My Genealogy interests are focused on my Johnson/Ferns ancestry and my sister's Copeland ancestry, both family groups being mainly in southern New Zealand.

Ferns Yarraville, Melbourne home

Ferns family, Yarraville, Melbourne, Australia


I use the online website-based MyHeritage tool for researching and sharing my genealogy efforts  across the wider family. I think this is a great tool so I don't have to print off reams of paper every time someone wants to know who is connected to who. It also helps prompt updates for new arrivals onto the tree that I might have otherwise missed. My database is here:

NZ Southern Roots




Percy and Tui Johnson (nee Ferns)


I have a few family history research books to my credit, so I am a self-published author.


The Johnson Line - Ebenezer and Ellen, December 1992, ISBN 0-473-01783-0

This book covers the background of my Johnson roots around Colchester, Essex, England, the social upheaval in rural England from about 1845 onward, the resilting Vogel immigration wave from England to New Zealand including my Great Grandparents sailing out to Bluff in 1875, and the Johnson family tree up to 1992.


The Johnson Line - Percy's Army Years, May 1997, ISBN 0-473-05032-3

My father Percy Johnson passed away on 4 June 1992. Among the many items he left behind were a collection of notebooks recording his social life while on active service in the 2NZEF. I made this book to share Dad's stories around the family, associate the stories with bundles of small pictures he had brought back with him, and to add in some military record research. Because Percy's experiences would have been similar to that of many other Southland soldiers travelling overseas for the first time, I chose to share this work publicly as well.


Copeland Gold, June 2001, ISBN 0-473-07693-4

This book was created for my sister's Copeland family and uses much of their material. It records their early Scottish ancestry, the different branches of Copland/Copeland families in New Zealand and includes insights into the goldfields of Southland from around 1900 where Alexander Copeland and family lived and worked in the Nokomai. The boys eventually all moved onto the land as early Southland farmers.