Resources for genealogists

Our Research Collections team is able to assist you with your family history research. Come in and visit us and make use of our vast selection of genealogy resources in Ngā Wāhi Rangahau on the first floor of the Tauranga library.

Archives & manuscripts

Unique unpublished material

Diaries, letters, and other records of Bay of Plenty families, businesses, churches, clubs and organisations.
Archdeacon Brown’s original papers (The Elms Collection – restricted: microfilms and typescripts available for consultation).


Published and printed material

Family History Reference Collection 

Research Guides, shipping, map books, directories, Burke’s Peerage and dictionaries of surnames.

General New Zealand and Pacific Reference Collection

Local histories, family histories, official war histories, school jubilee publications, biographies; Dictionary of New Zealand Biography: the latest (1990-2000) and Scholefield (1940); Who’s Who in New Zealand: up-to-date and earlier versions

Sladden Collection 

Rare material, including all volumes of the Cyclopaedia of New Zealand (1897)


New Zealand Genealogist
Family Tree (UK and NZ versions)
Practical Family History
Family History Monthly
The Volunteers (Military history)
Tauranga Historical Society Journal
Historical Review (Whakatane Historical Society)
Ohinemuri Historical Society Journal
There are many useful journals – this is just a selection


Not everything is online!

New Zealand births/deaths/marriages index 1840-1990

Māori births/deaths 1913-1960
Māori marriages 1911-1951
Births/deaths/marriages from provincial newspapers and church records
Directories and provincial rolls
Accidents, obituaries, biographies, wills
Cemetery transcripts
Government – miscellaneous
Māori land claims 1855-1955
Military – miscellaneous including war deaths in both World Wars
Patents 1860-1890
Religion – officiating ministers 1848-1900
Settlers and land – Canterbury, Otago, Taranaki
Shipping – Comber Index, etc.
Turnbull Biographies Index
Women named in the Cyclopaedia of New Zealand
Pre-1900 families index
IGI New Zealand
IGI England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Pacific Islands
Australia: Victoria births/marriages 1853-1913, deaths 1853-1960; New South Wales births/deaths/marriages pre 1856-1905; South Australia, Northern Territories, Tasmania miscellaneous

New Zealand births, deaths and marriages index 1840 – 1990.

Births, deaths and marriages from provincial newspapers and church records; directories and provincial rolls; accidents, obituaries, biographies, wills, bankruptcies; cemetery transcripts; citizenship/naturalisations.


Electoral rolls, newspapers, Archdeacon Brown’s papers
New Zealand Woman’s Weekly

Maps and Charts

Tauranga and districts from 1865
Tauranga harbour and other New Zealand charts from mid-1800s
Pacific voyages and early explorers

Electronic Information

The library subscribes to Ancestry.com, FindMyPast.com and The British Newspaper Archive. These are all freely accessible on Public PCs in our Learning Centre and in Research Collections.

Tauranga Memories

An online resource about the history of the Western Bay of Plenty. 
Tauranga Memories 

Genealogy computers in Research Collections

Has Early Auckland Births & Deaths; BDMs from The New Zealander, Gallipoli; NZ Marriages; NZ Burial Locator; Tauranga Burials and Cremations; NZ Society of Genealogists’ Index; and other resources. Use these computers to access Ancestry.com which has UK Census records 1841 – 1911, and NZ electoral rolls 1853 – 1981. Search FindMyPast.com for birth records, census data and obituaries and The British Newspaper Archive which has over 22 million pages dating from the 1700s.


Over 10,000 images on a searchable database of Tauranga and districts – people, places and events.

Bay of Plenty Newspapers

Bay of Plenty Times 1872 to date (microfilm or hard copy), indexed 1872-1920, 1980 to date Daily Southern Cross 1861-1876 (microfilm)
Te Puke Times 1913-1975 (microfilm; 1970 missing), 1976 to date (hard copy)
Bay of Plenty Mirror 1972-1974
Tauranga Argus and Tauranga Record 1866-1868
Bay Sun 1975-1988
Katikati Advertiser 1969 to date (microfilm or hard copy)
Tauranga Photo News 1962-1970
Mount News 1975-1985 (microfilm)
Mount and Papamoa Times 1990-2001
Bay News 1991 to date
Weekend Sun 2001 to date

As New Zealand didn’t keep its census forms, electoral rolls are vital for research

Tauranga Burgess Rolls 1886 – 1891; 1893 – 1900
Local electoral rolls for Tauranga
Parliamentary electoral rolls for New Zealand: microfilm 1854 to early 1900s, 1941, 1949; microfiche 1898 – 1938, 1943, 1946, 1954 – 81; hard copy 1984 to the latest version
Wises: microfiche 1866 – 1955; hard copy 1911, 1939, 1956, 1957, 1958
Wises Te Puke 1892 – 1951; Te Puna 1910 – 1951; Maketu 1910 – 1925; Katikati 1891 – 1951

A selection of hard copy directories for the 19th and 20th centuries for different regions of New Zealand.
Current telephone directories of all New Zealand
Bay of Plenty telephone directories 1949 to latest version

Māori Reference Collection including family reunions, Waitangi tribunal reports, Raupatu document bank, Tauranga Māori Land Court minute books.

Full access available at your library

British Newspaper Archive
Search newspaper pages from the British Library’s vast collection.

Find My Past
Search through billions of family history records from across the globe, including birth, marriage and death records, census records, military records, historical newspapers and lots more. 

Trace your family history across billions of records, including census, vital, military and immigration records from the United Kingdom, Ireland, United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand (Access normally available within the library only. Temporary access from home has been provided by Ancestry until 30 April 2020. You will need your library card and PIN).

Related Information

Tauranga City Council Online Cemeteries Database
Information regarding burial locations for all six cemeteries operated by Tauranga City Council; however it does not include Mission Cemetery or Māori burial grounds information.

Archives New Zealand  
Te Rua Mahara o te Kawanatanga is the official guardian of New Zealand’s public archives.

Papers Past
Digitised NZ newspapers, letters, diaries, magazines and parliamentary papers from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Family Search
Images and index of ship passenger lists from 1839 – 1973.

NZ Society of Genealogists
Assistance for people wishing to compile family histories from sources in NZ and overseas.

Family History Charts

Family history research guide

Family group chart

Last Reviewed: 31/03/2020

Please enter the code shown
Enter the code shown above in the box below.