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Branch Resources


Genealogists & local historians have at their disposal the resources of the Gore Heritage Museum and the Gore Branch of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists.  The Research Centre is operated by the Gore District Historical Society in association with the Gore District Council Arts & Heritage Department and the Gore Branch of the NZSG. It is funded by the Gore District Council, and the Historical Society, with assistance from the Gore Branch of Genealogists and external sponsorship and charitable funds. The Centre is staffed by an honorary curator, part-time Arts & Heritage Department staff and a team of volunteers.

With approximately 4000 photographs relating to the district, nearly 2000 books including local histories and genealogy resources, a local newspaper collection spanning the 1890's through to the present, a microfiche library covering a variety of national and international records from 1840 to the present, and files covering a wide variety of local subjects, people and places, the facility is used frequently by school groups, tertiary students, professional historians, and those working on local or family history research.

The Gore Historical Museum was established in 1988 by the Gore District Historical Society to help meet the heritage needs of the Gore District community. Seeking to improve its facilities the Museum opened in its present site in March 1999, a move which resulted in enhanced displays and a user-friendly Research Centre to cater for the growing number of local and family history inquiries. The Museum and Research Centre roles include heritage collection, management, registration, protection, research, education, and communication (including displays, publications, and activities) in partnership with, and for the benefit of, the community.

The support the Museum receives from the local community is evident in its significant collection, the great majority of which has been donated. Museum collection strengths are its costume and textiles, social history archives, photographs, domestic ware, rural technology, and militaria.

        Main  Resource  Holdings

  • Gore Historical Card Index which includes marriages, photographs, deaths and obituaries extracted from the Matuara Ensign papers;

  • **NEW** Stones Otago & Southland Directories - 21 CD Set Searchable 1884 - 1921 containing detailed information on people, occupations, businesses & maps.  Taken house to house the Directories were very up to date & accurate.

  • Holdings of Newspapers, Mataura Ensign, Southern Standard & Waimea Plains Review;

  • Index of Civil Registration Births 1884-1920 includes names of parents up to 1900;

  • Death Index 1876-1935;

  • Some local cemeteries in hard copy;

  • Scrapbooks of birth, retirements, death, and obituaries from Southland Times from 1976;

  • Local church records;

  • Intention to Marry Licences;

  • Registry Marriages;

  • School Admissions;

  • Local history books, family history and small family trees of local families;

  • an expanding collection of CDs for use at the Gore Heritage Centre;

  • A wide range of microfiche.


**  Stones Otago / Southland Directories is a 21 CD Set which is fully searchable.  The Directories could be classed as an early form of telephone book and yellow pages. They are separated into well-defined sections, with a comprehensive index at the front and an almanac at the back. They are historic books that contain detailed info on people, their occupations, businesses and maps/locations. A large majority of the info relating to people in the district was compiled from a complete house-to-house canvas, meaning the info was always very up to date and accurate. The maps were useful in that not only did they show a meticulous amount of detail for the local streets and locations of the town, but some also contained valuable info on the distances between towns, and the rail passages that were open for traffic.

A big thank you to SOUTHLAND REGIONAL HERITAGE COMMITTEE, the COMMUNITY TRUST of SOUTHLAND and The TRUSTS COMMUNITY FOUNDATION for their support for the purchase of this set of Directories.


 Listen to Dr Nick Barratt, a British genealogist, broadcaster, historian and author. He was the head genealogist for four years on the BBC's tv series Who Do You Think You Are?  and spoke at the 2012 NZSG Taupo conference.  He spoke on the importance of ancestral tourism as an economic driver for growth; the importance of personal heritage within the school education curriculum; and the future of genealogy in the media age. (29′22″)


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