New Zealand Compiled Genealogies

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The term genealogy is used in this outline and in the Family History Library Catalog to describe a variety of records containing family information gathered by individuals, other researchers, societies, or archives. These records may include pedigree charts, compiled information on families, correspondence, ancestor lists, research exchange files, record abstracts, and collections of original or copied documents. Genealogies can be excellent sources of information that can save you valuable time. Because they are compiled from other sources of information, they must be carefully evaluated for accuracy.

Major Collections and Databases

The Family History Library has several sources that contain previous research which can lead you to others who are interested in sharing family information. These sources include:

  • International Genealogical Index (IGI). The IGI provides names, birth dates and places, christening dates and places, marriage dates and places for millions of deceased British and hundreds of thousands of deceased New Zealanders. The IGI is available on microfiche and on compact disc as part of FamilySearch.

Because of patronymic naming customs among the Maori people, the International Genealogical Index arranges these records under both the given name and the surname. On the compact disc edition, you can search for just the surname or under both the given name and the surname.

  • Ancestral File. This file is a part of FamilySearch and contains lineage-linked family history information in family groups and pedigrees that has been contributed since 1979. As of June, 1998, the file contains the names of millions of persons, including many thousands of New Zealand families. Ancestral File can print pedigree charts, family group records, and individual summary sheets for any person in the file.
  • Family Group Records Archives. Gathered submissions by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there are over 8 million families listed. This includes many New Zealand and Maori families. These records include: the Archive Section, the Old Patron Section and the Patron Section. The film numbers are listed in the Author/Title search of the microfiche version of the Family History Library Catalog under:


  • British Vital Records Index. This is an index containing 4.5 million entries of births, marriages and christenings from each country in the British Isles. This is available on CD through the Salt Lake Distribution or foreign country Family History Service Center (write to the Salt Lake Family History Library for addresses and telephone numbers).

K.A. Johnson & M.R. Sainty, The Genealogical Research Directory. Sydney, Australia: the authors, 1985- . (FHL book 929.1025 G286grd.)

Family Histories

Some New Zealand families have produced histories or newsletters that may include genealogical information, biographies, photographs, and other excellent information. These usually include several generations of the family.

The Family History Library has a few published New Zealand family histories and newsletters. Copies at the Family History Library are listed in the Surname search of the Family History Library Catalog. Not every name found in a family history will be listed in the catalog. Only the major surnames discussed in a family history are included. The National Library of New Zealand also has a collection of family histories.

Unpublished and manuscript family histories are sometimes found in special collections of universities and colleges and with private individuals. These unpublished family histories are generally inaccessible for research unless you can contact a representative of the family who deposited them.

Genealogical Collections

The Family History Library has a few collections of genealogical material for New Zealand families. These may include published and unpublished collections of family histories and lineages, as well as the research files of prominent genealogists. One of the more significant collections in the Family History Library pertains to the Maori whakapaka (genealogies). One of the major genealogical collections is:

New Zealand oral genealogy project. Oral Genealogy Interview[s] 1973-1979. (FHL film 990,404.) This film inventories the oral genealogies of many of the New Zealand Maori tribal nations. It is a detailed inventory of audio taped oral interviews conducted by Irene Davies in behalf of the Family History Department, along with the audio tape numbers.

There are also collections of some Maori whakapapa at the Temple View Family History Center in New Zealand. Permission from the families may be needed to view some of these records.

A few New Zealand family histories are available in the Family History Library, normally listed under the surname of the family. Some collections of New Zealand pedigrees for the Maori are found in:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Genealogical Department Records Processing Division/Manual Processing Collections, 1949-1981. Salt Lake City, Utah: 1989. (FHL films 1553385-391.)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Temple View Branch Genealogical Library (New Zealand). Family Group Sheets, April 1958-January 1984. Salt Lake City, Utah. 1984. (FHL films 1363907-915; 1363904-905; 1363916-935.)

Cole, William A. The Cole-Jenson Collection. Salt Lake City, Utah. 1984. (FHL films 1358001-009.)

The New Zealand Society of Genealogists has created several major New Zealand record collections.  For information go to

A few genealogical collections are listed in the Family History Library Catalog under the following :




Because much of New Zealand’s European population came from Great Britain, searches of British compiled sources should be made. The following publications are some which list sources for published family histories and pedigrees or give biographical information:

Marshall, George W. The Genealogist’s Guide. Reprint of 1903 ed. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company 1980. (FHL book 929.142 M356g 1980.)

Stephens, Leslie and Sidney Lee. Dictionary of National Biography. Reprint. Oxford, Massachusetts: Oxford University Press, 1993. (FHL book 920.042 D561n 1993, 22 vols..)

If you find your surname in any of the sources described in this section, determine whether the entry actually pertains to your family. One way to help determine if a published or printed family history relates to your family is to note the locality of the surname. Often, you will have to do some additional research before you can connect your ancestry to families listed in these sources.

External Links