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New Zealand Genealogy

Archives & Libraries | Births & Deaths | Cemeteries | General Resources | Maori

Marriages | Message Boards | Military | Misc Records | Obits & Newspapers | Passenger Lists | Societies




Bay of Plenty
Hawkes' Bay,
East Coast & Wairarapa

North/Mid  Canterbury
Nelson & Bays

Northland & Bay of Islands
South Canterbury

West Coast


A Brief History of New Zealand

Maori's started arrived from Polynesia by canoe around 1000 AD through to the 1300s. Captain James Cook claimed New Zealand as a British colony in 1769. Settlers started arriving from England in 1814. New Zealand was declared a British Colony in 1841, after which the influx of settlers increased considerably.

Notable points in time include the New Zealand Wars 1843-72, during which Maoris lost the rights to much of their land; and gold rushes in Otago and the West Coast during the 1860s. Also of note (as New Zealand Military Records can be very helpful to the genealogy researcher) is that New Zealanders participated in the Boer War in South Africa in 1899, and in World War 1 (1914-1918) and World War 2 (1939-1945) in Europe.

New Zealand Genealogy - What's Online and Free

The NZ Dept of Internal Affairs has recently made available older birth, marriage and death records online. records that can be searched include: Births that occurred at least 100 years ago, Stillbirths that occurred at least 50 years ago, Marriages that occurred at least 80 years ago, Deaths that occurred at least 50 years ago or the deceased's date of birth was at least 80 years ago. A valuable online genealogy resource, links to that and other databases can be found at the New Zealand Birth and Death Records page.


Because New Zealand is two islands in a remote part of the world and European immigration has been going on for only the last 150 years, and until the 1950s the only real way of getting to NZ was by ship, it stands to reason that NZ passenger lists would be an important part of anyone's New Zealand genealogy research. Fortunately, a lot of work has gone into providing free and very comprehensive passenger list sites by individuals. Some of them have over 2,000 passenger lists, links to them can be found on the New Zealand Passenger Lists page.


Census returns have been carried out in New Zealand from 1858 to the present. Pre 1966 census returns have been destroyed with a few exceptions (1891 Maori census, for example). Post 1966 censuses will not be publicly available until 2066, which is great for your grandchildren but not you! Some census substitutes that may help fill this gap include electoral rolls, links to which you can find on the New Zealand Miscellaneous Records page.

New Zealand Genealogy Links

Albany: student/teacher names extracted from book: "Schools of Albany 1858-1976" list of teachers and pupils, with number of years of attendance at the school


Alexander Turnbull Library The National Library of NZ


Ancestry; New Zealand Databases Search a large collection of databases including NZ Electoral Rolls 1853-1981, naturalizations 1843-1981, city & area directories and army nominal rolls ($)

Archives New Zealand Archives NZ has over 4 million government records of genealogical value. Unfortunately little is onlne at this point. The vast array of records that can be accessed by going to the institution includes: Citizenship and Naturalisation records 1840-1866, Registers of Notices of Intention to Marry 1856-1956 (Wellington) , Coroners’ Inquests 1840-1988, Divorce Registers (access only to records older than 60 years) ,Anglo-Boer War Personnel 1899-1902, government-assisted immigrants passenger lists 1840-1880s,

Archives Research Centre of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa (New Zealand)
searchable databases of Presbyterian marriage (1848-1930) and baptisms (1848-1920)


Assisted English immigrants from the 1870's A-L , L-Y including age and occupation, indexed from "The Farthest Promised Land" by Professor Rollo Arnold


Australasia Births, Deaths & Marriages Exchange a user contributed database of birth, death and marriage data. free, requires registration to access


Australasia Genealogical Lookup Exchange - Auckland list of volunteers who can do free lookups on records they have access to


Births, Deaths and Marriages Online Pre 1875  Maintained by NZ Department of Internal Affairs. records that can be searched includes: Births that occurred at least 100 years ago, Stillbirths that occurred at least 50 years ago, Marriages that occurred at least 80 years ago, Deaths that occurred at least 50 years ago or the deceased's date of birth was at least 80 years ago.


B,D & M Transcripts from the "Auckland Weekly News" 1914-15


Boer War  Honours List Extracts from London Gazette 1901 & 1902


Brewers and Wine & Spirit Merchants in New Zealand 1869 showing the Names and Residences of all Persons registered as Brewers, or Wine and Spirit Merchants


Chinese In New Zealand a general information blog for Chinese living in New Zealand, including some family histories of Chines new Zealanders


Central Districts: Church Officers 19th, 20th C


Church & Missionary List - 1800's

Church Ministers  in the Colony 1848-1849


Christchurch Press and Star of New Zealand Transcriptions 1855 -2000 of births, marriages, deaths, obituaries, inquests, shipping lists from the Christchurch Press and Star of New Zealand


Colonial Outcasts list of names extracted from book by Nell Hartley; transcribed by Ted Wildy


DC10 Plane Crash on Mt Erebus, Antartica 1979 names of 20 crew and 237 passengers who were killed in this air disaster


Directory of New Zealand Libraries


Earliest New Zealand Birth Registrations 1840-1854 searchable database at Cambridgeshire Family History Society


Funeral Notices 1840s-1860s


Genealogy Helplist NZ a list of volunteers who do free lookups of records


GENEoNZ - New Zealand and Maori Research by Carol Whyte


Goldminers of New Zealand 1861-1868 This site has a searchable database to 20,000+ gold-miners, many of whom came form Australia


Greta's Genealogy Pages this site has some early NZ genealogy resources, as well as useful tips for beginners to genealogy


Helen's Page of New Zealand History a large collection of online databases for Wellington & Mid to Lower North Island


Hiwinui Land Register Pre 1910


Irish Immigrants Late 1800s



Land Records how to order copies of land records, by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), a NZ govt dept


List of names from the book 'The Deserters' by Rae Sexton - Mid 1800s The New Zealand Wars


National Archives of New Zealand


National Library of New Zealand Home Page holds New Zealand's largest collection of private manuscripts and archives including a family history collection - birth, death and marriage indexes, cemetery indexes, directories, electoral rolls, military indexes, probate indexes and shipping passenger lists


New Zealand Births, Deaths and Marriages Office maintained by NZ Department of Internal Affairs. Records that can be searched includes: Births that occurred at least 100 years ago, Stillbirths that occurred at least 50 years ago, Marriages that occurred at least 80 years ago, Deaths that occurred at least 50 years ago or the deceased's date of birth was at least 80 years ago.


New Zealand Councils and Regions


New Zealand Directories 1866-1873 includes Wellington, Greymouth, Hokitika, Cobden and Flagstaff townships


New Zealand Electoral Rolls 1853-1981 over 20 million names; a valuable census substitute ($)


New Zealand Gazette - Justice's of the Peace 1866 A-M & N-Z over 150 names here; includes name, city and region where they lived


New Zealand Genealogy at This site (maintained by the Church of the Latter day Saints, or LDS) is one of the largest genealogy resources available, both online or at any one of their thousands of FamilySearch Centres worldwide. It has over 50 pages of informational pages that explain almot every kind of record that is used in tracing your family history, including electoral rolls, directories, pension records, voting registers, civil registration records, emigration and immigration records and much, much more. This site is a valuable pool of information for both the beginner and experienced genealogy researcher.


New Zealand Genealogy Forum a frequently used forum (when I checked there were postings from 24hrs prior to my visit) where you can browse messages or post one yourself about NZ ancestors you are looking for


New Zealand GenWeb Project maintained by volunteers to provide resources online


New Zealand Herald: Deaths extracted from the `New Zealand Herald' 1993 (over 20,000 names)


New Zealand Ireland Connection at University of Otago, includes an immigrant list of Irish to NZ


New Zealand Mailing Lists over 20 mailing lists for NZ covering most topics and regions

New Zealand Message Boards read and post messages with other New Zealand researchers


New Zealand Names from Obituaries 1900s extracted from a private collection of New Zealand Newspapers of the day, miscellaneous books and publications


New Zealand Naturalisations - 1853


New Zealand Pioneer Roll up to 1899 Discoverers, Visitors, Whalers, Traders and some Early Residents up to 1839


New Zealand Probate Records 1878-1960 browse through over 358,000 images in this collection at An index is available on the Archives of New Zealand website ( which will give the probate file number associated with a name


New Zealand  Salvation Army... Officers & Roll Of Honour 1891-1910


New Zealand Telephone Directory Online White Pages, Yellow Pages


NZ Electoral Rolls for Many Cities here over 25 electoral rolls here


NZ Executions 1842-1957 includes name, place of execution, date of execution


NZ Harkness Fellowships 1928-1983


N.Z HERALD 1863: names extracted


NZ Missionaries 1800s


NZ Rhodes Scholars 1903-1993


Papers Past - National Library Of New Zealand  more than one million pages of digitised New Zealand newspapers and periodicals. The collection covers the years 1839 to 1945 and includes 63 publications from all regions of New Zealand


Officiating Ministers in the Province of New Munster 1848 & 1849


Officiating Ministers within New Zealand of the Free Church Of Scotland-1854


Our Stuff! Denise & Peters Homepage over 1,000 passenger lists, electoral rolls and many more transcribed records


Pre 1846 NZ Database Early European Contacts with New Zealand


Scotland; Biographies of Scots in New Zealand mostly 19thC

Search Whatever Australia - New Zealand large genealogy search engine with listing of NZ genealogy sites

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