Updated: 5 November 2012

Here are some places that I’ve found useful for information.  They’re in no particular order and I’ve not included the pay sites.


Cyndi’s List

You never know what new and interesting things you might find here.  You can search by location and record type.

Cyndi has recently blogged that her site has been ripped off by a pay-site (1 Nov 2012).  Her site is FREE.  Don’t pay for what you don’t need to.

Family Search

The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints are really into their family trees and their website has come great stuff on it.  Take time to search the collections (under ‘Browse by Location’) as not all their records are indexed.

They do articles on different things.  Their article on “Rookie Mistakes” is worth a read – even if you’re a seasoned pro!

FreeReg / FreeBMD / FreeCen

These three volunteer projects are aiming to transcribe UK parish registers, the BMD indexes from 1837 and the Censuses.  The information is ever increasing.  It’s an ongoing project and if you want to give back to the genealogical community, you can volunteer to become a transcriber.    I’ve done it and it’s as time consuming as you’d like it to be.

National Archives – UK

All sorts of things can be found here.  Some such as wills can be downloaded online for a small fee (or free is you’re a member of the NZSG).  Good place to find documents before you visit.


A great site for finding out what records (eg parish records) are available where.

British History Online

If your ancestors owned sizable property in Britain, you may find references to their holdings here.  There can often be genealogical info on who inherited what from whom and who they passed it on to.

Discussion Boards

There are lots of these around.  Some are general.  Others are location or surname specific.  If you’re posting for the first time, please include as much info as possible. ‘My grandfather was born in London in the 19th century’ is not going to get you many friends or many answers!  And there are heaps of Helpful People out there who will look up things for you if you ask nicely with lots of detail.  And remember to say thanks.


Worldwide scope.  You can search by surname or location.


Worldwide scope.  Covers everything from beginners to illegible handwriting to military to … Searchable and you post by location.


Worldwide scope – owned by  Searchable by location or topic.

New Zealand Resources

Papers Past

This site gets better every day as they index more and more papers.  Note that the index is only as good as the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) which can sometimes be off.  If you have a date, you can go to a specific issue of a paper and have a look.  Good for finding out which of your ancestors got in trouble for parking their horse in the wrong place!

Trade Me Discussion Board – Genealogy

Lots of very Helpful People here.  But don’t post here if you’ve posted elsewhere.  The Helpful People peruse many of the discussion boards.

NZ Births Deaths & Marriages Online

– Births that occurred at least 100 years ago
– Stillbirths that occurred at least 50 years ago
– Marriages that occurred at least 80 years ago
– Deaths that occurred at least 50 years ago or the deceased’s date of birth was at least 80 years ago.

Gives you the option to order any certificates online – and receive them by email.  Birth records are excellent as the index gives you the parents forenames.  More recent death records give the date of birth.  The first four numbers of the registration number is the year of the event.  You can get the specific date (without ordering anything) but it requires trial and error playing with the dates in the search (thanks Ken for that!).

Archives New Zealand – Archway

Once you have a Reader’s Card from Archives NZ, you can use Archway to look for documents and order them before you visit.  Needless to say there is a wide range of information out there.  One tip, if you’re looking for a specific document (eg a divorce) you may have to search for Divorce in the year you think it happened and then go and have a look.  Not all records are indexed by name.

Wellington Libraries

WCL have a number of online databases including the Times Digital Archive 1785 – 2006 (great if you have rich London ancestors like I do, or are interested in general history).  Using your Library Card (so limited to Wellingtonians!) you can acces these databases from the comfort of your own computer.