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 ancestry.com and findmypast.com. To sign up for this free class, check out our Free Digital Skills Workshop page.
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.
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 online resources, which can be accessed on our Digital Content page. Three key resources are:
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 https://napier.spydus.co.nz/, 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.
The British Newspaper Archive is a partnership between the British Library and FindMyPast to digitise up to 40 million newspaper pages from the British Library's vast collection and making them available online. You can search hundreds of millions of articles by keyword, name, location, date or title.
Note: British Newspaper Archive is only available for use within the library.
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.
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.
Papers Past includes a wide range of digitised material, including New Zealand and Pacific newspapers from the 19th and 20th centuries, magazines and journals, letters and diaries, and Parliamentary Papers.
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.
- Aerial Mapping - previously owned by Land Information New Zealand, these crown photos cover the Napier and Hawke's Bay land district.
- Deposit Plans - historical deposit plans previously owned by Land Information New Zealand. The early plans were destroyed in the fires after the 1931 earthquake, so many of these had to be reproduced. Collection ends approx. 2000.
- Microfiche and Microfilm - Burial Index, Divorces 1946-1966, Index to Births 1840-1990, Index to Deaths 1848-1990, Index to Marriages 1840-1990, International Directories, Land Records, Military Records, New Zealand Cemetery Records, New Zealand Electoral Rolls 1853-1981, Shipping Records, Stones Directories, Turnbull Library's NZ Biographical Clippings, Turton's Land Deeds.
- Newspaper holdings - The Daily Telegraph since 1881, the Hawke's Bay Herald 1877-1904, the Hawke's Bay Today from May 1999, and an index of birth, death, and marriage notices from The Daily Telegraph and Hawke's Bay Today.
- New Zealand Gazette Archive - from 1841.
- Oral Histories - interviews with local people on events, e.g. Hawke's Bay earthquake and post-quake rebuild.
- Heritage Hawke's Bay Collection - an in depth collection covering family histories, local histories, the Oral History Archive, historical deposit plans, and more.
- Heritage Hawke's Bay Māori Collection - contains Crown purchases of Māori land in the early provincial Hawke's Bay, a report on behalf of the claimants to the Waitangi Tribunal, Māori plance names of Hawke's Bay, some whakapapa and Māori history.
- Magazines - "Family Tree Magazine", "Heritage New Zealand", "New Zealand Memories" and "The New Zealand Genealogist".
- 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:
- Billion Graves
- Building Your Family Tree Online - a beginner's guide
- Cyndi's List - a list of genealogy sites on the internet
- DNA Test Comparison - by SmarterHobby.com
- Free Births Deaths and Marriages UK - this contains the same information as the GRO index
- Freereg - records from UK parishes
- Hastings Cemeteries
- Jewish Genealogy
- Napier Cemeteries
- New Zealand Births, Deaths and Marriages
- New Zealand Society of Genealogists
- Scotland's People - find your Scottish ancestors
- Smarter Hobby Genealogy
- A guide to genealogy research in Europe
- United Kingdom Society of Genealogists
- United States Citizenship and Immigration Services - history and genealogy
- United States Genweb project - free genealogy help for every US state and county.