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New Research

The only person I know of currently doing Macky family research is Wanda Hopkins. She's of the Cochrane line, which is closely associated with the Mackys, so it's not possible to research one without including the other.

You could say that Wanda's passion for genealogy is well documented. She has contributed articles to the New Zealand Society of Genealogists and various other media, and maintains two family history blogs. That is apart from working as an office manager for a vineyard contracting firm in the "Hills" region of Adelaide, where she currently calls home.

Wanda says that her interest in family history began simply enough. She had inherited some old family photos and had kept 15 years' worth of letters from her parents in New Zealand. Among these letters were two obituaries explaining a little about her Cochrane family heritage.

She first collaborated with her cousin, John Hopkins, in researching the family connection to the linen mill mentioned several times in the letters on this website. There was no documented history about the mill so it was very much a matter carrying out their research from scratch. And so, she was hooked.

See The Untold Story of the Buncrana Mill

Wanda went on to enjoy many other research projects of her own. These have included the lives of Joseph Cochrane, brother-in-law of the Rev. John Macky, and her great, great grandfather, Samuel Cochrane. She says there are many more in the pipeline.

Wanda relates that one of the spin-offs of carrying out her research made her appreciate the New Zealand history she learned in High School (and found so boring at the time). The other was having the opportunity to network with family, and discovering many more remote family connections including those descended from Sarah McElwain, John Cowan Cochrane, Dacre and the Goodfellow families. Wanda also enjoys regular telephone contact with another family research junkie, her second cousin Joy Ricks.

But most of all, she has been able to continue the research that her father had touched upon. For her this kept his memory alive. She also found a degree of synchronicity in discovering that she was related to someone from her branch of the Cochrane family tree who lived in the same town and the same street, in provincial New Zealand. Their connection goes back to the time when the Cochran family first emigrated to the north of Ireland from Scotland. Wanda says this would have brought her father, Harry, great enjoyment, and no doubt led to many conversations of mutual interest, had he known.

Russell M. Nelson quote
"When our hearts turn to our ancestors, something changes inside us.
We feel part of something greater than ourselves."

Russell M. Nelson

Wanda was brought up in Mt. Maunganui in New Zealand's Bay of Plenty region.

In her late teens she met a handsome Australian and together, they made their way to Sydney. They settled in South Australia three years later. Although they have long since gone our separate ways, their partnership of twenty years resulted in the birth their two children, Fleur and Rowan.

Fleur, now Mrs. Murphy, is Senior Marketing Manager for an Australian-based software company, and Rowan, a freelance software and website developer. Wanda has her own qualifications in accounting and professional writing, so in many ways, writing and research has come naturally to her.

When she retires, Wanda hopes to travel to Ireland. She also likes the idea of helping other family members with their research and encouraging them to document and share their own family stories. She fully acknowledges that having another collaborator, or even a network of like-minded people, would be great because as she sees it "there is much more to be done". She wants not only to reach family members but to provide inspiration to a wider audience.

See Wanda's Facebook pages: ...and some of her family stories (with Macky references); more to come: