RECORDS FROM THE OTAGO GOLDFIELDS INCLUDED IN THE GOLDMINER'S DATABASE
The Otago Goldfields records presently covered by the Goldminer's Database are those of the Lawrence Warden's Court (initially called Tuapeka
Magistrates Office) from the years 1861 to 1866. All the records listed below are now included in The Goldminer's Database. There are no
records from West Coast or Marlborough Gold Fields in the database at present.
Important note: The Goldminer's database is an index only and cannot be used as a substitute for viewing the original records.
The main Warden's Court Offices in Otago were:
The districts administered from the LAWRENCE Warden's Office included the goldfields of Gabriel's Gully, Blue Spur,
Wetherstons (Weatherstones), Munro's Gully (Munroe's Gully), Tuapeka River and Tuapeka Flat, Beaumont and
the Molyneux River and the Lawrence Township.
The districts administered from the WAITAHUNA Warden's Office included Waitahuna, Waipori, Woolshed and the Lammerlaw River.
The districts administered from the DUNSTAN Warden's Court at Clyde included Manuherekia Gorge, Molyneux (Clutha) River, Kawarau Gorge, Cromwell, Alexandra, Nevis, Mt Benger and Potters.
The districts administered from the ARROWTOWN Warden's Court included the Arrow River, upper Kawarau River, and Cardrona,
TITLE: Miner's Rights Registration Book and Business Licenses, Tuapeka, Otago:
ATL Ref: qms-2045 Manuscript: 0713 (19 August - 1 November 1861).
There is a typescript index at ATL but it is incomplete and was not used for the Goldminer's database.
The first Miner's Right certificate (No 1) issued at Tuapeka (Gabriel's Gully) to John BORTON on 19th
of August 1861. This cost £1 Sterling and lasted for one year, after which it would have to be renewed
if the holder wished to continue mining.
Click to enlarge the image
The present location of the majority of the Otago Gold Mining Records:
Archives New Zealand, Dunedin, New Zealand.
An update on Otago Gold Mining Records: Archives NZ in Dunedin have recently been changing all the accession numbers for the Otago Mining Records. Thus many of the records in the Goldminers' Database do not have an up-to-date Source (Accession) number. Many of the Mining Records already transcribed are no longer even in the same order or assciated with the same records that they were previously. In these cases, it will not been possible to just up-date the accessions numbers with the new ones. Where the new numbers are known, especially with the bound records such as butt books and ledgers where the order of the records cannot be changed, the new accession number will be given in the list of sources below.
Eventually a name index for the Otago Mining records will be added to Archway. A partial index to all Mining records is already available on the Archives NZ computers in Dunedin, as they are being transcribed. This index and the catalogue for Archives NZ holdings will assist in locating an original record for an entry in the Goldminers' Database. The Goldminers Database provides a complete transcription of the records, in most cases, but will never include Otago records past 1866. This is because it was always intended to cover only the initial goldrush.
THE LAWRENCE WARDEN'S COURT, OTAGO:
Warden's Court Applications Books:
These were field books where detailed descriptions of the various applications for mining privileges, including original claim transfer
and mining agreement deeds written and signed by the miners.
AAJC D98 G.7 1074 Tuapeka and Waitahuna Districts Claim Registrations Oct 1862 - Apr 1864
ABBO D98 1027 Tuapeka District Mining Privileges Nov 1862 - Sep 1863
ABBO D98 1028 Tuapeka District Applications Feb 1863 - Feb 1864
Mining Privilege Applications Butt Books:
Once the Mining Privilege was granted, a summary of the application was entered in the Mining Privilege Application Butt Book and the
associated certificate was filled in, torn out of the butt book and given to the miner(s) concerned (illustrated below).
In Otago, a Mining Privilege Certificate cost 1 shilling and sixpence in 1862, going up to 2 shillings and sixpence by 1863.
Lawrence Warden's Court Applications Butt Books:
AAJC D98 843 60A Lawrence Nov 1862 - Apr 1863 (1 - 108)
ABBO D98 844 Lawrence Feb 1863 - Apr 1863 (52 - 101)
ABBO D98 845 Lawrence Apr 1863 - May 1863 (109 - 158)
ABBO D98 846 Lawrence May 1863 - Jun 1863 (159 - 208)
ABBO D98 847 Lawrence Jun 1863 - Jul 1863 (1051 - 1100)
ABBO D98 848 Lawrence Jul 1863 - Aug 1863 (1101 -1150)
ABBO D98 849 Lawrence Aug 1863 - Sep 1863 (1151 - 1200)
ABBO D98 850 Lawrence Nov 1863 - Dec 1863 (2151 - 2200)
ABBO D98 851 Lawrence Dec 1863 - Feb 1864 (2101 - 2150)
ABBO D98 852 Lawrence Feb 1864 - Mar 1864 (1401 - 1450)
ABBO D98 853 Lawrence Mar 1864 (1451 - 1499)
ABBO D98 854 Lawrence Mar 1864 - Apr 1864 (1501 - 1550)
ABBO D98 855 Lawrence Apr 1864 - Jun 1864 (2901 - 3000)
ABBO D98 856 Lawrence Jun 1864 - Jul 1864 (4101 - 4150)
ABBO D98 857 Lawrence Jul 1864 - Aug 1864 (4152 - 4200)
ABBO D98 820 Lawrence Aug 1864 (4801 - 4850)
ABBO D98 821 Lawrence Aug 1864 - Sep 1864 (4851 - 4900)
ABBO D98 822 Lawrence Sep 1864 - Oct 1864 (4901 - 4950)
ABBO D98 823 Lawrence Oct 1864 - Nov 1864 (4951 - 4999)
ABBO D98 824 Lawrence Dec 1864 - Jan 1865 (7651 - 7700)
ABBO D98 825 Lawrence Jan 1865 - Feb 1865 (7701 - 7750)
ABBO D98 826 Lawrence Feb 1865 - Mar 1865 (7751 - 7800)
ABBO D98 827 Lawrence Mar 1865 - Apr 1865 (7801 - 7850)
ABBO D98 828 Lawrence Apr 1865 - May 1865 (7851 - 7900)
ABBO D98 829 Lawrence May 1865 - Jun 1865 (9851 - 9900)
ABBO D98 830 Lawrence Jun 1865 - Jul 1865 (9901 - 9950)
ABBO D98 831 Lawrence Jul 1865 - Aug 1865 (9951 - 10000)
ABBO D98 832 Lawrence Aug 1865 - Sep 1865 (10001 - 10049)
ABBO D98 833 Lawrence Sep 1865 - Nov 1865 (10051 - 10100)
ABBO D98 834 Lawrence Nov 1865 - Dec 1865 (10101 - 10150)
ABBO D98 835 Lawrence Jan 1866 - Feb 1866 (1151 - 1200)
ABBO D98 836 Lawrence Feb 1866 - Mar 1866 (1201 - 1250)
ABBO D98 837 Lawrence Mar 1866 - Jun 1866 (1252 - 1300)
ABBO D98 838 Lawrence Jun 1866 - Jul 1866 (1301 - 1350)
ABBO D98 839 Lawrence Jul 1866 - Aug 1866 (1351 - 1400)
ABBO D98 840 Lawrence Sep 1866 - Oct 1866 (1401 - 1450)
Waitahuna District Warden's Office Applications Butt Books:
ABBO D98 732 Waitahuna Aug 1862 - Jun 1863 (1 - 50)
ABBO D98 733 Waitahuna Aug 1862 - Jan 1863 (1 - 50 )
ABBO D98 731 Waitahuna Feb 1863 - Apr 1863 (51 -100)
ABBO D98 759 Waitahuna Sep 1863 - Oct 1863 (2051 - 2099)
ABBO D98 758 Waitahuna Oct 1863 - Nov 1863 (1801 - 1850)
ABBO D98 757 Waitahuna Nov 1863 - Jan 1864 (1852 -1900)
ABBO D98 756 Waitahuna Jan 1864 - Feb 1864 (1201 - 1250)
ABBO D98 755 Waitahuna Feb 1864 - Mar 1864 (1251 - 1300)
ABBO D98 754 Waitahuna Mar 1864 - Apr 1864 (1301 - 1350)
ABBO D98 753 Waitahuna Apr 1864 - Jun 1864 (1351 - 1400)
ABBO D98 752 Waitahuna Jun 1864 - Jul 2864 (3901 - 3950)
ABBO D98 751 Waitahuna Jul 1864 - Aug 1864 (3951 - 4000)
ABBO D98 750 Waitahuna Aug 1864 - Oct 1864 (4001 - 4050)
ABBO D98 749 Waitahuna Oct 1864 - Nov 1864 (4051 - 4100)
ABBO D98 748 Waitahuna Nov 1864 - Dec 1864 (7401 - 7450)
ABBO D98 747 Waitahuna Dec 1864 - Jan 1856 (7455 - 7500)
ABBO D98 746 Waitahuna Jan 1865 - Mar 1865 (7501 - 7550)
ABBO D98 745 Waitahuna Mar 1865 - Apr 1865 (7551 - 7600)
ABBO D98 744 Waitahuna Apr 1865 - Jun 1865 (7901 - 7950)
ABBO D98 743 Waitahuna Jun 1865 - Aug 1865 (7951 - 8000)
ABBO D98 742 Waitahuna Sep 1865 - Dec 1865 (8001 - 8050)
ABBO D98 741 Waitahuna Dec 1865 - Jan 1866 (8051 - 8100)
ABBO D98 740 Waitahuna Jan 1866 - Feb 1866 (8101 - 8150)
ABBO D98 739 Waitahuna Feb 1866 - May 1866 (8151 - 8200)
ABBO D98 738 Waitahuna Apr 1866 - Jul 1866 (2251 - 2300)
308 The Arrowtown Gold Receipt Book, Arrowtown Police Station March 1863 - Apr 1868.
A CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION
A Certificate of Registration No 2065 for a water race at Woolshed
issued to John BONE, Jonas JOHNSON, Frederick HOLMES,
Robert KIRKWOOD, William OLIVER and William BENNETTO on 12 September 1863.
This certificate has been torn out of the Mining Privilege Butt Book (see perforations on the left hand side).
It would then have been handed to the group of miners, in this case working together on a water
race to provide the copious amounts of water needed to wash out the gold from the alluvial soil
it was buried in.
Source: Archives New Zealand, Dunedin. Click to enlarge the image
An illustration of results obtained from The Goldminer's Database for one of the above miners, Robert Kirkwood. Note the column labelled TYPE.
This refers to the type of Mining Privilege, in this case: MR (Miner's Right) and WR (Water Race). There are many types
of records included in The Goldminer's Database. A Key to the different types of records is given on the home page, just
below the search box, and again on the results page, just below the results table. If you get one that does not appear on the Key,
Click to enlarge the image
Because the information was in many cases entered both in the Warden's
Court Application's Book and in the Butt Books, and both have been transcribed, records of a particular transaction are often duplicated
in The GoldMiner's Database. This has proved useful because handwriting was often unreadable, so the duplicate is used to help interpret
the handwriting and ensure no miner's name is missed, if possible.
The applicant's Miner's Right number and date was written in the Warden's Court Application books (but not in the Butt Books). Since the
original Otago Miner's Rights record books (after 1861) have been lost, the Miner's Rights numbers after 1861 which are included in the Goldminer's
Databases come from these Warden's Court Application books. The reference number of the source is always included with the record, no matter where
it was taken from.
There were surprisingly similar numbers of mining applications filed at the Waitahuna and Tuapeka/Gabriel's Gully Warden's Offices. It is not
known if any of these butt books are missing but the sequence between 1862 - 1866 does appear to be mostly complete for both offices, as can
be seen in the above lists.
However some names will be missing from the database because of poor handwriting and spelling. Often, the same miner could return to the office
on the same day with a new application, and the Warden would spell his name differently each time. It is very necessary, when using the
database to be very flexible with spelling.
Make use of the wildcard facility. By entering only four or five letters of either the first or last syllable of a complicated surname at a time,
you might be able to locate a name that is mispelt in the database. For instance, a name from the database is POLKINGHORNE which is spelt in a
variety of ways by the Warden. By entering POLK and using the wildcard, you will get all spellings. But if you enter POLKINGHORNE, even
with the wildcard, you will not get the entries spelt POLKINGHORN (and there were many examples of both spellings). Unless users persist in
this way, they will not get all the entries for a particular name that they may be looking for. Keep trying. Spelling was a bigger problem
in Otago than in Thames.
For short surnames with only three letters, (eg KEY or FOX) the wildcard method is not permitted.
More information is available if you consult the original records. If an entry says 'Signed, Richard POLKINGHORNE' for instance,
this means that the miner's signature appears on the original record and it will be well worthwhile to view the original. Also, as can be
seen in the above illustration of a Certificate of Registration, the miners seldom worked alone. The only way to find out who a miner's
mates were is to find the original entry. (The groups of miners working together are sometimes but not very often identified on The Goldminer's
Goldmining Companies are included in The Goldminer's database. However they can only be searched by entering one word of the name
eg THE MAIDEN CITY GOLDMINING COMPANY can only be searched by putting MAIDEN in the search box and using the wildcard facility.
The Goldminer's Database is an ongoing project, with records continually being added. So check back from time to time.
I am always pleased to hear from users, especially if they have positively
identified a miner on the database.