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FINDING ONLINE RECORDS FOR GOLDMINERS

THE GOLDMINER'S

DATABASE

The Goldminer's database is a freely available online index of the official records of goldminers who worked in the New Zealand goldfields from 1861-1872. It covers the goldrush eras of both Otago and Thames/Coromandel. At present the database includes 70,000 mining records and is being continually expanded.
The Goldminer's Database is transcribed and compiled by Kae Lewis D.Phil.(Waikato) using software developed by Evan Lewis M.D. Ph.D. as a community service.
Goldminer's Database
ARCHIVES NEW ZEALAND
Archives New Zealand is your access point for finding the source documents for records found in the Goldminer's Database. Search the Archives New Zealand catalogue and order records online or get information about a visit to the regional Archives to see the original documents that the Goldminer's Database records were taken from:
  • For Otago Mining records: Archives NZ, Dunedin.
  • For West Coast Mining records: Archives NZ, Christchurch.
  • For Thames & Coromandel records: Archives NZ, Auckland.
Archives New Zealand
ARCHWAY
ARCHIVES NZ
Many of the records held by Archives New Zealand, including some mining records, are indexed on ARCHWAY. This includes the mining records after the period covered by the Goldminer's Database (after 1861 - 1872). archives New Zealand
THE ALEXANDER TURNBALL
LIBRARY


NATIONAL LIBRARY
IMAGE GALLERY
The Alexander Turnball Library collection holds many early manuscripts and records, including the earliest NZ mining records available.

The National Library of New Zealand collection includes early mining photos in the IMAGE GALLERY, many of them available to search online.
National Library of NZ
KURA: HERITAGE
COLLECTIONS ONLINE
At the website Kura: Heritage Collections Online, you can explore the wealth of Auckland Libraries' heritage collections, many of which are from the Thames-Coromandel District at the time of the goldrush. Auckland Library
HOCKEN COLLECTION The collection of the Hocken Library, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand includes archives, photos and pictures relating to gold and goldmining, especially in the Otago district. Hocken Library
PAPERSPAST Search all the early New Zealand Newspapers from the Goldmining era. Indexed and free to search online from the National Library of New Zealand. National Library of NZ
TROVE
NEWSPAPER INDEX
Search all the early Australian Newspapers from the Goldmining era. Indexed and free to search online from the National Library of Australia. National Library of Australia
LAMPLOUGH NAME INDEX Compiled by the Avoca and District Historical Society, this index contains the names of over 3000 goldminers from the Lamplough goldfield near Avoca, Victoria, Australia during 1859 - 1860. Avoca
CENSUS 1852
STATE OF CALIFORNIA, USA
Some of the miners who came to Australia and New Zealand were 49ers in the goldrush to California 1849 - 1854. Search for them in the 1852 census index on the FamilySearch website. FamilySearch

PASSENGER RECORDS

VICTORIA OUTWARDS
PASSENGER LISTS
Many miners moved from the Victoria, Australia goldfields to New Zealand from 1861 onwards and can be found on the Victoria Outwards to NZ passenger lists index held at the Public Record Office of Victoria. These passenger records give an age for each passenger which helps to identify a miner on the Otago goldfield.
The index to these records is also available on a CD: Victoria Outwards published by the New Zealand Society of Genealogists and available to members at their online shop.
PROV
IMMIGRANT SHIPS TO
NEW ZEALAND


NEW ZEALAND BOUND
Many of the miners had already settled in New Zealand as immigrants before making their way to the goldfields. Two excellent databases of passenger lists of ships coming to New Zealand are Gavin Petrie's IMMIGRANT SHIPS TO NEW ZEALAND 1835- 1910 and Olwyn's NEW ZEALAND BOUND. Immigrant Ship
FAMILYSEARCH This FamilySearch website is free to search the collections and includes indexes to the New Zealand Passenger Lists (1839 - 1973) and to the New Zealand Probate records (1843-1998), both of which include many an old goldminer. FamilySearch
CALIFORNIA BOUND This site contains passenger lists for ships and wagon trains traveling to California between 1848 and 1873. When possible, passengers are linked to the ship they later boarded on the Pacific side of the Isthmus for the final leg of the journey to San Francisco. California Ships
ANCESTRY The Ancestry website has passenger lists, like this one: San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists. Vol. III: November 7, 1851 to June 17, 1852. Immigrant Ship

GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH IN NEW ZEALAND

BIRTHS DEATHS MARRIAGES
HISTORICAL RECORDS, NZ
If a miner was married, had a child born, or one of the family died in New Zealand, these official records will help identify them by placing them on or near the goldfield. Births, Deaths and Marriages
THE WILSON INDEX This free collection coordinated by Diane Wilson over the past 40 years includes records from many and varied sources to assist with your research. Wilson Index
THAMES COROMANDEL
ONLINE CEMETERY SEARCH
A searchable database of the Cemeteries of Thames Coromandel published by the Thames Coromandel District Council. Many an old goldminer is buried in the cemeteries of Thames and the Coromandel.
Enter the cemetery name and deceased name in the search box on the right hand side of the page.
TCDC
FIND A GRAVE The World's largest gravesite collection which includes over 190 million memorials in a database free to search online. grave
EARLY NZ SETTLERS An early New Zealand Census (1642 - 1839, 1840 - 1845) extracted from 'Brett's Historical Series: Early History of New Zealand, From Earliest Times to 1840' by R.A.A. Sherrin. The sons of many of these early settlers eventually became goldminers.
This is a database from the SHADOWS OF TIME website, transcribed by Wendy Leahy. This website also has a number of other useful databases for both New Zealand and Australian genealogy research.
Early History of NZ
25 FREE GENEALOGY SITES


Free access to genealogy information is just a few clicks away - no membership required! You might find anything from copies of your grandparents' death certificates to a newspaper article about your great-grandfather's business. Compiled by Marc McDermott. Geneology Index
50 FREE GENEALOGY SITES Looking for a list of free world-wide genealogy sites to search? Here are 50 no-cost family history resources where you will find birth, marriage and death records, obituaries, cemetery listings, newspaper articles, biographies, research tips and so much more. Family History Index
PEARLS PAD Check the COROMANDEL THAMES Section of Pearl's Pad for Genealogical databases. Also shipping records. Shipping Records
CYNDI'S LIST Cyndi's List is a categorized & cross-referenced index to genealogical resources on the Internet. A list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online, a free jumping-off point for you to use in your online research and your genealogical research portal onto the Internet. It includes links to websites for New Zealand Genealogy, including ship passenger lists. Cindi's List
EARLY NZ PHOTOGRAPHERS They photographed the goldminers, their families and the goldfields of New Zealand. Often the photographer's name is all there is on an old photograph. Looking them up on this database helps to date the photograph and even place it in the correct district. Photographers' Index
MEASURINGWORTH

A Purchasing Power Comparator compares the relative value of a past amount of pounds to a present amount. This helps to interpret the value of gold in comparison to the cost of living and the value of land and housing for the miners in New Zealand. In the 1860s, New Zealand's official currency was the Pound Sterling from England.

MeasuringWorth

THE HISTORY OF THE GOLDFIELDS

TE ARA
THE ENCYCLOPEDIA
OF NEW ZEALAND
Gold and Gold Mining: In the 19th century discovering gold was a way out of poverty. From the 1860s gold rush onwards, thousands flocked to the fields but the work was harsh, with days spent digging in cold creek beds. Only a lucky few found riches in the rock. However, the collective value of the gold that was discovered kick-started the young colony's economy. Gold was the making of early New Zealand. TE ARA
GOLD MINING IN
THE COROMANDEL

An exhibition of mining records relating to Thames and Coromandel taken from the collections of ARCHIVES NEW ZEALAND and now available online. This exhibition looks at the early days of goldmining on the Coromandel peninsula, then shows a more detailed view of one area, the Tokotea (the ridge above Coromandel town), followed by some aspects of life in the goldfields.

Archives NZ
OHINEMURI

This comprehensive website compiled by Eric Lens covers the history of the Ohinemuri Goldfield: Waihi, Karangahake and Waitekauri. It also includes the pages of the The Ohinemuri Regional History Journal. First published in 1964, the Journal contains a wealth of wonderful reading. This is an outstanding heritage resource, with firsthand accounts, researched articles, historical information and more.

Ohinemuri
LAWRENCE
OUR HISTORY


Nestled in the rolling green hills of the Tuapeka countryside of Otago New Zealand, the town of Lawrence has a long history of welcoming people, beginning in 1861 when the gleam of gold in nearby Gabriel's Gully rapidly swelled the population to over 11,000.

Lawrence

HISTORICAL MAPS AND AERIAL PHOTOS OF NEW ZEALAND ONLINE

NZ TOPOMAP NZ Topo Map is an interactive topographic map of New Zealand using the official LINZ's 1:50,000 / Topo50 and 1:250,000 / Topo250 maps. TopoMap
TOPOGRAPHICAL MAPS
OF NEW ZEALAND
Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) Digital 1:50000 and 1:250000 topographical maps of all New Zealand available to download for free. We create and provide the authoritative national record of the country's physical features: New Zealand?s topography. It is an important part of building our common understanding of where is where. To do this, we map both the built and the natural environment of New Zealand: the mountains, plains and rivers, and the roads and railways. LINZ
MAPSPAST - BASEMAPS The Mapspast website gives free access to New Zealand national maps for every decade since detailed mapping began in the late 1800's. The site hosts 'the latest maps' as of the last day of each decade from 1899 to 2009.
MAPSPAST
RETROLENS
NEW ZEALAND
Historical Image Resource: Retrolens is made up of a treasure trove of aerial photographs that have been taken since the 1936 through to 2005. It is a Crown archive and contains 500,000 images which is free to search and download. The information is derived from records of the organisations that make up the Local Government Geospatial Alliance (LGGA). Retrolens
NEW ZEALAND MINE PLANS NZ Mine Plans is a purpose-built database with an interactive GIS webmap. It provides free access to a catalogue of plans for recent and historic mines in New Zealand. NZ MineMap

MUSEUMS AND GOLDMINING EXPERIENCES IN NEW ZEALAND AND AUSTRALIA

LAKES DISTRICT MUSEUM
ARROWTOWN
The Museum at Arrowtown, Otago, New Zealand holds a large collection of mining-related records and memorabilia. This collection includes The Arrowtown Gold Receipt Book, Arrowtown Police Station March 1863 - Apr 1868 which has been indexed on the Goldminer's Database. Arrowtown
TUAPEKA GOLDFIELDS
MUSEUM, LAWRENCE
The Tuapeka Goldfields Museum shows some of the history and artifacts from the Goldrush era as well as explaining some of the prospecting and mining methods used. Located at Lawrence, Otago, New Zealand. Tuapeka Goldfields Museum
GOLDFIELDS MINING
CENTRE, OTAGO, NZ
Located on the banks of the spectacular Kawarau Gorge, near Cromwell, Otago New Zealand, The Goldfields Mining Centre is a special place where visitors can gain an appreciation of the life and working environment of those early miners who struggled against the harsh and sometimes dangerous conditions. Goldfields Mining Centre
BLACKS POINT MUSEUM Goldmining and the challenge of extracting this precious metal from ore is the key feature of this Blacks Point, Reefton museum, housed in an historic building of the area. About 100 metres further along the road is a water-driven stamper, a unique working example of how quartz was crushed for the extraction of gold. Blacks Point Museum
THAMES GOLDMINE
EXPERIENCE
A guided tour takes you through an operational 19th century Stamper Battery and into one of the richest goldmines of the time, the Caledonian mine of Thames, New Zealand. The site has been developed and is operated by the volunteers of the HAURAKI PROSPECTORS' ASSOCIATION. Goldmine Experience
THE THAMES SCHOOL
OF MINES
The Thames School of Mines complex is significant for its links with science and technology, still containing a large amount of equipment related to the development and teaching of gold mining and extraction techniques. Open to the public. Thames School of Mines
THE COROMANDEL SCHOOL OF MINES & HISTORICAL MUSEUM The life of mining and its impact on a small town are at the heart of this comprehensive village museum housed in the historic Coromandel School of Mines building (1897). Coromandel
BELLA STREET
PUMPHOUSE RESTORATION
The Thames Museum of Technology, Thames. This building was erected to house the 'Big Pump" which served all the mines at the Northern end of the Thames' flats. The pump was built in 1898 on massive concrete foundations. The Museum has a working model of the 'Big Pump' and a display of photographs. Bella Street Pumphouse
WAIHI ARTS CENTRE
AND MUSEUM

Gold was first discovered in Waihi in 1878, and by 1905, Waihi not only possessed the most productive gold mine in New Zealand but was the largest gold mining town in the country. Our museum presents the history of the gold mining era in the Karangahake and Waihi area.

Waihi Museum
SOVEREIGN HILL PARK
AND GOLD MUSEUM
Located at Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, Sovereign Hill recreates Ballarat's first ten years after the discovery of gold in 1851 when thousands of international adventurers rushed to the Australian goldfields in search of a fortune in gold. Journey through time into our under-ground mines, and experience what life must have been like for an 1850's miner. Sovereign Hill
CASTLEMAINE DIGGINGS
NATIONAL HERITAGE PARK
Located at Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia. From the remains of house sites and puddling machines to the gold mines and gullies that yielded fortunes, Australia's first National Heritage Park harbours fascinating tales of a golden past and retains much of its gold-rush character. Castlemaine
NEW ZEALAND GOLD
PROSPECTING & FOSSICKING

Information, maps and an active community for people prospecting & fossicking for gold in New Zealand. This is the forum for a large friendly community interested in gold-fossicking, prospecting and metal-detecting. NZ Gold Prospecting Forum


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Contact: Kae Lewis