The Hidden Women Workshop

The Hidden Women Project focuses on naming women found in various records where they are identified through their husband, father or children, but not named. 

The Hidden Women of the Cyclopedia of New Zealand

 The initial focus is on The Cyclopedia of New Zealand, published from 1897-1908.

Volume 1: Wellington (1897)
Volume 2: Auckland (1902)
Volume 3: Canterbury (1903)
Volume 4: Otago & Southland (1905)
Volume 5: Nelson, Marlborough & Westland (1906)
Volume 6: Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington 1908)

The Cyclopedia is available in libraries around New Zealand. A browsable version is available on the Ancestry website. A transcript is available on the New Zealand Electronic Text Collection.


New Zealand Sources

These are my favourite websites for New Zealand research.

New Zealand Births, Deaths and Marriages Online. These historical indexes give you the skeleton on which to form your family history. Make sure you read the information on what data is collected. We always suggest buying printouts, rather than certificates for family history purposes (unless needed for legal reasons).

Papers Past. National library's collection of digitised newspapers and other papers. This is a rabbit-hole of fantastically distracting stories of our families and their communities. Make sure you check what newspaper coverage there is (which newspapers are digitised and for what periods) for the geographical area you are researching.

Archives New Zealand - Collections. As the keeper of the government's memory, Archway is the index to find records that may be available at an Archives New Zealand office in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch & Dunedin or also a growing collection of digitised resources including the Women's Suffrage Petition (1892 & 1893) and World War I files. 

Cemeteries. Check whether the local council has online cemetery records for the area where your family died. Remember that these won't include burials in churchyards or privately run crematory.

Christchurch City Council Cemeteries Database

FamilySearch: This free site run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a wide range of records (including digital images) for family historians. 

This includes two collections that have been digitised from Archives New Zealand - New Zealand Probates and New Zealand Passenger Lists. For the probate records note that there is a 50 year closure on what is online. With the passenger lists they are the records that exist, some have been lost over the years and you might also find that your family crossed the ditch from Australia.

The Wilson Collection: "This free collection coordinated by Diane Wilson over the past 40 years includes records from many and varied sources to assist with your research." Includes an index of New Zealand marriages up to 1956.


Other Websites

There are more links to other websites on my Pinterest pages.


Hidden Women Worksheet

Download a copy of the Hidden Women Worksheet here.

When you have completed the worksheet, please return to Memories in Time.

Either photograph or scan your worksheet and email to

Or post to Memories in Time, PO Box 37258, Halswell, Christchurch 8245


Work With Me

If you want to learn more about how to trace your family history then check out how we can Work Together.