New Zealanders in World War 2 – Family Information

The following Family History resources may provide genealogical information about service personnel and their families.

Church Register Index
An index to baptisms, burials and marriages recorded in the registers of churches in Christchurch and north Canterbury. Details of each baptism, marriage and burial are recorded on cards which are filed in red catalogue drawers. Although not comprehensive, the index does include references to many Canterbury families. It may include the baptism or marriage of the serviceman himself, as well as information on his parents, grandparents, siblings and other family members.
Obituaries index [microfiche]
An alphabetical index to obituaries published in The Press newspaper from 1876-1994. This index might include obituaries for some well-known service personnel, or for other members of their families, most likely fathers, grandfathers or brothers.
G. R. Macdonald dictionary of biographies index
Biographies compiled by G. R. Macdonald of 19th century Canterbury pioneers are held on microfiche at the Canterbury Museum library. An index to these biographies is held on Tuakiri | Identity, Level 2, Tūranga. This may include references to the parents and grandparents of service personnel.
Cemetery transcriptions
The library holds transcriptions of the gravestones in Canterbury cemeteries. There is a master index to all the cemeteries and each individual volume also contains a cemetery-specific index. Most cemeteries include a section for the burial of returned servicemen. The library also holds New Zealand cemetery records on microfiche, which contain transcriptions of gravestones in cemeteries around New Zealand.
Alexander Turnbull Library Biographical Index [microfiche]
For many years (ca. 1920-1990) the Turnbull Library created scrapbooks of newspaper cuttings about people, especially obituaries. These scrapbooks are on microfiche and are available in the Family History area. The index includes references to the scrapbook obituaries, as well as to other sources of information about a wide range of people from all around New Zealand.

Electronic resources

Ancestry Library Edition
Access a wide variety of content including military history to help trace your family history.
Christchurch City Council Cemeteries Database
Details of interments from Christchurch City Council cemeteries.
Find My Past
A genealogy website covering Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. Includes military records.

See our list of Family History eResources for more.


Cenotaph database
A database of over 33,000 New Zealanders who served in war and conflict from the South African War to the present day, and who are now deceased.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Register of Commonwealth war dead and details cemeteries, burial plots and memorials.
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