2006-02-15

Maori Birth, Death and Marriage index

I mentioned previously that there was a seperate record for Maori Birth, Death and Marriage information.

For marriages this register operated between the years 1911 and 1954. Prior to 1911 only marriages between Maori and Pakeha were required to be registered and these appear on the standard registry.

Births and Deaths were recorded on the seperate register for Maori between the years 1913 and 1961. After these times the entries were registered in the standard Birth, Death and Marriage registries.

If you are searching for ancestors in the indexes and you know them to be of Maori descent it is important to check both the Maori register and the general register just in case. It may pay to check the surnames in the Maori register in case there is Maori ancestry you are unaware of.

A nice thing about the Maori register is that for the entire year range it is in alphabetical surname order. The general register is in alphabetical order for each year so it requires you to look information up for each year if you don’t know the actual year of the event. The Maori register requires just a single lookup under the surname.

The NZSG Maori Interest Group has some good tips for looking in the Maori registry:

When searching the BMD Indexes for Maori entries, you must be aware of looking under both an individual’s first and last names and any aliases used as before 1900 Maori surnames were not commonly used - Maori people usually had both a tribal name and also a name easy for Pakeha to pronounce. Maori of Pakeha descent may also have used their father’s name and a Maori translation of that name.

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