Council archives

Family history archives

Council archives hold a number of records that may be of use in your family history research.

The list of records below is by no means exhaustive and will be updated as new material comes to light:

Cemetery records

You can search the archives database to find original burial, plot and administrative records for the following cemeteries:

  • Albany Village
  • Birkenhead-Glenfield
  • Hillsborough
  • Mt Victoria
  • North Shore Memorial Park
  • O’Neill’s Point
  • Otahuhu
  • Pompallier
  • Waikaraka
  • Waikumete.

We have undertaken indexing of the following cemetery records, which you can search online:

  • Otahuhu Cemetery Applications for Burial Warrants Database 1921-1925
  • Register of Burials Otahuhu Cemetery 1894-1922
  • Waikaraka Cemetery Record Book 1890-1906

  • Auckland Libraries also provide two online databases of burial records for the following cemeteries:

    To search the records of North, West and South Auckland cemeteries, see Cemetery records.

    Council staff records

    Staff appointments and salary records can contain information about former staff members such as:

    • name
    • date of birth
    • marital status
    • superannuation
    • date of appointment
    • department
    • position held
    • salary
    • education and qualifications.

    Not all staff records are retained. Please note that privacy legislation applies to access to these records. In some cases archives also holds photographs of staff.

    Dwellings and business records

    Part of family history research can be to discover details about family homes, dwellings and businesses.

    Dwelling and business records fall into two main groups.

    • Records relating to building permit or consent applications and plans.
    • File series dealing with dwellings, businesses and other buildings and properties.

    A significant collection of archival records comes from the council regulation of building dating from the early 20th century. These records include:

    • building permit registers and indexes
    • building applications
    • specifications
    • plans
    • committee and council minutes
    • correspondence with applicants and developers
    • records relating to inspections.

    Access to these records is usually by the property name and/or street address of the property. The records contain the names and addresses of the owners of domestic and commercial buildings, as well as the names of their builders and architects.

    The file series were generated by various business groups of the council and deal with issues such as property subdivision, encroachments, health and sanitation, tenders and contracts, town planning, water and electrical services.

    Although people are identified in these records, sometimes locating them can be time-consuming unless you know of specific issues with which they may have been involved.

    Electoral or burgess rolls

    These are the rolls of people qualified to vote for members of the council. In addition to names, they give details of the elector's address, and sometimes a property description and values.

    A number of these records have been indexed.


    The records we have on health information are usually a product of an 'inspection' or 'reporting' relationship with local health authorities or a consequence of a major health issue e.g. an influenza epidemic, which a keyword search of the archives database will reveal.


    Councils have been responsible for the licencing of a variety of activities over time, including:

    • auctioneers
    • dogs
    • drivers
    • hawkers
    • street musicians
    • publicans.

    Records are arranged by the date the licence was issued or registered rather than the applicant's name and details. They include:

    • the name of the applicant
    • address
    • activity
    • date the licence was issued
    • often comments or remarks regarding cancellations, renewals or prosecutions.

    A number of these records have been indexed.

    Mayors and councillors

    If your family served as a board member, councillor or even as mayor, they will appear not just as attendees of meetings in the minute books, but also in a variety of other sources and lists. As an eminent citizen there will often be a photographic record too.

    Minute books

    Minute books of boards, councils and committees record all business discussed and decisions made in meetings. As such, they are key documents.

    Although minute books are written in a formal manner they can provide details about individuals. In the early period, they dealt with correspondence from citizens and business people about issues concerning them or services they required.

    Some of these minute books have subject indexes within them which makes searching by name easy.

    Occupations and pastimes

    There are occasional series relating to occupations and pastimes found among the local authority records.

    Rating and valuation records

    These records provide basic ownership and descriptive information regarding properties throughout the region, the earliest dating from 1867 for the Mt Albert Highway District.

    Information includes:

    • occupier's and owner's names and occupations
    • a legal description of property
    • a brief description of the property
    • the valuation or rating value.

    Access to these records is either by the owner's surname or street address.

    War records

    Some of these records are from series that relate directly to war. There are also a number of records about war located in more general series.

    World War I

    The Our boys, our families research guide showcases First World War research resources available at Auckland Libraries and Auckland Council Archives.

    As part of the centenary commemoration of the First World War, the Auckland Council Archives has developed an online exhibition and timeline featuring records and images from the Auckland Council Archives collections.

    View our World War I Exhibition and Timeline

    The following WWI-related material has been indexed and is available to search online:

    Many of our other family history indexes may also prove useful when researching soldiers that served in the war and their families.


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