Family tree owners come forward

01:08, Aug 27 2012

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

Last week Auckland Council called for information on the Jennings family document after it was handed into the Waiheke Library and then restored and preserved by library preservation specialists.

The document, titled A Genealogy of the Jennings, covers the family history of David Jennings, a solicitor who emigrated from England to Nelson in 1849 and eventually became a farmer in Lower Moutere and later Motueka.

Since then they have been inundated with inquiries - including one from the owner of the family tree document, Margot Keiller, who lives in Hawke's Bay. Her maiden name is Jennings, and her husband prepared the document but at this stage it is not know how it came to be on Waiheke Island.

"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," Ms Lewis said.

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She said she looked forward to speaking to Ms Keiller.

Ms Keiller had said the document could remain in the Auckland Libraries' special collections and Ms Lewis was hopeful of getting a copy of further parts of the family tree.

The document was 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," Ms Lewis said.

It traced the Jennings family back 500 years and included photographs of family members.

The Nelson Mail