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.
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.
There is an online index to the Collections of Archives New Zealand available online.
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 found on the Database are 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This search engine collates results from NZ Births, Deaths and Marriages Registrations, Auckland Museum Online Cenotaph, Dunedin City Council Cemeteries, Wellington City Council Cemeteries, Christchurch City Council Cemeteries
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our Place, Our People, Our History: West Coasters sharing our stories
and memories. This Kete has been created to capture and preserve the historical and current memories,
stories and activities of the West Coast people. Heritage, Mining and more.....
NZ Topo Map which is free to download is an interactive topographic map of New Zealand using the official LINZ's 1:50,000 / Topo50 and 1:250,000 / Topo250 maps. They map both the built and the natural environment of New Zealand: the mountains, plains and rivers, and the roads and railways.
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.
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).
High resolution images of large format maps created during the early european settlement and exploration of New Zealand. Early New Zealand maps were draughted by surveyors in the mid-19th century and are stored for LINZ at Archives NZ.
New Zealand Elevation Maps - LiDAR availability and release schedule. LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) maps, create a picture of the bare earth. We see through the cover of dense bush to the ground beneath.
New Zealand Elevation Maps - LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) maps, create a picture of the bare earth around Westport and the Buller River, West Coast. With these maps, you can trace the rivers and gullies of the Ahaura Goldfield.
Hector's Map of the Otago Province. A large geological map of Otago, originally compiled by James Hector in 1864 that identifies rocks types by different colours as well as showing mines and mineral prospects.
MUSEUMS AND GOLDMINING EXPERIENCES IN NEW ZEALAND AND AUSTRALIA
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.