Home Journal Links



The Goldminer's Database found on this website is an index to original records of people mining for gold in New Zealand during the period 1861 to 1872. The following is a list of all the records for the Thames goldfield (1867 - 1872) that are included in the Database.

Records that have a reference number starting with BACL or AAAE are located at ARCHIVES NZ, AUCKLAND, NZ.

There are ongoing problems with the Collections Search online at the Archives NZ website. At present, it is not possible to make a search using the Agency Code, Series number and record number which makes looking up a reference found on the Goldminer's Database almost impossible. In addition, they have simultaneously changed all the Archives NZ reference numbers to a 'unique identifier' (the R number). The reference numbers used on the Database include the Agency code, followed by the series code and the volume number which will not change. Archives NZ staff will be able to give you the corresponding R number for each reference number found on the database so that you can order it and view the original record at Archives NZ.

  1. Miners' Rights Register Books (MR) kept by the Gold Warden at Thames:
  2. BACL 14358 1a (August 1867 - May 1868)
    BACL 14358 2a (May 1868 - December 1868)
    BACL 14358 3a (December 1868 - December 1869
    BACL 14358 3b (January 1870 - July 1872)
    (Note: No entries were made in the Miner's Right Register book 3b from 28 September 1870 until 26 January 1872, and these entries appear to be missing from Archives NZ's records.)

    Accompanying the Miners' Rights Register Books are incomplete indexes (handwritten and contemporary with the records themselves). Only one of these indexes covered the time period 1867 - 1872 but it was not used for the Goldminer's database:

    BACL 14357 1a (1867 - 1868)

  3. Claim Transfers (CT):
  4. Certificate of Registration of a claim, or transfer of a claim from one miner to another.
    BACL 14424 1b (March - April 1869)

  5. Registrations (RG)
  6. Registration of and the reason for the absence of a miner from his claim for any length of time.
    BACL 14358 1a (August 1867 - June 1868)

  7. Claim Protection (CP):
  8. Protection of the claim due to the absense of the miner because of illness or injury. The Doctors have also been indexed.
    BACL 14427 1a (March - December 1869)

  9. Business Licenses (BL):
  10. BACL 14414 1b (November - December 1868).

  11. The Claim Register (CR)
  12. BACL 14397 1a (1 - 374) 26 May 1868 - 20 June 1868.
    BACL 14397 2a (375 - 751) 20 June 1868 - 10 August 1868.
    BACL 14397 3a (1116 - 1476) 28 September 1868 - 2 April 1869.
    BACL 14397 4a (1477 - 1883) 2 April 1869 - 21 August 1869.
    BACL 14397 5a (2142 - 2467) 6 April 1870 - 25 March 1871.
    BACL 14397 6a (2468 - 2648) 27 March 1871 - 12 January 1872
    [indexing still to be completed for this series]

    Note: The Claims Register records dated between 10 August and 28 September 1868 as well as those between 21 August 1869 and 6 April 1870 are missing.

COROMANDEL GOLDFIELD (includes Kennedy Bay)

Location of the records: ARCHIVES NZ, AUCKLAND, NZ.

  1. Miner's Rights Register Book kept by the Gold Warden at Coromandel:
  2. BACL 14437 1a (September - October 1869).
    (54 Miner's Rights)

  3. Mining Leases of land at Coromandel and Kennedy Bay
  4. AAAE 1126 1a (December 1869 - October 1871)
    AAAE 1126 1b (June - November 1871)


The Thames Goldfield was administered from the Gold Commissioner James Mackay's tent, and later in a more permanent office at Shortland, presided over by the Assistant Commissioner of the Goldfield of Thames, Mr Allen Baillie. A smaller office at Coromandel was opened later.

In 1867 - 1872, the Thames Goldfield included Karaka Creek which included the Collarbone, Waiotahi Creek which included Punga Flat, Moanataiari Creek which included Wiseman's Gully, Grahamstown and Shortland, Hape Creek, Puriri, the Tararu Block which included Shellback Creek, Tapu Creek and the Waikawau Block which encompassed Tapu Creek. From 1867 - 1869, Coromandel and Kennedy Bay were considered part of the Thames Goldfield until a separate Gold Warden's office was opened in Coromandel Township at the end of 1869.


While transcribing records for the Goldminer's Database, I have come across missing records, especially in the Miners' Right Series, as well as in the Claim Register Series, as noted above. These missing records constitute a serious gap in the records of the Goldminers' Database. A thorough search at Archives NZ and on their catalogue shows that they do not possess these missing records at present. The following article which appeared in the NZ Herald 14 March 1868 p5 expains some of the difficulties that the Warden's Office faced when trying to safely store their record books:

At the usual hour of opening the Warden's Office at Shortland, on the 7th of this month, it was found that the safe in which were kept all the records of the Warden's department - the register of claims, of shares sold, of protection granted, the blocks of miners' rights, and the miners' rights themselves, with the whole of the papers relative to the lease of the allotments in the township - all were missing, and in addition, the money that lies in the safe until banked. Where had the safe gone to? That was the question. To solve it, the Civil Commissioner, the Warden, the Police, our Special Correspondent, and some two or three hundred turned out. Search was made in the usual fashion for anything lost in the bush, and it is a fact that both the Commissioner, Mr Mackay and Mr Robert Graham went to a tent within a few yards of where the safe was afterwards found to have been planted. It was not found just then, though. Towards one o'clock in the day, an account reached Mr Mackay, who had been on horseback down to Point Tararu after someone who had been running in that direction, that the safe was found. On returning to the township, it was found that a Maori Policeman and Jimmy Sinclair had found the safe in the Hape Creek, or near it, buried about two feet down in the ground. All the books and papers were untouched, as the safe had never been opened. The Maori policeman has since been discharged by Mr Mackay.

The 7th March 1868 was a Saturday, when Miners' Rights would usually be issued, at least until mid-day. However, unusually, there were none issued on the 7th, whereas the following week, on Monday 9th March, there were 35 Rights issued, a much higher number than usual. For instance, on the previous Monday, only 19 Miners' Rights were issued. Although this episode ended well, it is obvious that over the years, as the number of record books increased exponentially, some were mislaid, damaged or stolen.


An illustration of results obtained from The Goldminer's Database for HULME.
Note the far left-hand column labelled TYPE. This refers to the type of Mining Privilege, in this case: MR (Miner's Right), CL (Claim Register) and BL (Business License).

There are many types of records included in The Goldminer's Database, with each having a unique identifier code in the Goldminers' Database. A Key for the codes for the different types of records is given just below your database results table, and also here


Thames Map
Click to enlarge the photo.

A Map showing the main areas of the Thames Goldfield. In 1867, this area was called the Thames Special Area, with the Wardens calling it the Karaka Goldfield in the Miner's Right Ledger. The miners could not venture outside this area until after 1868 when the goldfields of Tararu, Tapu Creek, Coromandel and Kennedy Bay were gradually added.

The official goldfield districts of Thames used in issuing the Miner's Rights in 1867-8 (with percentage of Rights issued) were: Karaka (78%), Waikawau (11%), Tararu (8%) Puriri (3%), Kennedys Bay, Coromandel and Whakatete (these last three having less than 0.1% of the Miner's Rights issued between them).