Nelson Public Libraries have historical resources which are useful for genealogists, plus guides to genealogical research in the general non fiction collection. The Library also produces Bloodline, a listing of local and relevant national organisations and online services which have resources for family historians. Resources are listed by organisation and by type of information (eg wills, passenger lists), It does not have a specialist genealogy collection, or offer specialist genealogy services.
Resources for researching whakapapa are listed on our Maori Research pages.
Elma Turner Library resources
The Nelson Heritage Collection - holds a rich collection of published items about the wider Nelson region of relevance to genealogists.
These include local and family histories, local directories and electoral rolls.
- Newspapers - Nelson region newspapers are held from 1842. Click here for a full description of the print, archival and online news sources.
Library subscription databases
Ancestry Library Edition * (library database for use in the library only)
Trace your family history across more than 1.5 billion names from over 4,000 collections (mainly US and UK census and BMD records). New - additional NZ resources on Ancestry!
New Zealand Index
Includes the Bibliography of published New Zealand family histories
Nelson and region
Directory of local sources of information for genealogists
Early Settlers Database
Early ship records for Nelson immigrants
- Nelson Cemeteries records
Nelson & Bays GenWeb
A community generated list of resources, including indexes of births, names, passenger lists, regional cemetery records etc.
Searchable historical national and regional newspapers
- Tasman Cemetery records
New Zealand Resources
Auckland City Libraries - family history pages
Includes general information about how to research family history and useful NZ resources - some, but not all, accessible only to library members
- Bibliography of Published New Zealand Family Histories - available through FindNZ Articles.
Christchurch City Libraries family history pages
Resources and information about finding your family history
The Community Archive
NZ National Register of Archives and Manuscripts. An index of collections in museums, institutions and personal archives.
- ConnectionsNZL - a site with information and resources to help NZ people separated by adoption to reconnect;
A collection of the best websites for family historians provided by nzhistory.net. From nzhistory.net
Libraries around New Zealand
A listing from the National Library - some libraries have links to searchable databases including cemeteries.
Also see the New Zealand Libraries' Catalogue http://nzlc.natlib.govt.nz/ - a catalogue of NZ Library holdings
New Zealand Cemeteries
Websites of NZ Cemeteries
- New Zealand telephone books - current
Find Museums around the country
Births, Marriages and Deaths
- Births Marriages and Deaths Online - see the Historical Records section for births more than 100 years ago, marriages more than 80 years ago and deaths more than 50 years ago.
A database of over 33,000 New Zealanders who served in war and conflict from the South African War to the present day, and who are now deceased. It is primarily a roll of honour of those who died as a result of war service, but also includes some personnel who have died since.
A Memory Tree
A commercial site for people to record remembrances, which includes a free database of all the names published in NZ newspaper death notices since December 2006.
New Zealand Herald Bereavements
Death notices and obituaries published in the New Zealand Herald over the last few year.
For information about current and historic census data and reports and the fate of census returns from individuals, see Census section of our research guide to Central & local Government information.
Despite the fact that Census forms were not officially kept until recently, some returns have been kept in regional repositories.
Alternative sources that list the names and details of large sections of the population ("census substitutes") include:
- jury and militia lists, which name adult males of qualifying age in the 1840s and 1850s (see Ancestry Library)
- electoral rolls, which name those registered to vote since 1853 (see Ancestry Library)
- postal directories, which name householders from the 1860s to the 1950s, and in the main cities until about 1980 (see Wises Directory on Ancestry Library)
- school admission and attendance registers, which name children of school age since the 1870s (occasionally earlier) (see Archway, Ancestors Attic Library, Church archives as relevant)
- telephone directories, which name subscribers since the 1880s (although most households didn’t have a phone before the 1950s) (held Nelson Public Libraries)
NZ Digital collections of interest to Genealogists
National Library Digital collections
Access the National Library's digital collections of text, pictures, objects and manuscripts, or search across all at once: http://find.natlib.govt.nz/
Digital New Zealand
Find NZ digital content from a wide range of collections and sites
- Early New Zealand Books
- New Zealand Electronic Text Centre
Genealogical resources from other countries
- Cyndi's Huge List of genealogy websites
Family history, family tree, and genealogy records and resources from around the world provided by the Church of the Latter Day Saints.
Important NZ resources are: New Zealand, Immigration Passenger Lists, 1855-1973 and New Zealand, Probate Records, 1848-1991
Information on family research and lists of web sites
Public and civil records
- Births, deaths and marriages - New South Wales
Various datasets of British records (pay per view).
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission Debt of Honour register
UK family history records ("pay as you go" search) and available at Tasman District Libraries
Free BMD (UK)
An ongoing project to provide free access to the Civil Registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales, and to provide free Internet access to the transcribed records.
- General Register Office - Ireland
- General Register Office - Northern Ireland
The National Archives (UK)
Births, Marriages and Deaths, Census etc.
UK 1901 Census Online
Free search of this census