Family History Research in Auckland

This past weekend I was able to spend some time doing one of my favourite things – family history.

Not my own, in this instance, but for an in-law’s family.  This is great as it gives me the opportunity to learn all about the resources available for research in New Zealand.
In this instance I was able to look through the Indexes to the Sacramental Registers for the Catholic parishes here in Auckland.  Not only did this turn out to be very useful for my in-law’s research, but it was nice to visit with and use data that I helped to transcribe some ten or so years ago.  In my case I helped transcribe data from the Paeroa and district areas.

So in conjunction with the screeds of information that I gathered, I went for a wander through the internet looking for cemetery details.  I know it sounds morbid, but it can be a huge help sorting out one family from another when you don’t have census details to make this possible.

Since my last foray into the online databases there have been some notable additions – Manuakau Memorial Gardens and Waikumete Cemetery have finally joined us in the 21st century. Hurrah !!  They must be about the biggest cemeteries in Auckland, so it is wonderful that their databases are now available.

And finally I revisited Papers Past and was impressed to see that their search software appears to be improving and that false returns from fuzzy old newspaper scans are decreasing.

After such a nice few hours of hobby indulgence I thought I would bring those links to you, just in case you feel the need to research your Kiwi families.

Online Cemetery Database Links

Auckland City Library’s Online Digital Library – Family History
– you can search cemetery information, and other local government items too.

Manukau Memorial Gardens
– the genealogy database for Manukau Memorial Gardens

Waikumete Cemetery
– the genealogical database for Waikumete Cemetery

Wellington City Cemeteries
– this seems to have been updated since my last visit, as I have found people not showing up before.

New Plymouth District Council Cemetery Database
– another lovely database, with very helpful back-up from the council by email.

Hauraki District Council Cemetery Database
– Paeroa, Waihi and Hauraki Plains are covered here.

And, finally, another excellent source of cemetery and cemetery records links can be found at the Christchurch City Library site.

Then there is the wonderful online Papers Past site.  Great stuff for general historical research, but also rather nifty for finding those illustrious and not-so-illustrious ancestors.  This has rather made my other blog NZ Newspaper Articles somewhat defunct.  In the past year the National Library has added search software that makes transcription a little less of a requirement.  The software isn’t quite 100%, so I would recommend that you scan through editions if you believe that family may have had cause to appear and to consider editions outside the immediate area of residence.  “Telegraphs from…” is a popular feature in most 19th century papers and will often name individuals from the complete opposite end of the country.  If an unexpected location pops up in your search results – do check it, it may have been newsworthy elsewhere.

There ends the family history entry for this month.  😉

– – –

For those who may be interested but new to the idea of family history research, I am happy to help with information, guidance and if I have the time even a little bit of research.  As long as you don’t expect miracles and instantaneous gratification, I’m sure I can dig up a little bit of information for you while I am pursuing my own family matters.  Consider this my little contribution to random acts of genealogical kindness.  🙂

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