Birth, Death and Marriages Index

Birth, Death and Marriage Indexes to the Registrar General’s records are the basic genealogical tool.

These are annual microfiche indices to registrations in New Zealand from 1840 to 1990. They are housed in the Genealogy Room, on the third floor.

Online indices of historical registrations are available from the Department of Internal Affairs – Historical Records.

Complete registration certificates or printouts are available from The Department of Internal Affairs: Births Deaths and Marriages.


Registration began in 1848, with some births back to 1840 being registered later.

The following information is found on birth certificates:

  • Before 1876: name, sex, date and place of birth; parents’ names, mother’s maiden name, father’s occupation
  • 1876 onwards: age and birthplace of parents are also recorded


Marriage registrations began in 1854, with some earlier records available.

  • 1848 – 1880 certificates give full names, ages and conjugal status of bride and groom, date and place of birth and occupation of groom.
  • 1880 onwards: certificates also contain birthplace and usual place of residence of bride and groom with parents’ full names, fathers’ occupations and mothers’ maiden names.


Registrations of deaths began in 1848.

  • Certificates up to 1875 contain date of death, full name, sex, age, occupation and cause of death.
  • 1876 onwards: also contain full names of parents of the deceased, father’s occupation, mother’s maiden name, place of birth of the deceased and length of time in New Zealand where appropriate, place of marriage, name of spouse, sex and age of surviving children, date and place of burial.
  • 1912 onwards: age of surviving spouse is added.

Useful websites