|Home | Articles Index | Professional Genealogists for New Zealand|
These are not and have never been publicly available.
The first New Zealand-wide Electoral Rolls are for 1865 although Provincial Rolls are available from the mid 1850s
These are held on microfilm or, more recently, in book form. The current Rolls are widely available throughout New Zealand but older ones are limited to the main Public Libraries. Some LDS Family History libraries hold copies of some microfilmed records.
Currently, there are 62 general electorates and 7 Maori electorates.
The 1881 Roll is alphabetically indexed for the whole country.
Unlike the United Kingdom and some other countries, there is not any great incidence of unlisted numbers. Also, it is very unusual to find any home that does not have a telephone service.
Access to telephone numbers and addresses can be gained at - www.whitepages.co.nz.
Registration of European births and deaths was first required by legislation from 1848 and marriage records date from 1854. Some records of event which occurred earlier are available, but these were first recorded in parish registers held by churches. Copies of many were obtained later by the Registrar-General and are held at the Central Registry.
The registration of Maori births and deaths did not become compulsory until 1913. Some pre 1913 births can be found in these records. A few were made in the European system but not a great many. Registration from 1913 could not be effectively enforced in the early stages and it is apparent that a great many births and deaths of Maori people were not registered as they should have been. In 1952 the separate Maori and European marriage laws and recording systems were amalgamated. The amalgamation of birth and death registrations came in 1962.
Birth certificates have always, of course, provided the obvious information including the parents names and mother's maiden name and father's rank or profession but additional information has been gradually provided. For example, from 1875, the ages and places of birth of each parent are shown plus the date and place of marriage.
Death certificates prior to 1875 do not provide any information of genealogical value, other than age. From 1875, details are provided of parent's names, occupations (including mother's maiden name), when and where buried, place of birth and how long in New Zealand, where married, to whom and at what age. Number and sex of living issue. From 1912, the age of the surviving widow(er), if any, is also provided and the ages of surviving issue (rather than just their number); also, if Maori, the tribe of both parents.
Under the Marriage Act of 1854, the only particulars recorded were:
Positive identification is not always possible if only one of the parties is known.
By the Act of 1880, the following details also added were:
Particulars marked * are recorded in a certified copy, if provided at the time of registration. Particulars marked ** are recorded in the image copy or micrographic copy which should be specifically requested.
The following site provides full information on every aspect of Civil Registrations - http://www.bdm.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Services-Births-Deaths-and-Marriages-Index?OpenDocument
The operation of privacy legislation restricts the availability of information to only the birth parents and the child his or herself.
Attention is drawn to the following sites -
The Department of Courts processes all divorces in New Zealand. If a marriage occurred in New Zealand, and it was dissolved by a court in New Zealand, that court usually notifies the Registrar-General. Any copy of a marriage certificate subsequently issued will have an amendment stating that the marriage has been dissolved.
Archives New Zealand
The site address for this is - http://www.archives.govt.nz/holdings/holdings_frame.html
The principle genealogical resources held are -
National Library of New Zealand
The site address for this is - http://www.natlib.govt.nz/en/using/index.html
Probably, the most valuable genealogical asset is the Alexander Turnbull Library. Card indexes are available at many repositories that show individual names and file references.
In order to find a probate file, it is usually necessary to know where and when a person died. Some of the earlier probate records have been indexed onto a database by the NZ Society of Genealogists. This makes searching for the early records quite simple. For later probates, it is a matter of checking the probate register from the High Court closest to where the person was living when they died. Before about 1950, all Public Trust wills were probated through the Wellington court. Therefore, if the Public Trust Office were involved in the estate, it is worth checking the Wellington probates, even if the deceased did not live in the Wellington area. (but records readily available - many indexed on the NZSG CD)
This is available only to NZSG members - edition II due out later this year. These are the contents of Edition II (I hold edition I)
Whilst there are a number of useful web-sites that can be found by a Google search, by far the most useful records are held at various LDS Libraries and Public Libraries.
In practice, this to be the best way of locating a death where the place of death is known or suspected ... but the larger the town or city, the more time-consuming the research
Doubtless, the resources of all major Public Libraries will be comparable ... although, perhaps, being a Cantabrian I would like to think that the Christchurch Public Library has the biggest and best collection in the country.
By way of example , the following site provides a detailed insight into the very comprehensive resources available - http://library.christchurch.org.nz/Central/AotearoaNZCentre/FAQ.asp
New Zealand Resource List - http://www.liswa.wa.gov.au/nzguide.html
This site provides particulars of all New Zealand museums http://www.nzmuseums.co.nz/ResultsCollection.asp?Collection=History
Whilst some of the Museums could have web sites showing what indexes are held, the Canterbury Museum page does not. This is the only generalised statement obtainable from it -
The Canterbury Museum Documentary Research Centre holds a number of unique resources which are particularly useful for researching families who emigrated to or settled in Canterbury.
Wise's Post Office Directory
Whilst Wise's Post Office Directory still exists, its principle use is that relating to the years 1866-1954 - some are held in book form but the majority are not on microfiche with separate indexes for surnames, trades and towns. A most useful resource.
PLEASE NOTE - this page is still under construction and other paragraphs (such as those below) will be added shortly.
WWI and WWII service records
Copyright © 2002
By the Author
All rights reserved