Genealogy – the search for our greatest treasures – our ancestors





We welcome enquiries for research assistance and lookups

We request a donation for research plus copying/printouts @ 20c a page + P & P





Listed here are many of our resources covering the South Otago region along with some within the wider Otago/Southland region.  At the bottom of this page you will find books we have for sale that may help with your research in South Otago.


Puketiro Tunnel  Catlins line near Table Hill c1909

Railway Construction near

Table Hill, Catlins –

‘The Blunder’ c1909

We are currently computer indexing our resources of local content, along with collections which are unique to the branch.  These include cemetery and some school records.  We are presently fully indexing our local history books, and these, along with other records indexed to date are being placed on the ‘Master Index’.  A simplified version of this index can be view on this site.  There will you find a list of the indexes added to date.  This is an ongoing project, so do check it from time to time as indexes are being continually added.  The Master Index will lead you to the resource in which the information can be found.


Our branch also holds considerable research resources relating to New Zealand and overseas including Births, Deaths and Marriages Index for New Zealand to 1990 on microfiche.  We have recently added NZ Electoral Rolls to 1903 to our collection.


First Families – We have recently begun compiling a collection of first families to South Otago from the early days of settlement with not 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


For a full listing of our resources, please contact our Branch (details above).


Resources below are listed in the following categories -

Towns and Districts Histories


Schools – Histories and Records – See also link at left

Cemeteries – See also link at left

Other – Histories and Records

Family Histories


Electoral Rolls etc


TOWNS and DISTRICTS - Histories

Balclutha Borough Council Diamond Jubilee

Blue Mountains, Beyond the

Blue Spur


Catlins, Corner of

Catlins Maori

Catlins Pioneering

Clinton ‘Landmark – A Century or More’

Clutha District Council History ‘Stepping Out’



Greenfield Pioneers 

Henley ‘Henley, Taieri Ferry and Otakaia’

Inchclutha ‘The Inch’  (Available for purchase – click HERE)

Kaitangata, History of 1800’s-2004

Kaitangata Mine Disaster 1879



Kaitangata, Early Memories of

Kaitangata, Further Memories of

Lovells Flat

Maori and Settlers in South Otago

Otakaia ‘Henley, Taieri Ferry and Otakaia’

Puerua and Waitepeka ‘The Two Posts’ 

Rock and Pillar, East of

Romahapa ‘The Mist of Time’  (Available for purchase – click HERE)

South Otago Farm Location Map     

South Otago, Pioneering in

Stoney Creek Hotel

Taieri Ferry ‘Henley, Taieri Ferry and Otakaia

Te Mata-au a te Koau

Tokomairiro ‘Faith and Toil’

Tuapeka County History ‘Hammer and Tap’

Waipori Centennial

Waitepeka and Puerua ‘The Two Posts’ (Available for purchase – click HERE)

Waiwera ‘The Days of our Glory’


CHURCHES - Histories

Balclutha Presbyterian Church

Lovells Flat 60yrs

Milton Presbyterian 100yrs

Milton, St John the Evangelist

Presbyterian Church of NZ


SCHOOLSSee our new page ‘Schools’


Balclutha Public School 1865 – 1931

Balclutha School 1865-1965          

Catlins Schools, 100 years of ‘Full Circle’

Lawrence District High and Consolidated Schools

Lovells Flat and Tuakitoto

Millers Flat School Centennial 1886 – 1996

Moneymore School 1868 – 1968

Otago Boys High School 1863 – 1963

Otanomomo, Paretai – 75 Yrs at Paretai School

Paretai, Otanomomo – 75 Yrs at Paretai School

Port Molyneux ‘Schools by the Seaside’

Reomoana ‘Schools by the Seaside’

The Nuggets ‘Schools by the Seaside’

Tokoiti (Fairfax) School 1876 – 1976

Tuakitoto and Lovells Flat Schools

Warepa School – First 70 Years

Waronui (Fortification) School 1906 –






Balclutha District High School  1907

Balclutha District High School - 1907

SCHOOLS See our new page ‘Schools’


NOTE:  Date restrictions exist for later records

Awamangu 1907-1938

Balclutha up to1920       

Benhar 1909-1947

Clinton 1879-1894 1883-1908 1908-1946 1946-1968

Clydevale 1898-1938

Glenore 1879-1928

Greenfield 1908-1938

Havelock (later Waitahuna) 1876-1877

Houipapa 1927-1944

Kaihiku 1875-1944

Kaitangata 1880-1894 1921 -1946

Kuriwao 1896-1943

Mt Stuart 1882-1939

Nugget Point 1912-1938

Otanomomo-Paretai 1914-1977

Papatowai 1912-1956

Port Molyneux 1866-1881 1876-1878 1885-1900 1907-1941 1937-1967

Pukepito 1894-1938

Puketi 1913-1938

Purekireki 1885-1947

Reomoana 1878-1928

Romahapa 1856-1915 1919-1989

Slopedown 1899-1908 1938-1947


Stoney Creek

Tahakopa 1921-1988

Tarara 1898-1953

Tawanui 1907-1931 1931-1960

Te Houka (odd lists)

Waitahuna 1890-1991

Waitahuna West 1885-1935

Waiwera South 1884-1992 1913-1954 1954-1977 1977-1989

Waiwera Township 1884-1923

Warepa 1869-1958

Wharetoa 1910-1938




See our cemeteries database

If the cemetery you require is not there go to our Master Index

Not all records are complete for all cemeteries

We will photograph grave or headstone where identifiable

Information about this service below



Balclutha Old

Balclutha Lawn


Chaslands (Heathfield)






Heathfield (Chaslands)

Inch Clutha


Kaka Point



Millers Flat


Milton St Johns

Native Cemetery





Port Molyneux




Ruapuke Island

Stewart Island

St Johns Milton








McBrides Bros (Monumental Masons)

  Death and Funeral Notices -


Balclutha Burials 1912-1992





If not already on our cemeteries database, we can supply  photographs of grave and/or headstone upon request where identifiable.

Emailed – no charge

Standard 6 X 4 photo - $5 each, plus P & P

CLICK HERE to request this service




OTHER - Histories

Bowlers of the Clutha (Bowling Clubs)

‘Surat’ – Shipwreck in the Catlins

Clutha Bridge and Public Affairs

Donald Reid, Otago Farmers  1878 – 1978

Import Stores, The Story of

Photographers in Business in Otago and Southland – very useful for dating your old photographs

Reminiscences of Early Settlement of Dunedin & South Otago

SOCOLD, 50 Years (SO Freezing Coy) 

Those were the Days – 1950’s


Balclutha Bridge under construction, opened 1935

Existing Clutha Bridge

under construction

Opened 1935


OTHER – Records

Intentions to Marry and Marriages at

  Registry Office, ex Balclutha Court House

      Balclutha 1870-1920

      Blue Spur 1871-1881

      Gabriels 1863-1920

      Kaihiku/Warepa 1866-1881

      Kaitangata 1883-1920

      Milton 1861-1920

      North Molyneux 1866-1882

      Owaka/Catlins 1882-1920

      Romahapa 1901-1920

      Tuapeka Mouth 1885-1920

      Waipori 1868-1878

      Waitahuna 1866-1920

Index of Property Names extracted from newspapers



Ayson Clan – Glenshee to Otago

Ayton, Charles, Diary 1899 – 1904 Central Otago

Begg, Adam and Isabella

Bower Family Descendants

Brash Descendants

Burns, Jane - Reminiscence 1893

Camerons to Otago – 1852

Churnside Family

Cowie Family

Craig-Lea (The CraigIE Family History) 1848-1973

Cuddie and Brash Descendants 

Campbell family of  Nuggetburn

Campbell family of Nuggetburn


Dagliesh, Elizabeth and William

EWART Family

Fletts from Skallibister Orkney

GARDNER Family of Rosemains

Gilbert Family

Gray, William and McDonald, Catherine, Descendants

HOULISTON, Adam – Collection of Photos

Houliston, Robert 

Johnston, Isabella, Scrap Book kept by

Kirby, William Descendants

Logans of Owaka - Loganarch of Antrim

Marshall Family Descendants

MATHESON & McRAE families, By ‘Chance’ to Victoria

McDonald, Catherine and GRAY, William, Descendants OF

McFarlane, Donald and SCOTT, Margaret, Descendants of

McKenzie, History of the Clan


McLaren, Daniel and McMinn, Anne, Descendants

McLAY John, Diary ‘The Mooltan’

McRAE & MATHESON families, By ‘Chance’ to Victoria

Neilson Family

Paterson, Wm O.E.S.A

PILLANS Frances, Diary ‘The Mooltan’

REID Thomas, Shipboard Diary of

Robinsons of Moneymore

Satyrs of Southland


Scott, Margaret and McFarlane, Donald Descendants

SMITH family tree

WAITE William Watkins & his travelling family

WILSON, Anne – Collection of Photos

Wilson, James

WRIGHT (nee TAPP) Margaret Mrs Reminiscences


We have ‘The Clutha Leader’ on microfilm  1874 to 1971


We have a newspapers cuttings collection of births, deaths and obituaries, engagements and miscellaneous items relating to South Otago.


Queries and look-ups welcomed – contact

NOTE – The Clutha Leader is not indexed as yet.  An approximate date of an event would be desirable.


Otago Daily Times Archives 100 Yrs Ago 1904

Otago Daily Times BDM’s 1999-2003

Otago Daily Times Engagements and Wedding Anniv. 2004-06

Otago Daily Times Obituaries 2004, 2005 

JOD Clip Art newspaper.gif



Balclutha Borough Ratepayers 1919

Balclutha Borough 1962-65

Clutha Electoral 1969

Clutha Electoral 1972

Clutha Electoral 1987




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 humourous 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


'The Two Posts - Puerua and Waitepeka'

by Ethel McLaren


The South Otago rural districts of Puerua and Waitepeka are a little further west of Romahapa and, like it, were settled early. This history tells the story of these settlements, the families and industries. The book has 112 pages with 51 photos, a map and NEW to this edition - AN INDEX. First published in 1996 this book is a 2011 reprint, this book is 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


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“Whoever said ‘Seek and ye shall find’ was NOT a genealogist”




‘Branch Resources’ last updated 13 Oct 2016

© 2016 NZSG Balclutha Branch (Balclutha Genealogical Society)