Thursday, July 29, 2010

Births Deaths and Marriages NZ

Background to remember when searching the historical index online.  It's all about the names.

  • All the older indexes were compiled by humans, mistakes happen.
  • There are approximately 60-80,000 errors in the online index.
  • Some pages missed/skipped the scanning process.
  • If you find the name on the fiche but not on the online index, let them know
  • Names on the fiche may be missing from the online index because the newest index has the newest instances of the records, adoptions, re-names etc will be missing but will still be listed on the fiche.
  • There were two sets of the original registers, one was sent to the central register and this was cut up and scanned for the online index, the other is held at Archives NZ.
  • You may request permission to see the original registers at Archives from the Register General but this is very unlikely to be approved.
  • Advise is to use all the tools in your toolbox to find the records, not just the online historical bdms.
  • The records were never crossed checked between the birth, marriage or death of a person and spelling changes won't be picked up.
  • Ringing / asking internal affairs to find a record you can't find online won't be of any use, they use the same system we do.
  • The good news - they may be adding a 'fuzzy search' facility in the future. I can't wait!


  1. Lyn
    This is excellent info..thank you!

  2. My father's NZ birth records are missing from the online historical records site. I notified the DIA of this telling them that I had, some ten or so years ago, ordered and received from them his birth records. They replied in explanation of the omission that he might have been adopted or changed his name which was ridiculous as this had not occurred up until his death in Australia at the age of 84.
    Unfortunately another family researcher has challenged my research and another family researcher saying that there is no record of his birth nor has the DIA ever issued a birth certificate in his name. and his details should not be included in the family data. Need I tell you that this assertion is causing some distress.
    I am currently living overseas so have limited access to my records.
    I am hoping that this can be rectified - all the BDM people have to do is to look at their primary records using the dates and registration number that I have already sent them and rectify the omission.

  3. Thats sad. They say that if you find the event on the bdm fiche but not on the online index, they will correct the online index. Do you want me to find it on the fiche again for you?

  4. A "fuzzy search" will be fantastic as otherwise one has to use spelling variations of all kinds to find things that are not turning up. That's pretty much pot luck. It would also be great to search births by father's name as well. I've found a great deal of instances where there are mistakes, spelling errors, incorrect dates and even the names switched around. As long as a researcher keeps these in mind as well as nicknames or pet terms which were also often submitted - they will have a much higher rate of success.