Family history

Family History

Discover your family’s history using online resources.


Pauline Cotter, Deputy Mayor speaks on Adventures and Adversities: The Cotter Family Story, Christchurch Family History Expo 2023.
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Family history events

Tūranga - Introduction to Family History (6 week programme)

May 15th | 10:00am - 12:00pm
Join our Family History librarians for a course which will introduce you to our key research resources. Cost $16.43, including booking fee.

Family History help drop-in sessions

Selected dates and times
Upper Riccarton & Shirley Libraries
Regular weekly sessions with someone from the New Zealand Society of Genealogists - Upper Riccarton on Wednesdays and Shirley on Saturdays.

Christchurch Family History Expo 2023

Sessions for beginners, expert speakers, and fun family activities - explore the history of your whānau at Tūranga, 18 to 20 August.

Family History at Home

Explore family history resources you can use at home.

If you need help, ring, email or chat to our librarians, or you can even book a librarian to help you over the phone.

Family History at Home

Family history videos

Finding a Birth

Some tips and tricks for finding the record of a birth.

Finding a marriage

Some tips and tricks for finding the record of a marriage.

Finding a Burial

Some tips and tricks for finding the record of a death or burial.

Family History eResources

Ancestry Library Edition

Trace your family history. Includes records from U.S., U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Only available in libraries.

Find My Past

A family history & genealogy website covering U.K., Ireland, Australia, N.Z., Canada, U.S., Papua New Guinea & the Pacific Islands.

Papers Past

Digitised NZ newspapers, periodicals, letters, diaries & parliamentary papers from 1839 to 1945. Coverage incl The Press from 1861 to 1945.

Christchurch Street and Place Names

Explore this resource that explains the origins of Christchurch street and place names.

Gale Primary Sources

Search a selection of newspaper and magazine archives, monographs all cross-searchable.

New Zealand Gazette Archive

Copies of issues of the New Zealand Gazette and related publications from 1841 to the present.

The British Newspaper Archive

Offering online access to millions of pages of British and Irish newspapers from 1703-2003. In library use only.

Canterbury Stories

Canterbury Stories is our place for collecting and presenting online collections from our digitised archives, photographs and community.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers

Digital archive of full text and full image newspapers dating back to the 18th century.

MyHeritage Library edition

Family history/genealogy resource including more than 6 billion historical ​records from around the world

Christchurch City Council Cemeteries Database

This database covers interments in Christchurch City Council managed cemeteries.

Just added

Meet the Locals - Florence Ethel Scapens

Joyce looks at the life of gifted violin prodigy Florence "Scapini" Scapens in this slice of Christchurch music history.

The young men of Singleton House

Kat looks at the lives and fortunes of four young 19th century men who at one point shared a home in Lyttelton.

Online family history resources

Online eBooks that go beyond the obvious and could help with your family history research.

Extra extra! Read all about it! British Newspaper Archives

Digitised newspaper archives are The Best. Katherine shows you how they make history and bygone society more easily accessible to us.

Local history

Explore our resources about local people, places and history.
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