New Zealand Civil Registration- Vital Records

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Civil registration is the government administered registration of births, marriages and deaths. The records refer to critical events in a person's life. Civil registration records are an excellent source for information on names, dates, and places of births, marriages, and deaths.
+
''[[New Zealand|New Zealand]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[New Zealand Civil Registration- Vital Records|Civil Registration]]''
  
Civil registration records are crucial for research in New Zealand. They cover a large part of the population and the records are indexed from 1848. They are easily accessible and contain a rich amount of genealogical information.
+
Civil registration is the government administered registration of births, marriages and deaths. The records refer to critical events in a person's life. Civil registration records are an excellent source for information on names, dates, and places of births, marriages, and deaths.  
  
For birth, marriage and death records prior to 1848, see the "[[New Zealand Church Records|Church Records]]" section of this outline.
+
Civil registration records are crucial for research in New Zealand. They cover a large part of the population and the records are indexed from 1848. They are easily accessible and contain a rich amount of genealogical information.  
  
=== General Historical Background ===
+
''See the FamilySearch tutorial ''[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/new-zealand-births-deaths-and-marriages-online/34 ''"New Zealand Births, Deaths, and Marriages Online"'''' ''']''
  
Civil authorities began registering births, marriages, and deaths of the European population in 1848. After this date, most individuals residing in New Zealand were recorded. From 1867, civil registration also included records of divorce. Compulsory registration of Maori marriages began in 1911. Registration of Maori births and deaths followed in 1913, though not all Maoris complied at that time.
+
For birth, marriage and death records prior to 1848, see [[New Zealand Church Records]].  
  
Civil registration required individuals to register vital events, with the local district registrar and a copy was sent to the Registrar General’s Office. Not all events were properly registered because:
+
=== General Historical Background  ===
  
* Registration was not compulsory until 1856.
+
Civil authorities began registering births, marriages, and deaths of the European population in 1848. After this date, most individuals residing in New Zealand were recorded. From 1867, civil registration also included records of divorce. Compulsory registration of Maori marriages began in 1911. Registration of Maori births and deaths followed in 1913, though not all Maoris complied at that time.  
* Some district registrars occasionally held off sending in registration of an event for a brief time, and you may find the year of the registration later than the actual year of the event.
+
  
=== Information Recorded in Civil Registers ===
+
Civil registration required individuals to register vital events, with the local district registrar and a copy was sent to the Registrar General’s Office. Not all events were properly registered because:
  
The information recorded in civil registration records varied over time. The later records generally give more complete information than the earlier ones.
+
*Registration was not compulsory until 1856.
 +
*Some district registrars occasionally held off sending in registration of an event for a brief time, and you may find the year of the registration later than the actual year of the event.
  
The most important civil records for genealogical research are photocopies of original entries from the registers of birth, marriage, and death. Certified copies (certificates) are legal documents which normally do not provide all the information given in the original entries, and are therefore not as valuable for genealogical research. Photocopies of original entries are also less expensive to obtain than certificates.
+
=== Information Recorded in Civil Registers  ===
  
'''Births.''' Birth records generally give:
+
The information recorded in civil registration records varied over time. The later records generally give more complete information than the earlier ones.
  
* Child’s name
+
The most important civil records for genealogical research are photocopies of original entries from the registers of birth, marriage, and death. Certified copies (certificates) are legal documents which normally do not provide all the information given in the original entries, and are therefore not as valuable for genealogical research. Photocopies of original entries are also less expensive to obtain than certificates.  
* Child’s sex
+
* Date and place of birth
+
* Names of the parents-including the maiden surname of the mother
+
* Father’s occupation
+
* Parent’s signature
+
* If a child’s name was changed after the registration of birth, then the altered name may be given.
+
  
Some points to keep in mind include the following:
+
'''Births.''' Birth records generally give:  
  
* After 1876, birth records provide additional details, such as the birthplace and age of the parents. After 1880, the date and place of the parents’ marriage and their length of residence in New Zealand is provided.
+
*Child’s name
* Births were generally registered within a few days of the child’s birth by the father, a close relative, or a neighbor.
+
*Child’s sex
* For Stillborns, see under "Deaths" in this section.
+
*Date and place of birth
* Late registrations of births were kept by the Registrar General for registrations occuring at least two years after the birth. The name appears in the index for the year the birth was registered.
+
*Names of the parents-including the maiden surname of the mother
* In 1894, an act of Parliament allowed for the re-registration of the birth of any child born out of wedlock in cases when the parents married after the child’s birth.
+
*Father’s occupation
 +
*Parent’s signature
 +
*If a child’s name was changed after the registration of birth, then the altered name may be given.
  
'''Marriages.''' Marriage registers give:
+
Some points to keep in mind include the following:  
  
* Date and place of the marriage
+
*After 1876, birth records provide additional details, such as the birthplace and age of the parents. After 1880, the date and place of the parents’ marriage and their length of residence in New Zealand is provided.
* Ages of the bride and groom
+
*Births were generally registered within a few days of the child’s birth by the father, a close relative, or a neighbor.
* Marital condition (whether single, widowed or divorced)
+
*For Stillborns, see under "Deaths" in this section.
* Names of the bride and groom
+
*Late registrations of births were kept by the Registrar General for registrations occuring at least two years after the birth. The name appears in the index for the year the birth was registered.
* Occupations
+
*In 1894, an act of Parliament allowed for the re-registration of the birth of any child born out of wedlock in cases when the parents married after the child’s birth.
* Signatures of the bride and groom (helpful in cases of a common surname)
+
* Names of witnesses
+
  
After 1880, marriage records also give the full names of parents (including mothers’ maiden names), the occupations of the fathers, and the birthplace and the residence of the bride and groom. They often include other information about the bride and groom such as their residences, and the name of the person giving consent. In cases of second and later marriages, they may include the names of previous spouse and the death date.
+
'''Marriages.''' Marriage registers give:
  
If you believe a marriage took place but cannot find a record of the marriage, search Records of Intent to Marry notices from 1856 to 1920. These are indexed from early to 1880. These notices provide a bit more information than that which is found in the certificates of marriage--including the name of the consenting adult for the minor and the length of residence. To find these in the Family History Library Catalog, look in the Place Search under:
+
*Date and place of the marriage  
 +
*Ages of the bride and groom
 +
*Marital condition (whether single, widowed or divorced)
 +
*Names of the bride and groom
 +
*Occupations
 +
*Signatures of the bride and groom (helpful in cases of a common surname)
 +
*Names of witnesses
  
NEW ZEALAND - CIVIL REGISTRATION
+
After 1880, marriage records also give the full names of parents (including mothers’ maiden names), the occupations of the fathers, and the birthplace and the residence of the bride and groom. They often include other information about the bride and groom such as their residences, and the name of the person giving consent. In cases of second and later marriages, they may include the names of previous spouse and the death date. CD 3282 New Zealand Marriage CD is available at Family History Library, SLC, from 1836-1956. 
  
The following records document the legal completion of a marriage.
+
If you believe a marriage took place but cannot find a record of the marriage, search Records of Intent to Marry notices from 1856 to 1920. These are indexed from early to 1880. These notices provide a bit more information than that which is found in the certificates of marriage--including the name of the consenting adult for the minor and the length of residence. To find these in the Family History Library Catalog, look in the Place Search under:
  
* '''Certified Copy (Certificate).''' This is a legal document, issued by the Registrar General, which normally does not provide all information given in the original registers of marriages.
+
NEW ZEALAND - CIVIL REGISTRATION
* '''Photocopies.''' A photocopy of the original entry from the marriage register gives all of the information that was provided when the marriage was registered and is the most desirable documentation for genealogy and family history.
+
* '''Marriage registers.''' Church ministers recorded in register books, the marriages they performed. Marriages often occurred where the bride resided.
+
  
'''Deaths.''' '''''Pre-1876''''' civil registrations of deaths generally give:
+
The following records document the legal completion of a marriage.
  
* Name of the deceased
+
*'''Certified Copy (Certificate).''' This is a legal document, issued by the Registrar General, which normally does not provide all information given in the original registers of marriages.
* Date and place of death
+
*'''Photocopies.''' A photocopy of the original entry from the marriage register gives all of the information that was provided when the marriage was registered and is the most desirable documentation for genealogy and family history.
* Place of residence
+
*'''Marriage registers.''' Church ministers recorded in register books, the marriages they performed. Marriages often occurred where the bride resided.
* Cause of death
+
* Sex of the deceased
+
* Age of the deceased
+
* Rank or occupation of the deceased
+
* Name, description and residence of the informant (especially helpful in cases of young children who died under the age of 18 as the informant is usually a parent)
+
  
'''Deaths. ''''''''Post-1876''''' death registers give:
+
'''Deaths.''' '''''Pre-1876''''' civil registrations of deaths generally give:  
  
* Birthplace of the deceased
+
*Name of the deceased  
* When and where buried
+
*Date and place of death
* Full names of parents--including the mother’s maiden surname
+
*Place of residence
* Father’s rank or occupation
+
*Cause of death
* To whom, where and at what age married
+
*Sex of the deceased
* Age of surviving spouse
+
*Age of the deceased
* Sometimes religious denomination
+
*Rank or occupation of the deceased
* Ages and gender of living children
+
*Name, description and residence of the informant (especially helpful in cases of young children who died under the age of 18 as the informant is usually a parent)
* Length of residence in New Zealand
+
  
Civil registrations of death often exist for individuals for whom there are no birth or marriage records. Deaths were usually registered within a few days of death and they were recorded at the office of the district registrar in the district where the death occurred.
+
'''Deaths. ''Post-1876'''''death registers give''':'''
  
In 1913, stillbirth registration began. The laws of New Zealand provided that when a child died within a few days of birth, it was recorded as a stillbirth. If the still birth was unregistered as a birth, it was to be registered as a death. Always be sure to search for it in the registrations of death.
+
*Birthplace of the deceased
 +
*When and where buried
 +
*Full names of parents--including the mother’s maiden surname
 +
*Father’s rank or occupation
 +
*To whom, where and at what age married
 +
*Age of surviving spouse
 +
*Sometimes religious denomination
 +
*Ages and gender of living children
 +
*Length of residence in New Zealand
  
'''Divorce Records.''' Civil officials began keeping divorce records in 1867. The Family History Library does not have New Zealand divorce records in their collection. You can obtain information from divorce records by contacting the Registrar General Office. The address is given later in this section.  Archives New Zealand also holds divorce records. See the "[[New Zealand Archives and Libraries|Archives and Libraries]]" section of this outline.
+
Civil registrations of death often exist for individuals for whom there are no birth or marriage records. Deaths were usually registered within a few days of death and they were recorded at the office of the district registrar in the district where the death occurred.  
  
=== Locating and Searching Civil Registration Records ===
+
In 1913, stillbirth registration began. The laws of New Zealand provided that when a child died within a few days of birth, it was recorded as a stillbirth. If the still birth was unregistered as a birth, it was to be registered as a death. Always be sure to search for it in the registrations of death.
  
Civil registration records are kept at two locations in New Zealand:
+
'''Divorce Records.''' Civil officials began keeping divorce records in 1867. The Family History Library does not have New Zealand divorce records in their collection. You can obtain information from divorce records by contacting the Registrar General Office. The address is given later in this section.  Archives New Zealand also holds divorce records. See [[New Zealand Archives and Libraries]].
  
* General Registrar’s (Central Registry) Office. Copies of the certificates of births, marriages and deaths were sent to this office from the local registration district offices. Indexes were produced from the returns of these certificates.
+
=== Locating and Searching Civil Registration Records  ===
* Local churches. You may visit the church where an event was recorded. <br />
+
  
To obtain certificates, visit the [http://www.bdm.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Services-Births-Deaths-and-Marriages-Index?OpenDocument Department of Internal Affairs Births, Marriages and Deaths Web site].
+
''See the FamilySearch tutorial&nbsp;''[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/new-zealand-births-deaths-and-marriages-online/34 ''"New Zealand Births, Deaths, and Marriages Online"''''&nbsp;''''']  
  
As of 2007, the mailing address for obtaining civil registration records is:
+
Civil registration records are kept at two locations in New Zealand:  
  
'''Births Deaths &amp; Marriages'''
+
*General Registrar’s (Central Registry) Office. Copies of the certificates of births, marriages and deaths were sent to this office from the local registration district offices. Indexes were produced from the returns of these certificates.
 +
*Local churches. You may visit the church where an event was recorded. <br>
  
PO Box 10-526<br />Wellington<br />Level 3, Boulcott House<br />47 Boulcott Street<br />Wellington<br />Email: [mailto:bdm.nz@dia.govt.nz <u>bdm.nz@dia.govt.nz</u>]<br />Freephone: 0800 22 52 52 (New Zealand only)<br />Telephone: (+64 4) 474-8150<br />Fax: (+64 4) 382-3515 (for certificate and printout orders)<br />Fax: (+64 4) 382-3613 (for general enquiries)
+
To obtain certificates, visit the [http://www.bdm.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Services-Births-Deaths-and-Marriages-Index?OpenDocument Department of Internal Affairs Births, Marriages and Deaths Web site].
  
'''Auckland<br />'''
+
As of 2007, the mailing address for obtaining civil registration records is:
  
Registrar of Births Deaths &amp; Marriages
+
'''Births Deaths &amp; Marriages'''
  
PO Box 6147<br />Level 6, AA Building<br />99 Albert Street<br />Auckland<br />Freephone: 0800 22 52 52 (New Zealand only)<br />Telephone: (+64 4) 474-8150<br />Fax: (+64 9) 362 7908
+
PO Box 10-526<br>Wellington<br>Level 3, Boulcott House<br>47 Boulcott Street<br>Wellington<br>Email: [mailto:bdm.nz@dia.govt.nz <u>bdm.nz@dia.govt.nz</u>]<br>Freephone: 0800 22 52 52 (New Zealand only)<br>Telephone: (+64 4) 474-8150<br>Fax: (+64 4) 382-3515 (for certificate and printout orders)<br>Fax: (+64 4) 382-3613 (for general enquiries)  
  
'''Christchurch'''
+
'''Auckland<br>'''  
  
Registrar of Births Deaths &amp; Marriages<br />Private Bag 25-211<br />NZI House<br />Level 6<br />96 Hereford Street<br />Christchurch<br />Freephone: 0800 22 52 52 (New Zealand only)<br />Telephone: (+64 4) 474-8150<br />Fax: (+64 3) 366-9141
+
Registrar of Births Deaths &amp; Marriages  
  
'''Manukau'''<br />Registrar of Births Deaths &amp; Marriages<br />PO Box 76-222<br />Level 1<br />Corner Amersham Way and Osterley Way<br />Manukau City<br />Freephone: 0800 22 52 52 (New Zealand only)<br />Telephone: (+64 4) 474-8150<br />Fax: (+64 9) 262-2404
+
PO Box 6147<br>Level 6, AA Building<br>99 Albert Street<br>Auckland<br>Freephone: 0800 22 52 52 (New Zealand only)<br>Telephone: (+64 4) 474-8150<br>Fax: (+64 9) 362 7908
  
'''Wellington'''<br />Registrar of Births Deaths &amp; Marriages<br />PO Box 10-526<br />Level 3, Boulcott House<br />47 Boulcott Street<br />Wellington<br />Freephone: 0800 22 52 52 (New Zealand only)<br />Telephone: (+64 4) 474-8150<br />Fax: (+64 4) 474-8147
+
'''Christchurch'''  
  
'''Contact Centre'''<br /> Freephone: 0800 22 52 52 (New Zealand only)<br /> Telephone: (+64 4) 474-8150<br /> Email: [mailto:bdm.nz@dia.govt.nz <u>bdm.nz@dia.govt.nz</u>]
+
Registrar of Births Deaths &amp; Marriages<br>Private Bag 25-211<br>NZI House<br>Level 6<br>96 Hereford Street<br>Christchurch<br>Freephone: 0800 22 52 52 (New Zealand only)<br>Telephone: (+64 4) 474-8150<br>Fax: (+64 3) 366-9141
  
Births, marriages and deaths were registered in the registration district where they occurred. The name of the registration district may be different than the name of the place where the actual event occurred. In the large cities, there may be several civil registration districts. When searching in the indexes, you can determine the registration district by its corresponding code number. A helpful guide for determining a registration district via code numbers is:
+
'''Manukau'''<br>Registrar of Births Deaths &amp; Marriages<br>PO Box 76-222<br>Level 1<br>Corner Amersham Way and Osterley Way<br>Manukau City<br>Freephone: 0800 22 52 52 (New Zealand only)<br>Telephone: (+64 4) 474-8150<br>Fax: (+64 9) 262-2404
  
Neill, Mary et. al. ''District Keys to the New Zealand Registration Indexes'' (FHL book 993.1 V2n Index v. 1-3.)
+
'''Wellington'''<br>Registrar of Births Deaths &amp; Marriages<br>PO Box 10-526<br>Level 3, Boulcott House<br>47 Boulcott Street<br>Wellington<br>Freephone: 0800 22 52 52 (New Zealand only)<br>Telephone: (+64 4) 474-8150<br>Fax: (+64 4) 474-8147
  
=== Indexes to Civil Registration Records ===
+
'''Contact Centre'''<br>Freephone: 0800 22 52 52 (New Zealand only)<br>Telephone: (+64 4) 474-8150<br>Email: [mailto:bdm.nz@dia.govt.nz <u>bdm.nz@dia.govt.nz</u>]
  
Births, marriages, and deaths were registered as they occurred and thus are arranged chronologically. Indexes can help you find your ancestor more easily. The Civil Registration records are indexed from 1848 to the present. In addition, there are indexes to marriages for 1840-1847, which were compiled from entries in church registers. Content of the indexes include the given name, surname, and a reference number. They are indexed annually (except the first three years after civil registration commenced). The Family History Library has copies of the indexes to 1920 on microfiche. Look in the Family History Library Catalog, Place Search, under:
+
Births, marriages and deaths were registered in the registration district where they occurred. The name of the registration district may be different than the name of the place where the actual event occurred. In the large cities, there may be several civil registration districts. When searching in the indexes, you can determine the registration district by its corresponding code number. A helpful guide for determining a registration district via code numbers is:  
  
NEW ZEALAND - CIVIL REGISTRATION - INDEXES
+
Neill, Mary et. al. ''District Keys to the New Zealand Registration Indexes'' (Family History Library{{FHL|378021|title-id|disp=&nbsp;book 993.1 V2n Index v. 1-3}}.)
  
The indexes are arranged by year and cover the entire country. To use the indexes, you must know the name, the approximate year when an event took place and at least generally, the place of the event. To protect the rights of privacy of living persons, most modern records have restrictions on their use and access.
+
=== Indexes to Civil Registration Records  ===
  
Be sure to contact the Registrar General’s Office for current fees for obtaining civil registration records. Some of the certificates and services you can obtain through the office are:
+
Births, marriages, and deaths were registered as they occurred and thus are arranged chronologically. Indexes can help you find your ancestor more easily. The Civil Registration records are indexed from 1848 to the present. In addition, there are indexes to marriages for 1840-1847, which were compiled from entries in church registers. Content of the indexes include the given name, surname, and a reference number. They are indexed annually (except the first three years after civil registration commenced). The Family History Library has copies of the indexes to 1920 on microfiche. Look in the Family History Library Catalog, Place Search, under: New Zealand, Civil Registration Indexes.&nbsp; CD 3282 Marriages from 1836-1956 is available at the Family History Library Salt Lake City, and perhaps many Family History Centres,&nbsp;or Libraries&nbsp;may have this CD.
  
* A photocopy of a birth, marriage or death entry
+
NEW ZEALAND - CIVIL REGISTRATION - INDEXES
* A certified copy of birth, marriage or death
+
* Personal inspection of an entry
+
* A search of the index for one name for a specified year
+
* Continuation of a search per each year
+
  
When writing to obtain a certificate be sure to send the following:
+
Online indexes to Civil Registration are available at https://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/search/
  
* Check or money order (in $N.Z. if writing from outside of country).
+
Certificates can be purchased online at this website.<br>
* International Reply Coupons, available from large post offices (or extra for postage)
+
* Full name and the sex of the person sought.
+
* Names of the parents, if known.
+
* Approximate date and place of the event.
+
* Your relationship to the person.
+
* Reason for the request (family history, family, etc.).
+
* Request for a photocopy of the complete original record.
+
  
If your request is unsuccessful, search for duplicate records that may have been filed in the district registration, or in the church registers (if you know the church in which the event took place).
+
The indexes are arranged by year and cover the entire country. To use the indexes, you must know the name, the approximate year when an event took place and at least generally, the place of the event. To protect the rights of privacy of living persons, most modern records have restrictions on their use and access.  
  
A useful online index matching brides and grooms, to be used in conjunction with the Registrar General's Marriage Index, is ''Varcoe's New Zealand Marriages Index ''found at http://marvin.otago.ac.nz/marriages/
+
Be sure to contact the Registrar General’s Office for current fees for obtaining civil registration records. Some of the certificates and services you can obtain through the office are:
  
=== Records at the Family History Library ===
+
*A photocopy of a birth, marriage or death entry
 +
*A certified copy of birth, marriage or death
 +
*Personal inspection of an entry
 +
*A search of the index for one name for a specified year
 +
*Continuation of a search per each year
  
The Family History Library has only the indexes to the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths in New Zealand. The indexes are on microfiche. The years covered are 1840 to 1920 for births and marriages, and 1848 to 1920 for deaths. Some Family History Centers in New Zealand as well as public libraries have the indexes on fiche up to 1990.
+
When writing to obtain a certificate be sure to send the following:
  
To find the microfiche call numbers for the indexes, look in the Family History Library Catalog, Place Search under :
+
*Check or money order (in $N.Z. if writing from outside of country).
 +
*International Reply Coupons, available from large post offices (or extra for postage)
 +
*Full name and the sex of the person sought.
 +
*Names of the parents, if known.
 +
*Approximate date and place of the event.
 +
*Your relationship to the person.
 +
*Reason for the request (family history, family, etc.).
 +
*Request for a photocopy of the complete original record.
  
NEW ZEALAND - CIVIL REGISTRATION - INDEXES
+
If your request is unsuccessful, search for duplicate records that may have been filed in the district registration, or in the church registers (if you know the church in which the event took place).
  
These indexes cannot be circulated to the Family History Centers.
+
A useful online index matching brides and grooms, to be used in conjunction with the Registrar General's Marriage Index, is ''Varcoe's New Zealand Marriages Index''found at http://marvin.otago.ac.nz/marriages/
  
For other civil records, look in the Family History Library Catalog, Place Search under:
+
=== Records at the Family History Library ===
  
NEW ZEALAND - CIVIL REGISTRATION
+
The Family History Library has only the indexes to the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths in New Zealand. The indexes are on microfiche. The years covered are 1840 to 1920 for births and marriages, and 1848 to 1920 for deaths. Some Family History Centers in New Zealand as well as public libraries have the indexes on fiche up to 1990.
  
NEW ZEALAND - VITAL RECORDS - INDEXES
+
At the'''Family History Library there is a New Zealand&nbsp; Marriage &nbsp;CD number 3282''', available on the British Floor B2.&nbsp; Marriages from 1836-1956 have been entered, and you can match the spouse straight away, and also the Folio Number, should you require a Certificate.
  
NEW ZEALAND - VITAL RECORDS
+
To find the microfiche call numbers for the indexes, look in the Family History Library Catalog, Place Search under&nbsp;:
  
=== Web Sites ===
+
NEW ZEALAND - CIVIL REGISTRATION - INDEXES
  
http://genealogy.about.com/cs/vitalrecords/
+
District Keys to New Zealand Registration Indexes 993 V22n
  
http://www.bdm.govt.nz/
+
These indexes cannot be circulated to the Family History Centers. Perhaps listing a query on a Genealogy site, folk would be willing to find the Registration District for you.&nbsp; One would have to quote the year,&nbsp; Birth or Death - the name of the person, and the number beside the name, if you are unable to get to Salt Lake City.&nbsp;
  
'''http://geneasearch.com/intl/aunz.htm'''
+
For other civil records, look in the Family History Library Catalog, Place Search under:  
  
'''http://olivetreegenealogy.com/ships/toausp01.shtml<br />'''
+
NEW ZEALAND - CIVIL REGISTRATION
  
http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/heritage/
+
NEW ZEALAND - VITAL RECORDS - INDEXES
 +
 
 +
NEW ZEALAND - VITAL RECORDS
 +
 
 +
=== External Links  ===
 +
 
 +
*http://genealogy.about.com/cs/vitalrecords/
 +
*http://www.bdm.govt.nz/
 +
*http://geneasearch.com/intl/aunz.htm
 +
*http://olivetreegenealogy.com/ships/toausp01.shtml
 +
*http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/heritage/
 +
 
 +
{{Template:Pros-NZ}}<br>
 +
 
 +
<br> {{Place|New Zealand}}
 +
 
 +
[[Category:New_Zealand]]

Revision as of 17:43, 12 September 2012

New Zealand Gotoarrow.png Civil Registration

Civil registration is the government administered registration of births, marriages and deaths. The records refer to critical events in a person's life. Civil registration records are an excellent source for information on names, dates, and places of births, marriages, and deaths.

Civil registration records are crucial for research in New Zealand. They cover a large part of the population and the records are indexed from 1848. They are easily accessible and contain a rich amount of genealogical information.

See the FamilySearch tutorial "New Zealand Births, Deaths, and Marriages Online"' 

For birth, marriage and death records prior to 1848, see New Zealand Church Records.

Contents

General Historical Background

Civil authorities began registering births, marriages, and deaths of the European population in 1848. After this date, most individuals residing in New Zealand were recorded. From 1867, civil registration also included records of divorce. Compulsory registration of Maori marriages began in 1911. Registration of Maori births and deaths followed in 1913, though not all Maoris complied at that time.

Civil registration required individuals to register vital events, with the local district registrar and a copy was sent to the Registrar General’s Office. Not all events were properly registered because:

  • Registration was not compulsory until 1856.
  • Some district registrars occasionally held off sending in registration of an event for a brief time, and you may find the year of the registration later than the actual year of the event.

Information Recorded in Civil Registers

The information recorded in civil registration records varied over time. The later records generally give more complete information than the earlier ones.

The most important civil records for genealogical research are photocopies of original entries from the registers of birth, marriage, and death. Certified copies (certificates) are legal documents which normally do not provide all the information given in the original entries, and are therefore not as valuable for genealogical research. Photocopies of original entries are also less expensive to obtain than certificates.

Births. Birth records generally give:

  • Child’s name
  • Child’s sex
  • Date and place of birth
  • Names of the parents-including the maiden surname of the mother
  • Father’s occupation
  • Parent’s signature
  • If a child’s name was changed after the registration of birth, then the altered name may be given.

Some points to keep in mind include the following:

  • After 1876, birth records provide additional details, such as the birthplace and age of the parents. After 1880, the date and place of the parents’ marriage and their length of residence in New Zealand is provided.
  • Births were generally registered within a few days of the child’s birth by the father, a close relative, or a neighbor.
  • For Stillborns, see under "Deaths" in this section.
  • Late registrations of births were kept by the Registrar General for registrations occuring at least two years after the birth. The name appears in the index for the year the birth was registered.
  • In 1894, an act of Parliament allowed for the re-registration of the birth of any child born out of wedlock in cases when the parents married after the child’s birth.

Marriages. Marriage registers give:

  • Date and place of the marriage
  • Ages of the bride and groom
  • Marital condition (whether single, widowed or divorced)
  • Names of the bride and groom
  • Occupations
  • Signatures of the bride and groom (helpful in cases of a common surname)
  • Names of witnesses

After 1880, marriage records also give the full names of parents (including mothers’ maiden names), the occupations of the fathers, and the birthplace and the residence of the bride and groom. They often include other information about the bride and groom such as their residences, and the name of the person giving consent. In cases of second and later marriages, they may include the names of previous spouse and the death date. CD 3282 New Zealand Marriage CD is available at Family History Library, SLC, from 1836-1956. 

If you believe a marriage took place but cannot find a record of the marriage, search Records of Intent to Marry notices from 1856 to 1920. These are indexed from early to 1880. These notices provide a bit more information than that which is found in the certificates of marriage--including the name of the consenting adult for the minor and the length of residence. To find these in the Family History Library Catalog, look in the Place Search under:

NEW ZEALAND - CIVIL REGISTRATION

The following records document the legal completion of a marriage.

  • Certified Copy (Certificate). This is a legal document, issued by the Registrar General, which normally does not provide all information given in the original registers of marriages.
  • Photocopies. A photocopy of the original entry from the marriage register gives all of the information that was provided when the marriage was registered and is the most desirable documentation for genealogy and family history.
  • Marriage registers. Church ministers recorded in register books, the marriages they performed. Marriages often occurred where the bride resided.

Deaths. Pre-1876 civil registrations of deaths generally give:

  • Name of the deceased
  • Date and place of death
  • Place of residence
  • Cause of death
  • Sex of the deceased
  • Age of the deceased
  • Rank or occupation of the deceased
  • Name, description and residence of the informant (especially helpful in cases of young children who died under the age of 18 as the informant is usually a parent)

Deaths. Post-1876death registers give:

  • Birthplace of the deceased
  • When and where buried
  • Full names of parents--including the mother’s maiden surname
  • Father’s rank or occupation
  • To whom, where and at what age married
  • Age of surviving spouse
  • Sometimes religious denomination
  • Ages and gender of living children
  • Length of residence in New Zealand

Civil registrations of death often exist for individuals for whom there are no birth or marriage records. Deaths were usually registered within a few days of death and they were recorded at the office of the district registrar in the district where the death occurred.

In 1913, stillbirth registration began. The laws of New Zealand provided that when a child died within a few days of birth, it was recorded as a stillbirth. If the still birth was unregistered as a birth, it was to be registered as a death. Always be sure to search for it in the registrations of death.

Divorce Records. Civil officials began keeping divorce records in 1867. The Family History Library does not have New Zealand divorce records in their collection. You can obtain information from divorce records by contacting the Registrar General Office. The address is given later in this section.  Archives New Zealand also holds divorce records. See New Zealand Archives and Libraries.

Locating and Searching Civil Registration Records

See the FamilySearch tutorial "New Zealand Births, Deaths, and Marriages Online"' 

Civil registration records are kept at two locations in New Zealand:

  • General Registrar’s (Central Registry) Office. Copies of the certificates of births, marriages and deaths were sent to this office from the local registration district offices. Indexes were produced from the returns of these certificates.
  • Local churches. You may visit the church where an event was recorded.

To obtain certificates, visit the Department of Internal Affairs Births, Marriages and Deaths Web site.

As of 2007, the mailing address for obtaining civil registration records is:

Births Deaths & Marriages

PO Box 10-526
Wellington
Level 3, Boulcott House
47 Boulcott Street
Wellington
Email: bdm.nz@dia.govt.nz
Freephone: 0800 22 52 52 (New Zealand only)
Telephone: (+64 4) 474-8150
Fax: (+64 4) 382-3515 (for certificate and printout orders)
Fax: (+64 4) 382-3613 (for general enquiries)

Auckland

Registrar of Births Deaths & Marriages

PO Box 6147
Level 6, AA Building
99 Albert Street
Auckland
Freephone: 0800 22 52 52 (New Zealand only)
Telephone: (+64 4) 474-8150
Fax: (+64 9) 362 7908

Christchurch

Registrar of Births Deaths & Marriages
Private Bag 25-211
NZI House
Level 6
96 Hereford Street
Christchurch
Freephone: 0800 22 52 52 (New Zealand only)
Telephone: (+64 4) 474-8150
Fax: (+64 3) 366-9141

Manukau
Registrar of Births Deaths & Marriages
PO Box 76-222
Level 1
Corner Amersham Way and Osterley Way
Manukau City
Freephone: 0800 22 52 52 (New Zealand only)
Telephone: (+64 4) 474-8150
Fax: (+64 9) 262-2404

Wellington
Registrar of Births Deaths & Marriages
PO Box 10-526
Level 3, Boulcott House
47 Boulcott Street
Wellington
Freephone: 0800 22 52 52 (New Zealand only)
Telephone: (+64 4) 474-8150
Fax: (+64 4) 474-8147

Contact Centre
Freephone: 0800 22 52 52 (New Zealand only)
Telephone: (+64 4) 474-8150
Email: bdm.nz@dia.govt.nz

Births, marriages and deaths were registered in the registration district where they occurred. The name of the registration district may be different than the name of the place where the actual event occurred. In the large cities, there may be several civil registration districts. When searching in the indexes, you can determine the registration district by its corresponding code number. A helpful guide for determining a registration district via code numbers is:

Neill, Mary et. al. District Keys to the New Zealand Registration Indexes (Family History Library book 993.1 V2n Index v. 1-3.)

Indexes to Civil Registration Records

Births, marriages, and deaths were registered as they occurred and thus are arranged chronologically. Indexes can help you find your ancestor more easily. The Civil Registration records are indexed from 1848 to the present. In addition, there are indexes to marriages for 1840-1847, which were compiled from entries in church registers. Content of the indexes include the given name, surname, and a reference number. They are indexed annually (except the first three years after civil registration commenced). The Family History Library has copies of the indexes to 1920 on microfiche. Look in the Family History Library Catalog, Place Search, under: New Zealand, Civil Registration Indexes.  CD 3282 Marriages from 1836-1956 is available at the Family History Library Salt Lake City, and perhaps many Family History Centres, or Libraries may have this CD.

NEW ZEALAND - CIVIL REGISTRATION - INDEXES

Online indexes to Civil Registration are available at https://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/search/

Certificates can be purchased online at this website.

The indexes are arranged by year and cover the entire country. To use the indexes, you must know the name, the approximate year when an event took place and at least generally, the place of the event. To protect the rights of privacy of living persons, most modern records have restrictions on their use and access.

Be sure to contact the Registrar General’s Office for current fees for obtaining civil registration records. Some of the certificates and services you can obtain through the office are:

  • A photocopy of a birth, marriage or death entry
  • A certified copy of birth, marriage or death
  • Personal inspection of an entry
  • A search of the index for one name for a specified year
  • Continuation of a search per each year

When writing to obtain a certificate be sure to send the following:

  • Check or money order (in $N.Z. if writing from outside of country).
  • International Reply Coupons, available from large post offices (or extra for postage)
  • Full name and the sex of the person sought.
  • Names of the parents, if known.
  • Approximate date and place of the event.
  • Your relationship to the person.
  • Reason for the request (family history, family, etc.).
  • Request for a photocopy of the complete original record.

If your request is unsuccessful, search for duplicate records that may have been filed in the district registration, or in the church registers (if you know the church in which the event took place).

A useful online index matching brides and grooms, to be used in conjunction with the Registrar General's Marriage Index, is Varcoe's New Zealand Marriages Indexfound at http://marvin.otago.ac.nz/marriages/

Records at the Family History Library

The Family History Library has only the indexes to the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths in New Zealand. The indexes are on microfiche. The years covered are 1840 to 1920 for births and marriages, and 1848 to 1920 for deaths. Some Family History Centers in New Zealand as well as public libraries have the indexes on fiche up to 1990.

At theFamily History Library there is a New Zealand  Marriage  CD number 3282, available on the British Floor B2.  Marriages from 1836-1956 have been entered, and you can match the spouse straight away, and also the Folio Number, should you require a Certificate.

To find the microfiche call numbers for the indexes, look in the Family History Library Catalog, Place Search under :

NEW ZEALAND - CIVIL REGISTRATION - INDEXES

District Keys to New Zealand Registration Indexes 993 V22n

These indexes cannot be circulated to the Family History Centers. Perhaps listing a query on a Genealogy site, folk would be willing to find the Registration District for you.  One would have to quote the year,  Birth or Death - the name of the person, and the number beside the name, if you are unable to get to Salt Lake City. 

For other civil records, look in the Family History Library Catalog, Place Search under:

NEW ZEALAND - CIVIL REGISTRATION

NEW ZEALAND - VITAL RECORDS - INDEXES

NEW ZEALAND - VITAL RECORDS

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