Auckland Libraries: Research your family history

Research your genealogy and family history

Rangahaua tō whakapapa me ngā kōrero tuku iho ā-whānau

Interested in tracing your family tree? Follow our family history research guide to get started.

How to start

Start with yourself and everything you already know - collate names of family members, dates of birth, marriage and death.

Talking to family can be helpful. They can often provide:

  • names

  • dates

  • photographs

  • interesting stories

  • certificates that you can transcribe or copy.


Treat anecdotal information as clues, rather than facts!

Record your research

Start filling out a family tree. Use a notebook to keep your rangahau together.

Download a generation chart to start recording your family tree.

Text version of Generation chart

Keep note of references and sources and include dates. That way you can always go back and make further enquiries.


  • Record women by their maiden names (the name they were born with).

  • Be sure to write surnames (family names) in upper case, as some surnames can also be first names.

  • Write dates in full, e.g. 11 June 1876, as date formats differ from country to country.

  • When writing place names, follow the format 'suburb, city, country.' For example, 'Ellerslie, Auckland, New Zealand'.