Taranaki Biographical Index
The Taranaki Biographical Index began several years ago under the guidance of the then New Plymouth Genealogy Branch Convenor, Ann Evans. Currently this index has in excess of 670,000 records. All of the records that have been indexed are held in the New Plymouth Genealogy Branch Library or the New Plymouth Public Library (Puke Ariki).
Instructions on how to request information from the TBI are provided at the bottom of this page.
Please remember that the Taranaki Biographical Index is designed as a finding aid and you need to access the original records to obtain all the information relating to each entry. The TBI will show the source of the record indexed. If you are unable to access and view the original records yourself, you may contact the New Plymouth Genealogy Branch research officer, who may do this for you, for a small donation. Detailed source information and the address of the Branch Research Officer will be enclosed with your search result printout.
The following books relating to Taranaki have been indexed:
An Illustrated History of Taranaki, Ask That Mountain, Central School 75th Jubilee Book, Fitzroy School Centennial, From Plymouth to New Plymouth, Goodley Stones and Timbers, Lest We Forget, Men in Black, Egmont School Monuments Folder, New Plymouth Garrison Defaulters, Sergeant Sinner, Saint and Spy, Taranaki Almanac 1869 and 1888, Taranaki People and Places, Taranaki Provincial Gazette, Taranaki Women Achievers Vol 1 - 5, The Chronicles of the Garden of NZ, The Clearing - A History of Opunake, The First Hundred Years, The History of Taranaki, The Industrious Heart, The New Plymouth Settlement 1841-1843, The Stratford Inheritance, The Taranaki Rifle Volunteers, Waitara - A Record.
The following Cemetary Records are included:
Bell Block Church, Corbett Park - Oakura, Huirangi, Lepperton, Tikorangi, Urenui, Hurdon, Inglewood Catholic, Manaia, Mangati Rd- Methodist Church-Bell Block, Mokau, No 3 Redoubt,- Hurangi, Ohawe Military, Okaiawa, Okato, Omata, Opunake, Opunake Armed Constabulary Cemetary, Otakeho, Pukearuhe, Purangi, Rahotu, St Mary's NP, Tahora, Tarata, Tataramaika, Tikorangi, Tongaporutu, Urenui, Urenui Pa Urupa, Waihitapu Urupa, Waihi(Normanby), Waitara, Whangamomona, Wood Cemetary.
The following Church Birth, Marriage, Death, Undertakers and/or Burial records:
Abrahams Undertakers, Awakino Births-Marriages and Deaths, Butlers Burial records, Christian Science Church (N.P.), Eltham Methodist Baptisms 1902-1985, Inglewood Methodist Marriage, Inglewood Catholic Marriage, Inglewood Pres. Marriage, New Plymouth Marriages, Vol 1-8, Knox Pres Baptisms (Fitzroy), New Plymouth Methodist Baptisms, Marriages, Ngamotu Mission Church, New Plymouth Salvation Army Marriage & Burial, New Plymouth St Josephs Baptism - Marriages & Burials, Oakura Burial, Okaiawa Burial, Opunake Catholic Baptism, Patea Births, St Lukes Ang. Burial, St Mary's Death & Memorials, St Pauls Register, Stratford Methodist Baptisms, Taranaki Crematorium, Taranaki Methodist Marriages 1855-1917, Tarata Burial, Tataramaika Burial, Te Henui Burial, Tikorangi Burial, Tongaporutu Burial, Urenui Anglican Burial, Vospers Undertakers New Plymouth, Waihi Burial (Normanby), Waitara Marriage's - Deaths, Waitara Salvation Army Marriage & Burial.
Shipping Passenger lists:
Passenger list for the Plymouth Company ships "Amelia Thompson", "Blenheim", "Essex", "Oriental", "Timandra" and "William Bryan" are included.
New Plymouth Shipping Index 1852-1890:
Passengers, both arrivals and departures, have been indexed from the Shipping Intelligence column of the "Taranaki Herald" from 1852 to 1890. This includes both coastal and overseas shipping. The 1880 to 1890 block added in August 2005 comprises 31,000 records.
The New Plymouth Police Returns of Householders (Census) for 1846 and 1852.
Wills and Taranaki Crown Grants at Land Information New Zealand:
Original Taranaki Crown Land Grants and wills attached to land deeds have been indexed and are included in the TBI. Unfortunately the New Plymouth Office of Land Information New Zealand closed in February 2002. All Taranaki records are now held at the Hamilton Office of LINZ. If the TBI shows that a will or Crown Grant was issued to the person you are researching then you can obtain the reference/Document number from the N.P. Branch Research Officer and then contact the Hamilton office of LINZ to obtain a copy of the document.
Swainson Studio Negatives
This index covers over 40,000 photographic negatives from 1923 to 1950 of Professional Photographer Joseph Swainson and includes portraits, wedding groups, sports groups, business premises and other items of interest from around Taranaki. Also includes many portraits of Servicemen and their families who enlisted and fought in the Second World War. This collection has recently been gifted to Puke Ariki, the combined Library and Museum. Access to the collection as at October 2005, is not yet available as the collection is being re-housed and catalogued.
Early New Plymouth Township Section Owners
This is an index of the early owners of the original 2348 sections of the original township of New Plymouth covering the period from 1840 to approximately 1900. The records were extracted from Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) Office records in New Plymouth before the office closed in February 2002. A full description of this project can be found on page 273 of the July/August edition of the Journal of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists Inc.
School Admission Records
School admission records from local schools up to 1943, comprising 88,882 records were added in February 2005.
Newspaper Birth, Death and Marriage Notices
The New Plymouth Genealogy Branch has been collecting these notices from the local Newspaper and assembling them in folders. This ongoing project is being indexed and included in the Taranaki Biogrpahical Index as the project progresses. At present death notices for 1979,1980,1981,1983,1984,1986,1988,1989,1997,1998 comprising 13,000 records have been included.
New Plymouth Branch Envelope Collection
The Branch Envelope Collection containing miscellaneous items of genealogical interest has been indexed and included in the TBI.
Making a Search Request
A written request to search the Taranaki Biographical Index should be addressed to:
Taranaki Biographical Index Librarian
98A Queens Road,
New Plymouth 4312
The request need only advise the surname and given name of the person to be searched and enclose a stamped self addressed envelope together with a donation to the New Plymouth Genealogy Branch. No charge is made to access the information in the Taranaki Biographical Index. A donation is requested to cover the cost of the printout (paper and printer ink). The information will be returned in printed format including up to date access information.