NZ Birth Index at have recently added some new records that I have found very useful – NZ Birth Index 1840-1950, NZ Death Index 1848-1980, NZ Marriage Index 1840-1950. This post is about the birth index that I have been using recently to fill in gaps in my family tree.


New Zealand Birth Index, 1840-1950

This collection includes a searchable index to birth records from New Zealand covering the years 1840–1950. The index lists the name of the child, the quarter and year in which he or she was born, and a folio number associated with the microfiche index created by the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs. The location of the birth registration is available for many of the records. The same information is available on microfiche in many public libraries in New Zealand, and some overseas.

Having the index available on-line is much more convenient than searching through several microfiche.  If you are not sure of the birth year, several microfiche need to be searched.  With the on-line search, results for several years are shown so you can select the correct one, or the most likely ones for further investigation. I have been using the index to find location of birth registration.  Previously this required a look-up of folio numbers in District keys to the N.Z. registration indexes published by the New Zealand Society of Genealogists.

What is Missing?  The records for 1951 to 1990 that are available on microfiche, and include the mother’s given names, are not in the index.  Not all the names in the index have location of the birth registration, and there are errors – I have found lots of children with their birth incorrectly registered on Chatham Islands.

A really useful tool for filling in missing details in your family tree, at least it has been for me.


Tracking Vistors to your WorldConnect Family Tree

I am interested in the demographics of who is visiting my family tree on Rootsweb WorldConnect. What country, city are visitors from? What pages are looked at most often?

After a few unsuccessful attempts, I have now managed to set up tracking so I can answer these questions, and others. I use Google Analytics.

Analytics LogoThere are two parts to the setup.

  1. In Google Analytics you need to define the default URL – I used  This refers to the whole WorldConnect site, but only your family tree pages will send tracking codes.  You  copy the tracking code from Google Analytics for insertion in web pages displaying your family tree.
  2. You then need to log into Rootsweb, open your account page, and under Worldconnect Tree ID select Edit. Click on the tree you want to track (in my case chris_korte), then click on Display Options under Tree Settings.  I pasted the tracking code from Google Analytics into the Page Footer.  Due to restrictions on string length for the page footer, I needed to remove the existing footer.  Before pasting, I also edited the tracking code in notepad to remove formatting spaces and carriage returns – I made one line of text.

So far this has tracked visitors for a few hours successfully.  When it has run for longer I will update on what has worked and what has not.

I have been able to see number of visitors, pageviews, visit duration, audience details, traffic sources and content.  These are the normal statistics that Analytics reports.  In-Page Analytics can not be reported, but this is not a concern to me.

I presume the tracking code can be inserted in other parts of the WorldConnect page, but I have not tried.

Google Analytics reports that “The Google Analytics tracking code has not been detected on your website’s home page.” This is because Rootsweb WorldConnect does not allow users to alter the home page.

Google Analytics says “For Analytics to function, you or your web administrator must add the code to each page of your website.” Because the footer is displayed whenever my tree is displayed, the tracking code will report all instances of my tree being viewed.

In case you do not know, use of both Google Analytics and Rootsweb WorldConnect is free.

Auckland Weekly News

I have just discovered an online database at Auckland Library that has thousands of historical images from New Zealand – Heritage Images Online. The images are sourced from the Auckland Weekly News photographic supplements published between 1898 and 1943.

Photos in the database can be found in a Google search, but I have found searching the database on the Library website more useful. Heritage Images Online can be accessed through Auckland Libraries website at

I have found historical photos of places in New Zealand that I can use for my website. The photo of the opening of Matawai Post Office (below) will be added to my web page for Matawai.

Photograph of opening of the Matawai Post Office in 1921
Opening of Matawai Post Office in 1921
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19210811-37-4

Searching for family names can turn up photographs of relatives.  The newspaper published portraits of many servicemen in WW1.  An example is shown below from a 1915 issue of the newspaper.

Photograph of Edwin Rushbrooke
Ernest Edwin Rushbrooke in 1915
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19150916-39-39

Auckland Weekly News images cover a broad range of subjects from global conflict of the day, scenic views of Auckland, royal visits and local events. They provide a pictorial depiction of New Zealanders and New Zealand life at the time of publication, with a focus on events within the Auckland region.

Images were taken from large bound volumes of newspapers, using a digital camera to capture an entire page of photographs. To protect the fragile volumes, photography was carried out onsite at the library, using specially modified equipment. The digital image of the single page was then transformed into separate records for each photograph, with searchable information about each one including a transcription of its original newspaper caption.

New Zealand Birth, Death & Marriage Dates

I have just discovered that historical birth, death & marriage records for New Zealand can be searched to find the date an event.  Historical data available for searching includes:

  • Births that occurred at least 100 years ago
  • Stillbirths that occurred at least 50 years ago
  • Marriages and eventually civil unions that occurred at least 80 years ago
  • Deaths that occurred at least 50 years ago, or the deceased’s date of birth was at least 80 years ago

You search by name and date, and records are returned show year of event.  To narrow down to the day of the event, keep searching with more specific start and end dates.  After several searches you will find the record with the same start and end search date.

I have checked some events where I already had the date, and they matched the search.

Until today I had only been obtaining the year of the event, because I did not realise you could match dates to the day.  I hope this helps some of you find dates too.  I also found some events had the wrong year from my previous searches (eg birth occured in December 1901, but year listed as 1902, presumably when registered).

RootsWeb WorldConnect Style

Until today my family tree on Rootsweb WorldConnect had been very plain, black text on a white background. It did not match the color scheme on my genealogy website. That changed when I found Patricia Geary‘s website and ebook Planning a Genealogy Website, 2nd Edition.

Picture of ebook

Planning a Genealogy Website 2nd Edition is a FREE 42 page EBook. The EBook is a great resource for anyone who is interested in creating a genealogy website especially if you are using RootsWeb hosting. It has been revised and updated with several entirely new sections.

The ebook has a section about adding some style to your WorldConnect Database, including example code to get you started. I started with Pat’s code, modified it to provide similar colors to my website. The result was a major improvement, illustrated below.  I thought the colors for hyperlinks in the sample code were better than the ones I had on my website, so that resulted in changes to the css file on my website (uploaded 2 April).

Picture of RootsWeb WorldConnect
Color added to my RootsWeb WorldConnect Family Tree

Here are a couple of examples of notes added to the family tree: Page for Christian August BERKAHN with a photo and a link to biographical details.  Page for Alban RUSHBROOKE with biographical details.

I suggest you have a look at Pat’s book and website if you are putting your family tree on the internet.

Anne Bromell Collection – NZ Records

I just discovered that has New Zealand records available for searching – The Anne Bromell Collection. Below are some that I will be using to add additional information to my family tree. I have started with the Electoral Rolls -a great resource for checking where people lived and occupations. There are several other smaller databases as well.

  1. New Zealand, Electoral Rolls, 1853-1981, 20 million records. Electoral rolls for New Zealand from 1853 to 1981 are contained in this collection. The rolls were compiled during general and provincial election years and include the names of individuals from each electoral district who were qualified to vote. By law, all persons who were eligible to vote were required to register on the electoral roll, even if they did not intend to vote.
  2. New Zealand, City & Area Directories, 1866-1955, 65,000 records. The alphabetical name directory is the most useful for researching ancestors as it lists the name of each head of household with their district or city of residence. Often their occupations and/or street addresses will also be listed.
  3. New Zealand, Naturalisations, 1843-1981 138,000 records. This database contains an index of persons who were naturalised or given citizenship in New Zealand from 1843 to 1981. New Zealand citizenship did not begin until 1949, but persons who were not born within the British Commonwealth and applied for naturalisation were given British citizenship prior to 1949.
  4. New Zealand, Maori Voter and Electoral Rolls, 1908 & 1919, 35,000 records. The alphabetical name directory is the most useful for researching ancestors as it lists the name of each head of household with their district or city of residence. Often their occupations and/or street addresses will also be listed.
  5. Canterbury, New Zealand, Provincial Rolls, 1868-1874, 24,000 records. Electoral rolls for Canterbury province, New Zealand years 1868 to 1874 are contained in this collection. The rolls were compiled during election years and include the names of individuals from each electoral district who were qualified to vote for the provincial superintendent and members of the provincial council. Eligible voters were male British subjects who owned property and were age 21 or older.

The following is sourced from

The Anne Bromell Collection covers a period from the mid-1800’s right through to the later part of the 20th century. This material will be of enormous benefit to anyone with a connection to New Zealand or even Australia as the Antipodeans had a habit of moving back and forth.

The material contained in this collection was amassed over a 20-year period by the late Anne Bromell. Anne traveled extensively around New Zealand with her microfilm camera, filming records where she found them and her work forms the basis of the record set gathered here.

Anne Bromell – Wallace Web Site

When I started my family tree, I wondered how I would progress with the Wallace family. Wallace is such a common name in New Zealand, in contrast to Korte.

However I made quite good progress because my father-in-law had a copy of the Spurdle family tree, published in 1942, and that had descendants of Joseph WALLACE (1853-1948) and Sarah SPURDLE (1854-1921). An update of the Spurdle family tree (Spurdle Heritage, Janette Howe and Robyn Spurdle, 1992) included information from a  manuscript The Wallace Family History by Doreen Corrick. I eventually tracked this manuscript down and made all the information I had collected available on RootsWeb.

One person who remained a mystery until recently was Bruce WALLACE, son of William John WALLACE and Martha Rosina PEACHEY, and nephew of Joseph WALLACE. All I had was his name and his parent’s names.

In September I was contacted by a descendant of Bruce Wallace (1920-1990), who had found the information I had posted on RootsWeb – to my family tree and to my genealogy project web site.  She shared her family information on – Wallace Web Site. As a result of this contact, and the information we have exchanged, I have been able to include the descendants of Bruce Wallace in my tree. Plus I have also been able to add details of Jack Wallace and Martha Wallace (siblings of Bruce) and some of their descendants.

I had not used before this exchange, but was impressed with how the site keeps a log of changes made to the online family tree, and allows family members to update their part of the tree, add photos, add facts, and help with the research.

Once again, this experience demonstrated to me how sharing your genealogy information on the internet can assist in making useful new contacts to help with your research. logo