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Family History

Information about the resources available to help you research your family history.
Updated: 10/02/2021 2:48 p.m.

Family history.

Researching your family history at the library

The library can be your favourite destination when you are working on your family history and genealogy.

The Genealogy Room located on the first floor of the Whangarei Central Library contains microfiche and microfilm files plus an extensive collection of genealogy reference books. There are also more resources in the nearby Northland and New Zealand Rooms.

Using dedicated computers in the Genealogy Room you can access to find your ancestors around the world or search New Zealand Electoral rolls to track your relatives as they moved around the country and fill in some of the pieces of your family research puzzles.
Picture of a microfiche reader. See below for a full list of research resources on these computers.

Read past issues of Northland's local paper, The Northern Advocate, on our microfiche readers to find, for example, death notices, sports awards, obituaries, or even a court report for a miscreant relative. Follow the link below for the complete list of items in the Microfiche Collection.

Family research help

Genealogy volunteers and members of the Whangarei branch of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists, who are experts in the field, are available daily to help you with your family research at the following times:

  • Monday: 10 am to 3 pm
  • Tuesday and Wednesday: 10 am to 4 pm
  • Thursday 10 am to 3 pm
  • Friday: 10 am to 2 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: 10 am to 1 pm 

Family research queries from outside of Whangarei

If you live outside of the Whangarei area, we can answer queries concerning relatives who lived in the Northland area. Either use the Ask a Librarian link at the top of this page or email us with as much information as possible to:

Resources on the Genealogy Room computers

Websites - free access only at the Library

  • Ancestry
  • FindMyPast

New Zealand Births, Deaths, Marriages, Obituaries and Burials

  • BDMs (Births, Deaths, Marriages) as published in the Bay of Plenty Times 1872 to 1910

  • BDMs as published in the New Zealander newspapers 1845 to 1866

  • Burial Locator includes over 3 million records collected from newspapers, headstones, burial records, etc.  

  • Early Auckland births from the 1800s and deaths to 1900s taken from various sources

  • The Jim Pearce Index is of obituaries as reported in Wellington’s Evening Post from 1929 to 1977

  • Marriages 1836 to 1956

New Zealand Military  

  • Nominal and Descriptive Rolls of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Waikato Regiments 1863 to 1867

  • Northland Servicemen and Roll of Honour including photographs of individual Northland servicemen 

Additional New Zealand Information

  • Cyclopedia of New Zealand Volumes 1 to 6 (1897 to 1908) contains a wealth of information about individuals involved in business, politics, the arts, etc. and localities within New Zealand

  • The Dodds Family Files contains information relating to the family of Irish couple John and Rachel Dodds who arrived in Auckland in 1869 and settled at Paparoa  

  • The Genealogical Research Directory (GRD) 1990 to 2007 will help you find others researching your family

  • Maori Land Court Minute Books 1865 to 1910 - Index only

  • New Zealand Electoral Rolls 1881, 1893 and 1911. Search surname, given names and/or occupation

  • New Zealand Genealogical Index is a comprehensive collection of a wide variety of NZ information including school rolls, divorce, cemetery records plus much more

  • The Phyllis Courtenay Collection records Phyllis’s research into Northland families in name or place order


  • Australian Shipping for arrivals and departures from Australian shipping ports. Search over 92,000 names, plus shipboard diaries, shipwrecks, etc.
  • Convicts to New South Wales 1788 to 1812
  • Index of British Army Personnel in Australia 1788 to 1870
  • The Queensland Police Gazette records all police information in Queensland from 1864 to 1870
  • Victoria Outwards to New Zealand 1852 to 1923. Search surnames, ship or port

United Kingdom

  • Burkes Landed Gentry of Ireland 1899
  • Parish Locator for England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland will help you pinpoint the location of a UK parish and find out which information is available for that parish

Other Whangarei family research resources

Whangarei Cemetery database

Details of interments in most of the Whangarei district cemeteries are on the Council website.

The cemeteries are: Hukerenui, Kamo, Kaurihohore, Kioreroa, Marua, Maunu, Ngunguru, Onerahi, Parua Bay, Waipu and Whareora.

The database is updated in the second week of the following month.

There are many other cemetery records available in the Northland Room at the Whangarei Central Library.

Whangarei District Council's Cemetery Database Search

Latter Day Saints Family History Centre

This is another local source of genealogy records located at 137 Kamo Road Whangarei.
Phone: 09 437 0384 for booking times.




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