Bay families remembered in print
Stephen Sheaffe is the kind of person who always has a project on the go.
Previously he wrote and published books about his own family’s history and has now completed four books about the history of his wife’s grandparent’s families.
His wife Glenda grew up in Palmerston North but her four grandparents were all from Hawke’s Bay and on Saturday three of the books were launched at Napier’s MTG.
The couple are based in Brisbane but have spent the last few years travelling around the world, retracing the family’s stories through oral history and documents.
The process started with Glenda’s mother, Avis McCutcheon, an avid genealogist.
“I had written about my own family back in Australia, she used to write notes and I told her she should publish something,” Stephen said.
Following her death he completed the first of the four books, The McCutcheon Super 15, released a couple of years earlier.
He began writing the latest three, From Saxony to the Seventy Mile Scrub, Two Immigrant Widows and Charlie Freeman: an enigma.
“Everywhere we travelled for a holiday we had genealogical links.
It’s been a lot of knocking on doors and being a bit cheeky,” Glenda said.
“It has been a really enjoyable process,” Stephen said. “I’m a barrister by profession, research is just part of my genetic make up.”
Although it was nice to see the books completed Stephen was already working on his next project, a book about the chief justices of Queensland.
Around 85 people, largely extended family, came to the book launch and the couple were expecting to print around 100 copies of each book, also mainly for members of the family.
Photo caption – Stephen and Glenda Sheaffe