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.


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.