Birth & Death Records

Background to Information Obtained from the New Zealand BMD Index

It was only after having undertaken compilation of death and burial records from the Whangarei District Council in the course of some genealogical research that fortuitously I discovered how to access information on the New Zealand BMD Registry site. Up until that point I had decided not to bother including birth or death details of servicemen and women on the database listing.

New Zealand prisoners of war, Stalag 383, Hohenfels, Bavaria, Germany. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch :Photographs relating to World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, occupation of Japan, Korean War, and Malayan Emergency. Ref: DA-03681. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22836811 “Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.”

New Zealand prisoners of war, Stalag 383, Hohenfels, Bavaria, Germany. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch :Photographs relating to World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, occupation of Japan, Korean War, and Malayan Emergency. Ref: DA-03681. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22836811
“Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.”

The relevant webpage is to be found here.

Before I get on to discussing the matter of Births and Deaths in more detail, let me make it quite clear that anything you read in this section (and in the Council Cemeteries Databases section) should be used only as a guide to your further research. Chances are that what you see is correct, but do not just take it at face value. Go in and check the indexes and other records yourself, so as to totally satisfy yourself that what you’ve seen on the database is correct. If it is not, then please email me dalewcalder@gmail.com, so that I can make the necessary correction(s) to the spreadsheet.

Important: In the ‘Notes’ column if you see the notation ‘Not in Birth Index’ .. or ‘Not in Death Index’  that simply means from my cursory check of the indices I was not able to find this person. This should not stop you looking further. Consider other name variations, inversions of christian names and aliases. In that way you may be able to find the person you are looking for and their birth or death date or parents names.

 

Note that if you see a cell in one of these columns “grayed out” this means that I have exhausted all enquiry into this person’s date of birth or death. That does not mean that you should not pursue further enquiry.

Now; some notes relating to ..

Births:

1. Where a date of birth is recorded on a Cenotaph or cemetery record, a check of the Birth Index may not necessarily have been made to verify this as correct. Chances are though that it has.

2. In the Births column where a birth occurred more recently than 100 years ago, this has been earmarked with an asterisk (*) or has a letter highlighted in blue, as a reminder for future update. This cues me to follow up on these over the next few years and is not something you need take note of.

On the database spreadsheet some birthdates are more recent than 100 years prior to date of search. They are here because they were identified on the Death Index or were found on the Cenotaph or some other record.  Only when 100 years from date of birth has passed will these births be found on the Birth Index. It is still my intention to run a check by the Birth Index of these. Indeed, that is really only the main task now ahead of me and is well advanced.

Where a birth cannot be found in the Birth Index, I have accepted the date of birth as shown in the Death Index, as opposed to any differing date showing on a Cenotaph or cemetery record.

There is a possibility that a name displayed in the Roll exists but in varied form on the Birth Index, e.g.  a George Smith might be William George Smith or George Raymond Smith in the Birth Index.

3. My investigations revealed that few if any of the Maori births were registered and when they had been more often than not this was in a different name to that shown on the Roll. Where a date of birth has been found this has usually been obtained from the Death Index, the Cenotaph database, the Maori Battalion roll, or a cemetery record; usually from the Death Index.

4. In the course of reviewing the Death Index I often found either date of birth or age at death recorded.  Where date of birth shows this has been entered directly onto the spreadsheet without recourse and where possible checked to the Birth Index. Where age at death  shows this has been entered in the ‘age’ column, and has been used as a guide to establishing year of birth for the purposes of undertaking a search of the Birth record.

Summary of why a Birth may not be found:

* it occurred more recently than 100 years before the search date

* it was never registered or was registered in a name different to that on the Roll

* the person in question was born overseas

* there is a misspelling of the name on the Roll or a nickname has been used in the Christian Name column

Note: Details of parents’ names may show up on the Birth Index and these are also being added where possible. They can be very useful if they have not already been recorded on the Roll.

 

Deaths: 

1. As mentioned in 4. above, age at death was first recorded in the ‘age’ column. Only as time has allowed, did I start to work my way checking the Death Index. Fortunately, this is now all but done.

2. The same thing applies as regards a name being in varied form on the Death Index to that shown on the Roll.

3. Where the date of death has been mentioned elsewhere, e.g in cemetery records or on the Cenotaph database this has not always been doublechecked to the Death Index. You may want to go back and ensure that the information entered is indeed that shown on the Index. 

4. Dates of death highlighted in yellow on the spreadsheet database relate to those who died while on active service and more often than not have been obtained from either the Cenotaph, the CWG site or a cemetery record.

Summary of why a Death may not be found:

* to date the death has not been registered or it has been registered in a name different to that on the Roll

Greek Andarte leader with one of his aides, during World War II, Greece. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch :Photographs relating to World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, occupation of Japan, Korean War, and Malayan Emergency. Ref: DA-09560. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22486595 “Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.”

Greek Andarte leader with one of his aides, during World War II, Greece. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch :Photographs relating to World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, occupation of Japan, Korean War, and Malayan Emergency. Ref: DA-09560. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22486595
“Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.”

* the person in question died overseas

* the person is still alive

* there is a misspelling of the name on the Roll or a nickname has been used in the Christian Name column

Remember: Should you find that Birth and Death dates have not been entered in the appropriate columns glance on over to the ‘Details’ column where you may find that I have recorded close matches. Please also revisit my comment about Age at Death, here.

By the way,  have you downloaded the database yet?

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