Family history

Family history is a vital part of the research centres’ collections. As well as published family histories, you will find indexes to births, deaths and marriages in New Zealand and other parts of the world, shipping records, guides and other biographical sources. Items which Auckland Libraries does not hold can usually be obtained via interloan.

You can find resources, tips and tricks for researching family history, genealogy and whakapapa in our family history webpages and on Kintalk whānau kōrero: family history blog.


Digital Library

Family history eResources links you to a range of online research tools, including national directories, newspaper notices, cemetery, court, migration, emigration and military records.


Research centres and community libraries

Family history collections are found at the following locations:

The Central Auckland Research Centre’s family history collection is the largest in a New Zealand public library, and the research centre’s expert family history librarians are here to help. The core collection consists of material relating to New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and there are significant holdings for the Pacific, South Africa and North America.


Selected family history resources

New Zealand

  • Indexes of births, deaths and marriages 1848-1997
  • New Zealand and Auckland directories from 1850s onwards
  • New Zealand Electoral Rolls from 1853
  • Immigration indexes – Auckland Arrivals 1838-1899 and 1909-1921 (names extracted from newspapers); some indexes for Taranaki, Wellington and Lyttelton
  • Cemetery records and monumental inscriptions for New Zealand, produced by the New Zealand Society of Genealogists
  • Cemetery records – Symonds Street, St Stephens, Hillsborough, Waikaraka, Otahuhu Public, Onetangi, and Waiheke. We also have Waikumete burial records to 1982.
  • Military records – muster rolls and pay lists for the sixty-fith Regiment and 58th regiment; Boer War, WW1 and WW2 NZ Expeditionary Force Nominal Rolls
  • Newspapers – (on microfilm) New Zealand Herald from 1863, The New Zealander, Daily Southern Cross, Auckland Star and many other titles
  • Specialist indexes – Auckland Provincial History Index, New Zealand Card Index, Auckland Death Notice Index (1886-1946), Bush’s Index (Auckland City Council), [Alexander Hill's Index], [C. Little & Sons (indexed records 1901-1937)]
  • Māori Land Court Minute Books
  • Waitangi Tribunal Raupatu Documents
  • Magazines – general and genealogical
  • Auckland Police Census 1842-46 plus lots more!



  • Indexes of births, deaths & marriages 1788 – 1985, where they’ve been released
  • Australian Police & Government Gazettes, where they’ve been released
  • NSW to 1856 and Tasmanian (1803/38-1899) registers of births deaths & marriages (the same information as would appear on certificates)
  • Probate indexes for NSW (1800-1982), New Territories (c1885-c1991), Queensland (c1859-c1900), & Victoria (1841-1992)
  • Passenger lists and immigration records
  • Convict records
  • Magazines – Australian Family tree Connections, Descent, Ancestor
  • “How To” Guides
  • Inquests Index for Victoria 1841-1985
  • Specialist indexes, mainly on microfiche and CD-ROM
  • Cemetery records
  • The Sydney Morning Herald, 1831-1844/45
  • NSW Genealogical Research Kit – microfilms from the NSW Archives covering Convict arrivals, assisted and unassisted passenger arrivals, and naturalisation records
  • NSW Colonial Secretary’s papers
  • Queensland Genealogical Research Kit
  • Directories
  • Electoral rolls, including the full 1999 Australian Electoral Roll


England and Wales

  • Military records (limited) England & Wales
  • General Register Office indexes of births, deaths & marriages 1837-2000
  • Census - indexes mainly for 1851 and 1881, but we have some for other years; census transcriptions and digitised images 1841-1901 ( available to library members only)
  • Probate indexes 1858-1943 and some pre 1858 for various courts
  • The International Genealogical Index (IGI) on computer and microfiche
  • Trade Directories (some)
  • “How To” Gazetteers
  • 19th century Ordnance Survey maps
  • The Times (London) newspaper 1785-1985 (database) and microfilms (1785-1997)
  • Index to the Times (1790-2003)
  • Magazines – genealogical
  • Directories and poll books (some)
  • School and University records - Eton, Oxford, Cambridge etc
  • National Burial Index
  • Military records - including rolls of honours for WW1 and WW2, Army, Navy and Air force lists
  • Crockford’s Clerical Directory (some)
  • Trinity House petitions 1787-1854


  • Indexes to births 1907-1955, marriages 1932-1956 and deaths 1855-1875 (some counties)
  • Old parochial registers (OPRs) to 1854 (incl)
  • The International Genealogical Index (IGI) on computer and microfiche
  • Monumental inscriptions (some)
  • Census - indexes mainly 1851& 1891 but we have some for other years. A full transcription and index for 1881; indexed transcriptions 1841-1901 (; 1901 on microfilm (some counties)
  • Probate indexes for “Scottish and Irish wills” are an annual addendum to the English and Welsh probate indexes
  • Trade Directories
  • “How To” Guides
  • Gazetteers
  • 19th century Ordnance Survey Maps
  • Soldiers who died in the Great War
  • Land records (Sasines) some abridgements
  • Clan histories
  • Dictionaries of Scottish names
  • Some university alumni rolls
  • Retours 1544-1699 & Service of Heirs 1700-1859
  • Vital Records Index of British Isles 1538-1888 (includes Scotland)



Most Irish records continue to be accessible only in Ireland. Good guides to the resources are J G Ryan, sources for Family & Local History; John Grenham, Tracing your Irish Ancestry; and Ian Maxwell, Tracing your Ancestors in Northern Ireland.

  • The International Genealogical Index (IGI) on computer and on microfiche
  • Indexes to births, deaths and marriages 1864-1921
  • Monumental inscriptions (some)
  • Directories
  • “How To” Guides
  • Gazetteers
  • 19th century Ordnance Survey Maps
  • Probate indexes for “Scottish and Irish wills” are an annual addendum to the English and Welsh probate indexes
  • Wills indexes (some)
  • Census records – surviving details from the 1841 and 1851 censuses; 1901 (Fermanagh, Tyrone, Longford)
  • Griffiths Valuation
  • Tithe applotment books
  • Irish Constabulary records 1816-1922
  • Magazines – genealogical
  • Soldiers who died in the Great War



Some of our family history collections offer access to CD-ROMs, which are available for use in the library. Many of these CD-ROMS are listed on the library catalogue. Or have a look at the Family History CD-ROM Collection Index (pdf) 

Examples of Family History CD-ROMs are:


Family history resources elsewhere in the libraries

Other collections complement the research centres’ family history collections. The Sir George Grey Special Collections, on the second floor of the Central City Library, holds manuscripts, archives, photographs, maps, ephemera and rare books. The collections on the other floors and in the basement include national, local, school and other histories, directories, biographical dictionaries, maps and gazetteers.

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