Discover your family’s history at our libraries
Find out what New Zealand family history resources we hold or can access, the information you are going to find in those resources, and when you need to look elsewhere. Our main focus is Christchurch and Canterbury information from the 19th and early 20th century.
In addition to physical resources, Christchurch City Libraries also provides access to Family History eResources like Ancestry.com Library Edition.
How to begin your family history
The basic rules of research, answering specific questions about individuals and writing it all up.
Caring for family papers and photographs
A brief guide to caring for precious family records and links to further sources of information.
Family History Computers
There are dedicated research computers at:
- Tuakiri | Identity, Level 2, Tūranga,
- Fendalton Library
- Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre
- Lyttelton Library
- Shirley Library
- Upper Riccarton Library
Family history events
Browse family history events at the library.
Family history online sessions
Watch our Family history sessions on YouTube.
Online Family History and research topics - Starting your family history with charts and trees
Finding family information
Major life events
Arriving and living in New Zealand.
- Shipping and passenger information
- Naturalisation records: what resources are available when an immigrant was not British
- Directories, Electoral rolls and Land: information about where people lived, voted and land they held
Filling in the gaps
Extra details to add to your family history.
- Biographical: resources that provide information about an individual
- Churches, Education and Hospitals, Orphanages and Charitable Aid: finding institutional histories and records
- Business: company and bankruptcy information
- Employment: resources and records about occupations
- Government and Justice: politicians, petitions, police and court information
- Local History: finding local historical information and societies and museums
- Newspapers: what newspapers can provide during your family history research
- War: find out about servicemen and women by visiting our New Zealanders at War guides
Where to next?
Where to next?
Links to other organisations and international information.
The New Zealand Family History pages focus on European resources, primarily Christchurch and Canterbury information, from the 19th and early 20th century.
For Māori information the best starting places are our Whakapapa guide - to resources within Christchurch City Libraries, and the other whakapapa links provided from our website.