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When ordering copies of original records, it is preferable to order a printout, as it is a copy of the original document and usually has more information than a certificate. Papers Past contains a lot of birth, marriage, or death notices, and some obituaries.
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For births, deaths or marriages that occurred before the year limit on historical births you can use the microfiche indexes that are available on the open shelves in the Family History Collection in the General Reading Room, which cover — When used in conjunction with District keys to the NZ registration indexes , you can pinpoint where a birth or death was registered — Note that the folio number on the microfiche index is different from the registration number used in the online historical Births, Deaths and Marriages records database.
Ancestry Library Edition is a subscription database you can access at the National Library and many public libraries. It recently added more New Zealand collection records. There are several advantages to using the New Zealand Birth, Marriage, and Death indexes in this database, particularly as you can search on first name alone, and the indexing is more accurate than Ancestry Library Edition. Note however, that the date range for births and marriages is more restricted. We hold baptism, marriage, and funeral registers for some churches in the greater Wellington region and other parts of the North Island, as well as some undertaker records.
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Date and place of burial or cremation is given in death records and usually in death notices in newspapers. We also have a Wellington newspapers card index listing births, deaths, marriages, and anniversaries for —, which while not comprehensive, can be useful. The Alexander Turnbull Library biographies index , which is available on microfiche in the reading room and also held by some large public libraries, gives you access to a large collection of biographical newspaper notices c— concerning ordinary people throughout New Zealand.
Canterbury Public Library newspaper index on microfiche, may be useful for historical material. In our Family History collections you can also browse all the NZSG microfiche cemetery indexes, a comprehensive collection of New Zealand cemetery locations, burial records, transcriptions of headstones monumental inscriptions , and cremation records.
Westland Funeral Services records , includes information about burials in Greymouth and surrounding areas from —, with some gaps. Diocese of Wellington and other Church records can also sometimes be helpful. Note their compilation and content varies by denomination.
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However, for family connections, death notices when published are likely to tell you more. Many institutions have created indexes, and Christchurch City Libraries has compiled a very useful list of New Zealand Newspaper archives and indexes. For earlier deaths check Papers Past and our online catalogue for newspaper holdings; and for more recent deaths since December check AMemoryTree.
Another website worth looking at is Tributes Online. Your public library may have a subscription to one or both of these databases. Many New Zealand cemeteries have their burial and cremation records online. In most instances they give date of death and burial or cremation, and in some instances they include photographs, transcriptions, occupation, age, the plot number, others in the same plot, and, more rarely, the cause of death. Christchurch City Libraries has a comprehensive guide to New Zealand cemeteries online databases.
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Billion Graves Cemeteries also can be useful for that elusive final resting place of your ancestor, particularly as in some instances there are photographs. Find a Grave is a free website bloated with advertising, nonetheless it may still provide some answers. These are official government records and are held at Archives New Zealand. You can begin your search for probates in Archway , as most will be listed there.
Family Search volunteers have been steadily digitising and indexing Archives New Zealand probate records, specifically New Zealand Probate Records from — These probates are free, but you will need to register with FamilySearch and use a login and password, unless you are onsite at either the National Library of New Zealand or Archives New Zealand.
A probate index may list the name of your ancestor as well as the date of the probate, which is often close to the date of death. It is worthwhile looking for probates of relatives of the deceased as well, as sometimes these may contain relevant documents. A probate index will usually list a file number for the probate, which contains any related documents. The Archway record will have the required details.
The Alexander Turnbull Library holds personal and organisational records. If you have, or can find, the name of the ship your ancestor arrived on, that will considerably narrow down your search. Access online passenger lists of people leaving Britain, Ireland or Australia, including Passenger Lists Leaving UK , with both transcripts and scanned images that may provide information such as occupation, last address and country of birth.
Plus border crossings and passenger lists, largely involving North America, and Europe. If you have the name of the ship, use these lists to get information about voyages between Britain and New Zealand. NZ Company Embarkation register. View the register of assisted and some fee paying immigrants from the UK to New Zealand, spanning — You might also enjoy reading published accounts such as Over the Mountains of the Sea: Life on the Migrant ships, — Passenger ships from to We also have a small shipping card index available in the reading room, and our staff can help you find more resources.
Many New Zealanders or their close family have served in a major conflict and their records can help with your family research. It describes what records they hold and is organised by period and conflict, focusing mostly on the Army —s , but also the Air Force, Navy, Home Guard, prisoners of war, and nurses.
All files are searchable by name and all of the South African War and First World War — records are available online. Also included are regular service members and those involved in various peacekeeping efforts throughout the world. Information sources include the official nominal rolls and New Zealand Gazette notices, and in many cases there are links through to digitised personnel files held by Archives New Zealand.
Family members can contribute further information and photographs. At the Library you can access several extremely useful subscription databases. Your local public library may be a subscriber too, so check what they have. Ancestry Library Edition includes the following:. The Genealogist has a significant collection of British military records if your ancestor served in the British armed forces. Discovery holds more than 32 million descriptions of records held by The National Archives [UK] and over 2, archives across the country. Over 9 million records are available for download.
Europeana is a digital portal to Europe's galleries, museums, libraries, archives and audio-visual collections. The category of their blog has a wealth of content, including some sourced from Australia and New Zealand, thus allowing for a variety of perspectives. The First World War: personal experiences is a collection of primary and secondary material drawn from 10 contributing libraries worldwide and includes digitised diaries, documents including the full-text of the Chronicles of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force , historical and interactive maps, images, and some oral histories.
Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War is an archival research resource containing a vast collection of rare magazines by and for servicemen and women of all nations during the First World War. Over 1, periodicals written and illustrated by serving members of the armed forces and associated welfare organisations published between and the end of are included.
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Magazines have been scanned cover-to-cover, in full colour or greyscale, and with granular indexing of all articles and specialist indexing of Publications. These resources provide many ways to go deeper, and are particularly useful once you have more names, places, and units to search for. Has details on 1,, men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the two world wars and in many cases has photographs of memorials or burial sites. Discovery is your first port of call for National Archives UK records. We subscribe to the database, so you can freely access already digitised records onsite.
National Archives UK also has some useful military research guides, such as Looking for a person , which covers births, deaths and other life events, wills, prisoners of war and conscientious objectors, Army, Navy, and air personnel, Marines, medals and honours, merchant seamen, workers and employees, criminals, bankrupts and litigants, religious groups, slavery and indentured labourers, and asylum inmates.
Plus there are more specific guides like Looking for records of a British Army soldier up to and Looking for records of a British Army soldier after Has biographical and collection databases that can be helpful, as some New Zealanders signed up in Australia and vice-versa. Try searching the World War I nominal roll database for example. Public contributions of photographs and other supporting material are actively encouraged.
Has a useful guide for researching war service. Papers Past has lists of casualties, names of people departing for and returning from wars, or appearing in front of appeal boards either as conscientious objectors or for other reasons. Our collections include many books , original war diaries , war photographs , and oral histories. Many of these are digitised and available on our website. Beattie and M. Thus far four volumes and an index have been published, with a fifth volume expected later in Your ancestor may not have kept a diary while on active service as it was officially discouraged or may not have written about their war experiences.
Try searching across our collections for someone else on the same troopship or in the same regiment , or who served in the same location or who came from the same place — their diaries may refer to names of other servicemen and women. For more guidance on using our collections, use our guide to the First World War.
New Zealand History. Sometimes you may have a lot of information about your ancestor but not know where they lived during certain periods. There are a number of ways to find this type of information including electoral rolls and directories, both of which are available on site at the Library. Another subscription database is Findmypast. Note that some of the signed sheets were lost so there are many more women in the Electoral roll than the Suffrage petition. We hold a complete set of electoral rolls from to the present day, along with habitation indexes, which allow you to search by address, available from the s onwards.
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We also hold quite a number of New Zealand directories in a variety of formats, such as Wises, Stones, and other early directories and almanacs. Telephone directories are another way to locate an address. We hold a large number of directories from the s onwards, and these vary by place and year. Ask staff for assistance.