Family History

​​Family History Month | Te Marama Hītoria ā Whānau August 2020

Find out about talks, workshops and events HER​E


  • Free Access to Ancestry Library Edition: You can access Ancestry Library Edition for free at Rotorua Library. Either use the computers in the Heritage area or bring in your own laptop and connect via our WiFi.
  • Family History Lending Collections: Our lending magazines and books contain guides to family and iwi history research. These can be found near the entrance to the Heritage area.
  • Family History Reference Collections: Visit the Heritage area to research the Family History Reference collections. The reference collections are owned partly by the Rotorua Library and partly by the Rotorua Branch of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists (NZSG).
  • Microfiche and Microfilm Records: We hold a number of records on microfiche and microfilm including historical births, deaths and marriages and local newspapers.
  • Some of the sources you can explore in the Library are local histories, shipping information, war histories, cemetery databases, biographies, etc.  Search on the catalogue or ask the friendly staff to help you access material relevant to your family history. 


Plan your visit to the Library

Decide what information you want to find e.g. when your grandparents married or where someone lived. Gather any relevant information you already have (such as names and dates) and bring it with you.  

For Beginners

  • Start with yourself and work backwards one generation at a time.
  • Look to see what information you can find at home. 
    Talk to other family members, especially older ones, about your family history.
  • Write down everything you find out about your family and note where you found it.  
  • Read some guides on how to do family history research.
  • Browse the family history magazines for ideas and inspiration.
  • Join your local genealogy group. The members are extremely knowledgeable and helpful to beginners. 


Our best resource is the combined knowledge of our Library staff who are only too happy to help you. 

Come and see us in the Heritage area or em​ail for assistance.

Useful Guides

Find Your Birth Mother

Find Your Birth Mother Guide

Ancestry Video Guides

You may like to view these new Ancestry Library Edition​ training videos which are available on YouTube.

Three videos are currently available, each less than 3 min long:

Page reviewed: 05 Oct 2020 11:56am