Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Search for historical New Zealand Births, Deaths & Marriages

Dick Eastman announced today in his Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter that New Zealand has just launched a search facility for historical birth, death and marriage records. This includes births at least 100 years ago (stillbirths, at least 50 years ago); marriages 80 years ago; deaths at least 50 years ago (or if the deceased's date of birth was at least 80 years ago).

This is very good news - many British Columbians, as well as other Canadians, will have family ties to New Zealand. I know there are some 200 people born in New Zealand listed in the BC Genealogical Society's 1901 census index for B.C., for example. I am interested in more information about Ethel Imrie CUTHBERTSON - later TUFTS, born in New Zealand, who was active locally in Vancouver during the Nanaimo area coal miners' strike, 1912-1914. (Some of you who know me on-line will notice that her initials and last name look very familiar - eicuthbertson.)

I've had a look at the New Zealand website and indeed, I do see information relevant to my research. Births and deaths have been officially recorded in New Zealand since 1848; marriages since 1854. There were also registers for marriages overseas and war deaths since World War I. Māori marriages were required to be recorded from 1911 and from 1913, Māori births and deaths were to be recorded.

The search is free, although the information given is limited - there are charges involved after that. I suspect this site is already getting a lot of use - it seems as if it's been 'busy' for the last hour.

For the full announcement and the link to the New Zealand's Department of Internal Affairs website, see Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter.

Another of Dick Eastman's readers, Roger, commented that Dick Eastman also has a note about his Roots Television interview with Clark Stiles of the National Library of New Zealand about 'Papers Past' - New Zealand's historical newspaper digitization project - now with 42 newspapers and 4 periodicals from 1839. The National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa is responsible for this entire project which could be very useful in locating free newspaper notices to complement birth, marriage and death records.

This is a great source of information - all free - and under the Papers Past Terms of Use, anyone is allowed to reproduce material from the website, provided credit is given to the National Library of New Zealand as the source. This is different from some of the other public, private and commercial historical newspaper web projects. Sadly Canada which was once the world leader in historical newspaper digitization has lost its initiative in that field. More about that another day.

And remember - New Zealand's URL country code .NZ is pronounced * N Zed * just as in Canada, eh!

1 comment:

Mark Leier said...

Would very much like to talk with you about E.I. Cuthbertson, as I've found some information about her as I revise my book Rebel Life: she lived with the book's subject, Robert Gosden, for several years, and I've recently found a neat story about them from 1918. My email is, telephone 778-782-4450. Best wishes, Mark Leier