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Family History / Whakapapa

Wellington City Archives Te Kano Kohinga Kupu o Pōneke holds many collections of potential interest to those researching family history. On this page is a selection of resources you may find useful. 

Archives Online enables you to view and download items, as well as creating collections and sharing them with others. You can also request items to be digitised. For more information our User Guide is available here.

If you would like to view items from our collection in person, our contact information is available here. Please note visiting is by appointment only to ensure we are as prepared as we can be.

If you are new to family history research, the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga has a useful guide here.


Family, Barker Street (Wellington City Council Archives, 00138-10171)




Minute books (1864-1992)

Minutes are a written record of all matters discussed in meetings of the Board of Works (1864-1870), the City Council (1870-present) and Committees. Topics include everyday topics such as employment and correspondence from citizens and business people. Searching the indexes can uncover interesting details about family connections, particularly if they were a significant business person or landowner.

Wellington City Council minutes 1870-2007

Yearbooks (1902-1965)

Yearbooks document information on mayors and councillors, city services, cultural organisations, committees and council departments, with photos. An index of them is available here.

Wellington City Council Rahui milk station employees 1968 (Wellington City Council Archives, 00158-3170-p (sheet 7660b))

Rating and valuation records (From 1863)

Rating records give information about the property owner and occupier, and a property description, its value and rates. The records give background material on individuals and their lives. The Wellington City Council Rate Books can be found here and for the Wellington Boroughs here.

Staff records (around 1920-1990)

These records can be a good first step in accessing further records. They provide details about former staff including name, date of birth, marital status, superannuation, date of appointment, department, position, salary, education and qualifications. Not all staff records are retained. They are subject to privacy legislation.


Cemetery records (1892-1992)

Wellington City Council has a cemetery and plot locator available here that you can search via name and location. 

Wellington City Archives holds the original burial records for Bolton/Sydney Street, Karori and Makara cemeteries. 

WCC, Wellington Public Cemetery (Bolton/Sydney Streets) and Church of England Cemetery, Burial Registers

WCC, Karori Cemetery, Burial Registers (Sexton's set)

WCC, Karori Cemetery, Burial Registers (Town Hall set)

WCC, Makara Cemetery, Burial Deeds

Cremation records are available for Karori, but it's best to contact Karori Cemetery first because their database offers quicker access to information.



Bolton Street Cemetery by F G Barker (Wellington City Council Archives, 00127-1-Page 123)

Searching the Collection:

You can also search our collection according to item type. Enter your description or keywords into the search bar below and select the item type from the drop down menu. The following is a selections of item types that you may find useful.

Early correspondence (1878-1926)

Items covered here reflect the full range of Council activities within each department including correspondence with the public. This is a good genealogical resource for people who were either employed by, or in communication with, the Council.

Images (1860-present)

This large collection includes images of early settlers, staff, mayors and councillors, visiting dignitaries and personalities, streets and buildings, major events and businesses.

Building works (1892-present)

Permits and consents - names and addresses of domestic and commercial building owners, and the names of their builders and architects. 

  • Agency
  • Audio
  • Building Work
  • Correspondence
  • Correspondence (pre 1927)
  • Document
  • Document Folder
  • Event
  • Guide
  • Heritage Site
  • Image
  • Index Cards
  • Maps and Plans
  • Organisation
  • Person
  • Place
  • Register
  • Role
  • Series
  • Street
  • Timeline
  • Video