Family History

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.

We also offer one-on-one help with your family history search as well as research requests. These can easily be booked below though our online forms.

Library Resources

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

Access census, military and land records, passenger lists and more. It includes New Zealand electoral rolls 1853-1981 and Māori electoral rolls 1908 and 1919.

Local Collection
Contains items relating to Invercargill, Southland, Stewart Island, and other southern islands. It includes books, directories, maps, CDs, DVDs and more. Some early Otago items are also included. Ask at the First Floor Help Desk for these items.  Local Collection items can only be used in 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 papers. Library members can also read newspapers on PressReader.


Below are a list of external websites that may be helpful in your Family History research.

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

Births Deaths and Marriages Online
Provides historical data only.

Southland District Cemeteries
Search the Southland District cemeteries for ancestors.

Papers Past
Digitised, searchable historic newspapers including Southland Times between 1862–1920.

NZ Yesteryears
Passenger lists for historic 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 spanning 2014–2019

Find a Grave
The world’s largest open-source gravesite collection