Family History

The Archivists Escape! Tour

This Heritage Month the Archives, Family History and Oral History teams are escaping the office, hitting the road and parking their caravan at locations all over Southland.

Check out upcoming tour dates below, or visit the Heritage Month page for the full itinerary.

Filter Events

27mar10:30 am1:30 pmThe Archivists Escape to Windsor!10:30 am - 1:30 pm Windsor Community ChurchEvent Type :Adults

27mar2:30 pm4:00 pmThe Archivists Escape to Glengarry!2:30 pm - 4:00 pm Glengarry Shopping CentreEvent Type :Adults

29mar11:00 am3:00 pmThe Archivists Escape to Bluff!11:00 am - 3:00 pm Four Square SupermarketEvent Type :Adults

31mar10:00 am12:00 pmThe Archivists Escape to Riverton!10:00 am - 12:00 pm RivertonEvent Type :Adults

If you’re just starting to research your family history, or you may be needing help with some pieces of your puzzle, we can help you with your genealogy research.

As well as published family histories we have Stone’s Otago & Southland directories, shipping and school records, current and historical electoral rolls and early local newspapers on microfilm from 1863 onwards.

Trace Your Whakapapa

If you are interested in tracing your Māori ancestry then you can fill out our online Trace Your Whakapapa form.

Family History Resources

Our library, and a series of online resources, are available to help you discover your family history.

This database can only be accessed from inside the library.
Provides access to census records, military records, land records, probate records, church records, directories, passenger lists and more. It includes New Zealand electoral rolls 1853-1981 and Māori electoral rolls 1908 and 1919.

Invercargill Cemetery Search
Allows you to search the Eastern, Bluff, Green Point, and Saint Johns Cemeteries, and the Invercargill Crematorium databases

Southland District Cemeteries
Search the Southland District cemeteries for ancestors

Births Deaths and Marriages Online
Provides historical data only.

Papers Past
Digitised, searchable historic newspapers including Southland Times 1862-1920

NZ Yesteryears
Passenger lists for ships that came to Southland

Online Cenotaph
A biographical resource which contains information on people who served in the New Zealand military

Marks the First World War centenary from 2014-2019

Research Collection
The Research Collection has many resources useful for students and researchers. It includes historical information, statistical data, Government publications and New Zealand history. The library also has a reference collection which covers most topics. The St Andrew’s collection contains material about Scottish heritage. Ask at the Information Services desk for these items which can only be used in this area of the library.

Local Collection
The Local Collection has items relating to Invercargill, Southland, Stewart Island, and other southern islands. It includes books, directories, maps, CDs, DVDs and other formats. Some early Otago items are also included post-1860s. We try and obtain a copy of all published material with local content or by a local person. Ask at the Information Services desk for these items which can only be used in this area of the library.

We hold recent copies of most local and national papers. We store historic copies of the Southland Times, the Southland Daily News and other local newspapers. Some copies are on microfilm. Ask at the Information Services desk for these items. Library members can also access newspapers online.