Marriages–Civil Registration

    Marriages Civil Registration NZ – History

    Marriages–Civil RegistrationCivil registration in New Zealand dates from 1848 when it was under the control of the Colonial Secretary’s Office. At first only births and deaths were recorded with marriages six years later in 1854. This applied to all New Zealand residents and was not compulsory until 1856. The separate registration of Maori marriages started in 1911 with separate birth and death registers starting in 1913. In 1961 the registration for both Maori and non Maori were combined. A timeline for changes in civil registration requirements is given at the end of this lesson.

    Marriages Civil Registration NZ – What is on the indexes ?

    The civil registration indexes in New Zealand give more information that those for England & Wales as they link together the bride and groom in the index. You can expect to find on the online marriage indexes the following

  • Year
  • Reference number
  • First name & Surname of Bride
  • First name & Surname of Groom

There are two booklets that can be used in conjunction with these indexes to decipher the reference number thus giving the district in which the event took place. “District Keys to the NZ Registration Indexes 1848-1920” and “District Keys to the NZ Registration Indexes 1921-1955”. Both of these booklets are published by The New Zealand Society of Genealogists. http://www.genealogy.org.nz/default.aspx

    Marriages Civil Registration NZ – What is on the printouts ?

    Printouts, which aren’t legal documents, have more information than Marriages–Civil Registrationcertificates and are the preferred option for family history. However if you require a legal document for some reason then you will need to purchase a certificate. Printouts are cheaper than certificates. Printouts can be sent by email whilst certificates have to be sent by mail.

    At various times different information has been required to be recorded in the birth, marriage and death registers. Below is a summary of what you can expect to find on a printout for a marriage entry. Bear in mind that if the information was unknown or not given then there will be a gap in the printout.

    Marriages prior to 1880

  • When and where married
  • Brides name, age, rank or profession, condition
  • Grooms name, age, rank or profession, condition
  • When registered
  • Signatures of bride and groom
  • Signatures of the witnesses
  • Name & signature of officiating minister (or registrar)

Marriages 1880 – 1995

  • Local reference number
  • When and where married
  • Brides name, age, rank or profession, condition (spinster, widow, divorced), if widow date of death of former wife or husband, birthplace, residence both usual & present. Father’s name, rank of profession, Mother’s name & maiden name.
  • Grooms name, age, rank or profession, condition (bachelor, widower, divorced), if widower date of death of former wife or husband, birthplace, residence both usual & present. Father’s name, rank of profession, Mother’s name & maiden name
  • Signatures of Bride, Groom, Witnesses, Officiating Minister (Registrar)

Marriages 1995 – 1998

  • Registry number
  • When and where married
  • Brides name, age, year of birth, usual occupation or job, marital status, if previously married how and when previous marriage dissolved , birthplace, residence both usual & present. Father’s name, usual occupation or job, Mother’s name & maiden name.
  • Grooms name, age, year of birth, usual occupation or job, marital status, if previously married how and when previous marriage dissolved , birthplace, residence both usual & present. Father’s name, usual occupation or job, Mother’s name & maiden name.
  • Signatures of Bride, Groom, Witnesses and their addresses, Person Officiating at the marriage and their title.

Maori Marriages 1911 – 1952

  • Registry number
  • When and where married
  • Brides name, age, occupation, condition (spinster, widow, divorced), birthplace, residence, father’s name.
  • Grooms name, age, occupation, condition (spinster, widow, divorced), birthplace, residence, father’s name
  • Signatures of Bride, Groom, Witnesses, Officiating Minister (Registrar)

Marriages 1998

  • When and where married
  • Brides name, birth date, birthplace, occupation, home address, relationship status. If divorced how & when dissolved, father’s name, occupation, mother’s name & maiden name, occupation
  • Grooms name, birth date, birthplace, occupation, home address, relationship status. If divorced how & when dissolved, father’s name, occupation, mother’s name & maiden name, occupation
  • If either bride or groom have changed their names then original name is given, date name changed
  • If Bride and Groom were in a Civil Union the date & place of the Civil Union is noted

Marriages Civil Registration NZ – Where can the indexes be found?

Marriages–Civil RegistrationThe historic civil registration indexes are available on the Birth, Death and Marriage Historical Records website along with a facility to order copies of certificates and printouts. There are restricted time periods for these indexes marriages have to have occurred at least 80 years ago.

https://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/home/

 

Timeline of Changes to Civil Registration in New Zealand

DATE INFORMATION
1848 Birth and Death Registrations Introduced (Colonial Secretary’s Office).
1854 Marriage Registration Act Introduced.
1854 Registry Office Marriages Introduced.
1876 Marriage details/age and birthplace of Parents recorded on birth registrations. Occupation, parental details, where born, when and where buried, marriage details, ages of children of deceased, length of time in NZ recorded on death registrations.
Oct 1880 Parental details recorded on Marriage registrations and the residence of each party to the marriage.
1911 Separate Registration of Māori Marriages introduced.
1912 Age of widow and degree of Māori blood recorded on Death registration. Official registration of stillborn births provided for, however some stillborn births were registered prior to this date.
1913

Separate Registration of Māori Births and Deaths introduced. Age and sex of live siblings recorded on Birth registration plus number and sex of deceased siblings.

1914 Recording of First World War deaths.
1915 Introduction to re-register the birth of any child “subject to an adoption order”. Original birth entry closed. New entry registered stating adoptive details.
1920 Dissolution endorsements recorded on marriage entries.
1924

Registration of births not registered within 2 years. No set time after 2 years to allow the Register-General the authority to register birth. Prior to the above there were other Acts allowing the Registrar-General to register a late birth, however there were specific times set e.g. within one year. Acts were called Extension or Amendment Act.

1930

Word “Illegitimate” to be omitted from birth registration. Registering Deaths of Naval forces. Amendment to the Coroners Act by permitting inquests to be held in cases where the body is irrecoverable and the deaths able to be registered.

1933

Minimum Age of Marriage raised to 16 years. Prior to this it was 14 years for males & 12 years for females.

1935

Births, Deaths & Marriages transferred from the Department of Internal Affairs to the Department of Justice. Change made to information registered on Māori Births and Deaths.

1943 Registration of children born overseas and adopted in New Zealand.
1944

Recording of Marriage relating to a Service person solemnised outside New Zealand. Cause of death could be amended if error disclosed by post mortem examination.

1945 Recording of Second World War plus any future Service personnel death e.g. Korean, Vietnam.
1952 Separate Māori marriage registration now combined into General Register.
1954

Deed poll Endorsements recorded on Birth Registrations. Prior to the above Deed Polls were lodged at the nearest Supreme Court to where the applicant lived. No provision to notate the relevant birth registration.

1955

Issue of Certificate of No Impediment to New Zealand citizen wishing to marry in a foreign country. Introduction of the Marriage Act 1955 which is still in force today.

1962

Separate Māori Birth and Death registrations combined into the General register. Adoptions made in the Māori land court ceased. All adoptions then processed by the Magistrates Court.

1972 Birth and Death registrations now in A4 loose leaf form (previously recorded in large registers).
1985 Adult Adoption act provided for requests of Pre Adoptive birth certificate by adoptee. Vetoes on disclosure able to be lodged by either adoptee or birth parents.
1990

NZ Post Office agencies withdrawn. Local authorised agencies established. Commemorative birth certificates available for the year marking 150 years of the Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

1995

Births, Deaths and Marriages transferred from the Department of Justice to Department of Internal Affairs. Became known as the Central Registry. Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995 came into force. The associated Registration Regulations included prescribed information and forms.

1998 Centralisation of registration processes.
1999 Computerisation / Imaging of Pre 1998 Birth, Death and Marriage registrations commenced.
2000

Commemorative millennium birth certificates available for children born in 2000. All birth and death agency work withdrawn from the courts and local authorisation agencies. All register books archived.

2001 Computer imaging of registrations completed.
2004

Bilingual birth certificates introduced. Addresses printed on back of certificates.

2005

Civil unions introduced. Status of children legislation allowing for ‘other parent’ to be included on a birth registration. Human Assisted Reproduction Technology legislation introduced allowing registration of donors & donor offspring through fertility clinics.

2006 Citizenship status determined for children born in New Zealand after 1/1/2006.
2008 Decorative birth certificates introduced and available for all births.
2009

Amendments leading to the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Act came into force on 25 January 2009 changing access requirements. Allows for internet services to be introduced. Name change register was established to record name changes processed after this date for overseas born persons.