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).


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

2 Microfilm and 3 Microfiche Readers are available upstairs in Hastings Library.

There are 2 Canon 800 Microfilm Readers with the following services:

  • Use both microfilm and microfiche
  • A range of lenses
  • Print A4 or A3 (50c per copy)
  • Save to USB memory stick
  • Burn a CDRom

Ask at the Reference Desk to use these two machines.

The other Microfiche Readers may be used as required, although 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.


Newspapers on Microfilm

Hastings Library holds the following newspapers on microfilm:

  • Hastings Standard     Apr 1896- Dec 1910
  • HB Tribune                Dec 1910 - Jun 1937
  • HB Herald Tribune     1937 [Jan] - 1970 [Apr], 1970 [Jun] - 1978 [Nov], 1979 [Jan] - 01 May 1999
  • Hawke's Bay Today    Apr 1999 -

May be viewed on our two microfilm readers.  Printing available.

Call upstairs and ask at the Reference Desk for assistance in using these.  

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.

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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