Overview of Overseas Resources

Everyone will, at some point in their genealogical research, find family that came from outside of New Zealand. It may be very recent or a long time ago. These resources give you a starting point for your research. They are not intended to be definitive, as there is already a number of useful resources available. Note: The following are available to NZSG members only.

Please note that some websites provided in these resources will require you to have an account, others will require an account and a subscription.

Can You Help?

Is there a country you have researched that you could add to our resources? Get in touch at education@genealogy.org.nz.

Other Sources of Information

We can't cover everything so here are some websites that might be useful:


Stepping outside the English-speaking world can be quite daunting if your family no longer speak the language of your forebears. Here are some places to get help:

Other Family History Organisations

Like the NZSG, there are likely to be other family history organisations in the area you're searching. Getting in touch with them or joining them will give you access to resources you might not find elsewhere.

For a taste of some of those organisations, see our collection of their Journals.

Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations (AFFHO)

You can request a letter of introduction for reciprocal access to Australian genealogical libraries, including the Society of Australian Genealogists in Sydney and the Genealogical Society of Victoria. Contact us with details of your visit and your membership number.

Subscription Websites

While there are many free resources available, there are excellent resources available to members of subscription websites. There is no best one - the best one is the one that has the records you need. It might not be the one everyone is saying you should subscribe to.

Here are a few tips:

  • Have you checked all the free websites for the records you're looking for? Note that not everything is online and some areas/records will not be on any website.
  • Does the website have the records you're looking for? Most will have an index or catalogue of their records to help you that work out.
  • Take advantage of free trials. Don't forget to cancel before the time period ends - there will usually be lots of buttons to push to get there, but you will receive an email confirmation of the cancellation. If you don't get the email, check you have actually cancelled.
  • Take advantage of Library editions. This will usually involve leaving your house, but can be useful if there are a small number of records you want to find.
  • Don't pay full price. Many websites offer significant discounts which you should look for and take advantage of.
  • Check the level of membership you're purchasing covers the records you wish to view.
  • Don't be afraid to chop and change as your research leads from one website to another.

A number of websites give you the ability to build a family tree on them. Make sure you're clear about access to that tree if you no longer subscribe.


  • Lynne Revell - NZSG Australia Contact
  • Vivienne Parker - NZSG English Interest Group
  • Catherine Clarke - NZSG Irish Interest Group Lower North Island
  • Doug Miller - NZSG Scottish Interest Group - Greater Wellington
  • John Boyd - Wales
  • Sue Dinsdale
  • Rodney King
  • Christine Liava’a - Pacific Islands



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