Family History Society of New Zealand Inc.

Last weekend the Society had its annual Field Trip, this time to Nelson. It was a wonderful weekend with visits to historic buildings, walks, special morning teas, talks on a variety of subjects and a cemetery tour where we saw first hand the restoration work undertaken by the hard working Friends of Wakapuaka Cemetery group. Special thanks must go to Simon Courtney for organising this wonderful event. 

Time for a well earned cuppa. Some of the ten strong team who helped out at the January working bee.

The Society took part in the Family History EXPO at the weekend. We got a great response from our committee to run the stall and managed to sign up 7 new members.

The Committee decided, at its meeting on Wednesday, that due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the Committee’s control, the Mid Winter dinner – due to be held this Sunday - is postponed until Sunday 7th . August.

Sorry for this late notice.

Sunday 7 August 2022 Annual Midwinter dinner 12:30 start at the Bowling Club 5 Donald Place Please contact Judith Munro Ph.3597228 with your meal selections The meal will be followed by a talk from a prominent historian Richard Greenaway on “The Canterbury Provincial Government Immigration Scheme 1853-1876”

Jill Lord QSM

On Tuesday 10 May our Patron Jill Lord was presented with her QSM (Queen's Service Medal)  by the Governor General Dame Cindy Kiro at Government House in Wellington.

It was a delightful ceremony. Jill was supported by her family.

Sunday April 3rd.  2pm The Bowling Club 5 Donald Place

Claire le Couteur (one of our own members) will talk about her latest book

Dodds’ Pharmacies

Claire will have copies of her book available at the meeting for $30 – a special discount for our members.

Usual $3 entry

There is parking behind the rooms if the street parking is full


For nearly a hundred years, the Dodds’ name has been synonymous with pharmacy in Merivale, Christchurch. Doug Dodds established his chemist shop there in 1924. When he retired in 1965, successive owners of the business honoured him by naming it Dodds Pharmacy.

Doug’s grandfather, George Fawcit Dodds arrived in New Zealand in 1877 and opened his first chemist shop in Port Chalmers before leaving it in his son Nicholas’s hands and moving to Akaroa in 1888. George bought a French chemist’s business in the town and operated it with another son, John, also a chemist. Doug, John’s son, was brought up in Akaroa and later served an apprenticeship in Christchurch before buying the Merivale business.

The medicines these men sold were often imported patent medicines supplemented by their own formulations. Each generation developed their own concoctions, many of which could never have lived up to their extravagant claims. This advertising was common practice by chemists in the years leading up to strict legislation obliging manufacturers to list the ingredients of their mixtures on their labels.

This is not a family history, nor is it a comprehensive study of pharmacy through the ages, but an interesting tale of three generations of one family of chemists and their experiences in pharmacy.

Claire le Couteur


We are all very aware of the danger COVID still holds,

especially for us older members, so please

Wear a mask

Keep a safe distance

Be prepared to show your vaccine pass

Congratulations to our Patron Jill Lord, who today became a well deserved recipient of the Queens Service Medal, QSM.

Family History Flyer.pdf

Christchurch Family Historians & Genealogists

Need help researching your Family History? Our team of Christchurch Family Historians & Genealogists are here to help. 

Our Research Rooms & Library are located at 401A Papanui Road and are open on a Monday & Saturday from 10am - 12 noon

The Aims of our Society are:

To foster an interest in Family History, Genealogy and Family Trees

To support members with their research into Family History

To provide research facilities for our members

To hold regular meeting on topics related to Family History

To produce an e-magazine and newsletters for our members

The Family History Society of New Zealand was awarded the Christchurch City Council  Ambassadors Heritage Award in 2016

We now have a Covid Tracer sign on the noticeboard in our rooms. Please use it to sign in.