Source Information

Ancestry.com. New Zealand, Registered Ships & Owners, 1840-1950 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
Original data:

New Zealand Registered Ships & Owners, 1840–1950. Ann Bromell Collection. Microfiche, 7 fiche. Auckland: BAB microfilming.

Watt, M N.Index to the NZ Section of the Register of all British Ships. New Zealand Ship and Marine Society: Wellington.

About New Zealand, Registered Ships & Owners, 1840-1950

This collection contains an index of all ships that were registered in New Zealand from 1840 to 1950. It also includes an index of ship owners and masters. The ship records include descriptions of each ship, registration dates and countries, and its sailing history. Many of these ships brought passengers to and from New Zealand, making this collection a valuable resource if you are researching immigration records.

Ship building and sailing are an essential part of New Zealand history. The Māori claim to have first arrived on the island in voyaging canoes and subsequently constructed many ships from the Kauri wood of the island. Subsequent colonists in the Wakefield Province were mainly from London or nearby counties. The Free Church of Scotland (which had separated from the Church of Scotland over its relationship with the state) also bought some land for settlement in the province of Otago. Other nationalities present in the colonies of New Zealand were the Irish, and immigrants from Australia.

Had your ancestor emigrated to New Zealand they would have found a country in which sheep farming was the best living, gold mining could be found in the South Island, and a colonial organization in which a class system did not exist. Settlers adopted a style very much akin to that of British colonists in other places such as America or Australia. The main draw for these colonists to embark to a completely new land was that with hard work they could establish a better lifestyle in this classless society than could be expected by remaining at home.

Information in this index:

  • Passenger names
  • Ship descriptions
  • Registration dates
  • Registration countries
  • Sailing history of the ship

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