Genealogy – the search for our greatest treasures – our ancestors









 (see map below showing our region in the South Island, New Zealand)


Clyde Street  Balclutha  looking towards Rosebank.jpg

Clyde Street, Balclutha looking south

Our History


It all began in 1971 as a group of girlfriends with a common interest in family history met casually.  They began transcribing local cemeteries – 7 in five months!  In October 1971 this group became the ‘Balclutha Genealogical Society’ with 11 members.  From those beginnings to the present day as a branch of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists, we owe much to the efforts of our early members and the projects they undertook.


Our Aims (in brief)


To bring together and assist all who share an interest in family and local history, and to promote and encourage accurate research of New Zealand families’ history.


To encourage preservation of records of genealogical and historical value.                   

Clyde St  Crown Hotel & Coffee Palace right.jpg

Clyde Street, Balclutha

Crown Hotel and Coffee Palace at right




Balclutha Fire Engine.jpg

Early Fire Engine, George Street, Balclutha

Why not join us?


Full Branch Membership

NZ$20 per annum

Newsletter Only (please see below)

NZ$10 per annum

   (Posted in New Zealand or emailed)

Our members enjoy meetings, speakers, trips, events and a monthly newsletter, but most of all learning and sharing a common interest in family history in a relaxed and friendly group.


Branch Email Contact:


Postal Contact:


NZSG Balclutha Branch

C/ R Richardson

Golfers Drive

Balclutha 9230

New Zealand








Thursday 1st July 2021 at 7.30pm

Public Library, John Street, Balclutha

Doors open at 7pm for research



Give a Short talk on an ancestor’s immigrant ship to New Zealand

Bring along photos and/or memorabilia if you have them


Everyone welcome

 Enquiries to Noeline 03 418 0653





Please note that there is no research night during June and July



An excellent option for those with research in South Otago and who live beyond our region is to take out a ‘Newsletter Only’ subscription.   See ‘Membership and Contacts’ above.





·         CEMETERIES ONLINE – We are very excited to let you announce our searchable cemetery database. The ‘trial’ cemetery is Clinton which is available by following links from the Cemeteries link at left. More to be added in the future.  For other cemeteries please continue to check the master index.

· at Clutha District Libraries – We are delighted to announce that, following our group’s submission to Clutha District Council, that the Library Edition of is now available in all libraries within the Clutha District region for a trial period.  This is very exciting for our members and the general public seeking to research from the extensive collections on offer via Ancestry.

·         Newsletter – Proud to announce that once again we have a Newsletter Editor.  Many thanks Isabel and we look forward to a good read!  If you would like to subscribe to our newsletter the annual sub is $10.  Just email us and we’ll get you on the mailing list.

·        Fundraising efforts and events – Check out our items for sale - see Sales below.  All proceeds go towards adding to and maintaining our branch collection. 




Ongoing projects include cemetery photographing and transcribing, school record transcribing and indexing of local and family histories.  If you would like to join the team please contact us.  As well as data entry (you don’t need to be a fast or accurate typist) we hold checking sessions most Tuesdays.  Everyone welcome. 


First Families – We are compiling a collection of first families to South Otago from the early days of settlement with no cut off date.  If you would like to contribute please download the form at right (two files – front 107kb, back 115kb).    First Families Register form front.pdf      First Families Register form back.pdf



Visiting South Otago?

For research assistance while in our region, you can contact us through:

Public Library, John Street, Balclutha


Information Centre, Clyde Street, Balclutha (near the Bridge)

Or email us at:  

We are happy to undertake research for you prior to your visit.


Where in the world is Balclutha?

       See maps at right.          

Map South Otago reduced.jpg

South Otago showing Balclutha

New Zealand.jpg

New Zealand




Joys and Sorrows - The Clutha Leader 1874 – 1900

by W Noel Brown

Brand new, must have, resource for genealogists and historical researchers!

* covers South Otago, also items from Central Otago and Southland
* full transcript
* listed alphabetically by surname
* easy to search in PDF and MS Word formats

The extensive project of gathering and collating material from the Balclutha published Clutha Leader newspaper was undertaken by Noel Brown to assist family history and historical researchers.

This publication goes beyond the bare listing of names, dates and places and contains everything relating to births, deaths and marriages - birth, death and marriage notices, reports of death, obituaries, funerals and inquests, weddings and related festivities, Court and local body proceedings.

Mr Brown says "The stories of individuals are included in full, providing you with a window into the lives of families and individuals in Southern New Zealand when the new country was taking shape. The words they used represent a world of ideas, skills, tools, clothing that no longer exists. The "Settlers" were still alive and making their mark in the new Colony, and when they died, the contributions they had made were described leaving us with a record of their aspirations and their dedication."

Buyer comments: "What an amazing resource created by W. Noel Brown. It is a treasure of lasting interest to genealogist now and in the future."
"The disk has great information on for family researchers."

Proceeds go towards the Balclutha Genealogical Society (Balclutha Branch NZSG) fund raising

Available exclusively through us!


Priced at NZ$20 each plus $5 p&p (up to 2 CDs within NZ)


Click HERE to request your copy


 ‘My Grandmother’s Kitchen’

A Collection of Recipes

Seasoned with

Memories and Tales of the Past


Not just another recipe book, this is a celebration of our branch which has been in existence for 35 years (2006).  Coil bound for ease of use on the kitchen bench and with a laminated cover, the 120 pages are packed full of good old fashioned recipes, family favourites, interesting and unusual recipes along with memories, anecdotes, old sayings and Grandma's good old fashioned advice, all submitted by past and present members.   Complete with humorous illustrations, a brief history and genealogy tips, we hope it will be enjoyed by many, not only for a good feed but also for a good read.


Priced at NZ$10 each plus $5 p&p. (NZ)


Click HERE to request your copy


‘The Inch’

The Reproduction and Update of the Story of

Stirling and Inch Clutha

By Alma M. Rutherford


This is an excellent local history, 224 pgs with photographs and full index


Available from us for NZ$25 + $5 p&p (NZ)

Total NZ$30 per copy


Click HERE to request your copy


‘The Mist of Time – The Story of Romahapa’

by Ethel U McLaren


Romahapa, known in the early settlement as East Clutha, South Clutha or Puerua was one of the earliest settlements in South Otago and families spread throughout New Zealand and beyond. It gives a wonderful picture of the early days and families up to the 1980's of this part of South Otago. The book has 65 pages with 28 photos, a map and an index, the index added on the reprint. The book is A4 sized and signed by the author.


 Available from us for NZ$15 + $5 p&p (NZ)

Total NZ$20 per copy


Click HERE to request your copy


JOD scroll9.gif


“Genealogists never lose their jobs, they just go to another branch”




Branch Information’ last updated 21 June 2021

©  NZSG Balclutha Branch (Balclutha Genealogical Society)