of historic information – this help has been much appreciated. Some of my Selwood colleagues have provided much more substantive information about their family branches including historical photos and mementos, and further research and information. With the real danger of overlooking someone, I would like to acknowledge the special help and information provided by Ian Kirker who travelled to Ottery St Mary, Devonshire, for Jeffery branch information, and to Helen Selwood, Colin and Jillian Garrett, and Ron and Ngaire Garrett for family photos and information about their branches.
I must also acknowledge and thank the third generation Selwoods, including Neville Selwood, Irene Calder, Evelyn Kirk, and my dear aunty Gladys McDonald, all sadly no longer with us, for their help, encouragement and direct family insight.
Totally invaluable for me has been the National Library of New Zealand which includes the Alexander Turnbull Library. Their Papers Past digitalised newspaper service has enabled me, with a few keyboard clicks, to access a goldmine of information. A decade or two ago it was somewhat hit and miss looking through newspapers retrieved from the archived bowels of a library. Today I can peruse on my laptop from anywhere in the world the pages of long-gone newspapers like the Lake Wakatip Mail and the Matuara Ensign. Given the nature of newspaper reporting of the time, which focused heavily on local and social events, it seems to me that we will know more about the personal lives of our forebears than we will about our current and future generations, or maybe, self-revelations through social media outlets like Facebook will change this!
My thanks to Archives New Zealand in Dunedin and Wellington, with a special thanks for the shipping information, trip diaries and the 1880 maps of the southern sheep stations. My thanks also to the Invercargill Library and in particular to archivist Gemma Thomas for help in retrieving regional books and schooling records. I am grateful to the staff at the Lakes District Museum at Arrowtown for access to their archival material and photograph collection.
Many books were examined and numerous web sites visited. This Selwood story could not have been completed without Google, Wikipedia, Papers Past, and the pleasure of visiting physical libraries. Special thanks to Richard Soper, of Athol, who I visited and shared correspondence. His knowledge of Northern Southland has been invaluable.
I am indebted to my former homestay and Massey graduate student Jay Lee, who is now a web consultant and designer in Auckland. His advice and help with webpage design, and in particular his day by day mapping of the sailing ship Oamaru’s 84-day journey to New Zealand, has resulted in this special web-site feature. Also, to my former work colleague, Noel Humm, a wizard with words, my thanks for helping to edit the content.
The original plan was to produce a Selwood Family Tree book, based on, and building upon, the 2001 Selwood Family Reunion. But with the power of the internet and rapidly developing technologies, a web site like this is potentially more interactive and subject to improvement than the contents of a bound book. So, in anticipation of your contribution (added value, improvements, and corrections) by way of this site’s “Contact Me”, I would like to say thank you!