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Search for family history records in New Zealand

You might be able to trace your family’s history in NZ through genealogy websites, old newspapers, or ships’ passenger lists.

Research tools

You can use the National Library’s resources to research your family’s history.

Research family histories

There are also websites to help you do your own family history research.

Genealogy links

Find out when your family came to NZ

You can use shipping lists to find out how and when people arrived in New Zealand.

Shipping lists might be able to tell you:

  • someone’s full name
  • their occupation
  • their marital status
  • the name of the ship they arrived on
  • where they landed in NZ
  • where they came from.

There are only online shipping lists of people who came to NZ:

  • with government assistance before 1888
  • after 1910.

Search online shipping lists

Between 1888 and 1910 some records exist, but they are not complete.

Guide to finding shipping lists that are available online

Births, deaths and marriages in NZ

You can search NZ birth, death, marriage, civil union and name change records.

Search historical birth, death and marriage records

Family records in Australia

Many NZ families originated in Europe, but they might have emigrated to Australia first.

Christchurch City Libraries has an extensive list of Australian family history resources.

Finding relatives in Australia

Military records

You can search for the records and medals of New Zealanders who were in the armed forces.

If the person is still alive, you cannot get their records without their written approval.

Military history, records and medals

Utility links and page information

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