Family tree owners found

20:28, Aug 26 2012
Seonaid Lewis
REMARKABLE FIND: Seonaid Lewis with the 500-year-old Jennings family tree.

The owners of a family tree dating back 500 years and found in a Waiheke attic have been found.

Last Tuesday Auckland Council called for information on the Jennings family document after it was handed in to the Waiheke Library and then restored and preserved by library preservation experts.

Since then they've been inundated with inquiries.

"I have received hundreds of phone calls and emails from people who are Jennings descendants or interested in genealogy," Auckland Libraries' family history librarian Seonaid Lewis said.

"Amongst them are direct descendants of David Jennings and, in particular, the owner of this family tree document Margot Keiller."

Lewis said she looked forward to speaking to Keiller and finding out more about the Jennings family tree.


Keiller has said the document could remain in the Auckland Libraries' special collections and Lewis is hopeful of getting a copy of page two of the family tree.

Having now traced the rightful owners, Lewis wants to track down the person who found it.

"We don't need any more information about the Jennings family but we are still keen to find out where the document was found,"  Lewis said. 

"We would like the Waiheke resident who handed the family tree in to get in touch with us again."

The document was initially described as a remarkable find.

"You might expect to find such a comprehensive family tree in England so it is pure gold to find a piece of work like this in an attic in New Zealand," Lewis said.

The family tree was titled A Genealogy of the Jennings and covered the family history of David Jennings who emigrated from England to Nelson in 1849.

The document traced the Jennings family back 500 years and included photographs of significant family members.

Lewis can be contacted on or 09 301 0101. To view a copy of the family tree, visit the Sir George Grey Special Collections, level 2, Auckland Central City Library

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