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If you're researching family history and genealogy, Napier Libraries has many great resources to help you on your journey of discovery. 


The Library holds Introductory and Intermediate Genealogy courses each term.  Introduction to Genealogy is designed for those new to family research.  This class will show you how to search effectively and explore different features of popular websites such as and  To sign up for this free class, check out our Free Digital Skills Workshop page.  Course dates:

  • 10 am - 12 noon, 9 February, Taradale Library
  • 1 pm - 3 pm, 11 May, Taradale Library
  • 10 am - 12 noon, 10 August, Taradale Library
  • 1 pm - 3 pm, 26 October, Taradale Library

Intermediate Genealogy is for those already confident in basic genealogy.  This class has an emphasis on records held by Napier Libraries and other council facilities, cemetery searches, and alternative information sources.  To sign up for this free class, check out our Free Digital Skills Workshop page.  Course dates:

  • 10 am - 12 noon, 25 February, Taradale Library
  • 1 pm - 3 pm, 20 May, Taradale Library
  • 10 am - 12 noon, 19 August, Taradale Library
  • 1 pm - 3 pm, 4 November, Taradale Library

Research help:

Our Research Librarians have pulled together this useful guide to help you get started in genealogy:

If you would like any help finding your way through our resources, we have a Research Enquiry service available, or you can ask our friendly staff.


We have a wide range of useful databases, which can be accessed on our Digital Content page.  Three key resources are: logo3Ancestry

Ancestry unlocks the story of you with sources like censuses, vital records, immigration records, family histories, military records, court and legal documents, directories, photos, maps and more, with new content added daily.  Ancestry Library Edition contains the UK and Ireland Census Collection, England and Wales Civil Registration Index, Immigration Collections and US Federal Census Collection data. 

Please first login through the library online calalogue, login, then click home, then click on the database page link and then click on the Ancestry link. You must repeat this process every time you want access ancestory. 


FamilySearch is bursting at the seams with great records from across the world including church, vital, census, land, probate, military and immigration records, as well as many other types of records and histories that can help you uncover your family tree.  Napier Libraries are an Affiliate Member.  You will need to sign up to the FamilySearch site the first time you use it and log in each time you use the site.

find my past2FindMyPast

FindMyPast makes original historical documents available to search online so that you can explore a collection of over two billion records, find your ancestors, and trace your family tree from the comfort ofyour local library.

Note: FindMyPast is only available for use within the library.

Library Collections:

Napier Libraries holds several collections that are useful in genealogy and family history research:

  • Genealogy Collection - useful books on starting your genealogy research, specific research areas, heraldry, surnames, the Phillimore Atlas of Parish Registers and more.
  • Heritage Collection - key titles about all aspects of New Zealand history, including biographies and secondary historical sources.  This includes newspaper clippings of articles relating to Hawke's Bay, and Hawke's Bay buildings.
  • Heritage Hawke's Bay Collection - an in depth collection covering family histories, local histories, the Oral History Archive, historical deposit plans, and more.
  • Newspaper holdings - The Daily Telegraph since 1881, The Hawke's Bay Herald 1877-1904, and an index of birth, death, and marriage notices from The Daily Telegraph and Hawke's Bay Today.
  • The Irene Lister Archive - located at Taradale this is a small collection of photographs, indexed records of Taradale people with births, marriages, and deaths, articles about Taradale people, events buildings, index cards refer to information found in books, cemetery records and private collections.
  • Whakapapa - Māori Genealogy - a list of useful resurces.

Other Useful Resources:

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