Family History

Ancestry Library Edition

Library Access

Access from library only

Ancestry Library Edition is a tool created for libraries for genealogy and history researchers.  

It provides instant access to a wide range of resources, including many New Zealand records.

Available in our libraries only (no charge).

Please note there are some features of that cannot be accessed using Ancestry Library Edition.


Library Access

Access from library only

Research your family history online using Findmypast.

UPDATE! This now gives access to family history records for the UK as well as Australia, New Zealand,Ireland, the Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea, also the United States and Canada.

No need to use a separate database for UK.

Available only in libraries, no charge. One concurrent user only. 

Genealogy Collection & Microforms

The Genealogy Collection is located upstairs at Hastings Library and includes:

  • Microfiche, microfilms (listed below), including
  • New Zealand Births, Deaths & Marriages to 1990
  • Hawke's Bay newspapers on microfilm
  • Genealogy reference books
  • Local telephone directories
  • Journals (many donated - thanks for this!)
  • Electoral rolls for NZ on microfiche & in print

Available on our Research Computers (free) are:

  • Ancestry Library Edition
  • New Zealand Gazette Archives (one PC only)
  • Papers Past - historic New Zealand newspapers online

Microfilm and Microfiche Readers

The library has three microfilm readers with the ability to save scanned images to a memory stick. These are available upstairs in the Genealogy section of Hastings Library.

Library staff are available to assist. 

New Zealand Index

Library Access

Public Access

Library card number required

The Knowledge Basket's New Zealand Index is a searchable collection  of New Zealand related databases.  They can be searched individually or simultaneously and include 14 collections at present.  Includes NZ Card Index, NZ Herald Classified Personals since 2003.

Most do not have full text articles, just a short abstract.


Papers Past

Digitised historic newspapers

Papers Past contains more than one million pages of digitised New Zealand newspapers and periodicals.

The collection covers the years 1839 to 1945 and includes 77 publications from all regions of New Zealand.

Search full text at

A useful tool for family history research or for anyone keen on our history.  Even the advertisements are interesting.

Regional Roll of Honour

Search for loved ones from Hawke’s Bay who fought in World War One as well as returned servicemen who settled in the Hastings District and are now lying at rest in RSA Service cemeteries.

Seonaid Lewis - Family History Research

Seonaid Lewis, family history librarian for Auckland Libraries, gave a very popular talk at Hastings Library on the family history resources held in the Central Auckland Research Centre and discussed how you can trace your ancestors through online research via the Digital Library. 

Seonaid kindly made her notes available >>


Shipping Records & Passenger Lists

There are a number of ways to access shipping records and passenger lists. Here are some of the resources available:

National Archives

National Archives have Research Guide on Migration (Pdf - 114.8 KB). 

This guide covers the following topics: 

  • Shipping Records 
  • Immigration 1840-1880s
  • Immigration 1880s - 1970s
  • Specific Group / Nationality Migrations
  • Emigration
  • Other sources of immigration information
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