Sourcing family history from local libraries while travelling

The family history part of my blog is about my research findings and travels while researching family history. It is about the family history discoveries made on my travel adventures, how they link back to my family history tale plus a few tips. Its not heavy genealogical stuff, it’s friendly so do not be frightened off if you are a beginner. Feel free to leave a comment if you have a question as a beginner or need information on my findings such as sources to help with your own research. I don’t plan to get serious on this blog.

So here goes – at last a blog topic on my favorite pastimes – travel & genealogy.

I recently visited New Zealand so checked out the local Hutt City Library. I assumed the main Lower Hutt Library might have a family history section. This was however housed in the Petone library, about a 12 minute drive away.

Francis Kitto

On a previous visit I had been collected voting information from electrol rolls at the National Library. From this I had a collection of local addresses where my Great Grand Father (Francis Kitto) had lived. I was hoping to see if they had a photograph collection as newer homes had since been built at the addresses.

They did have a large collection of family research materials including numerous cabinets of photos.

I was fortunate enough to find an old image of a house that was perhaps the one he and is second wife lived in, in the early 1900’s. I still need to verify the address and perhaps check the title deed as there was an anomaly with the street details.

Source: Petone library

The Petone Library also had access to New Zealand births, deaths and marriage index cards, access to online genealogical sites such as Ancestry and loads more. I spent about 4 fours there and hardly touched the surface so it is a great place to visit if you are interested in Hutt Valley family history or if you are a local you can access national and international information.

Family History Search Tips at Libraries:

  1. Libraries often have access to online resources such as Ancestry.
  2. When using index cards at libraries please use a card or some paper to mark where you have removed material to look at more closely. It is unfair on later researchers when materials are out of order.
  3. Check if the library has a booking system for computers or time limits so you can plan your research time.


I discovered with more online research this was next door to my great-grand-fathers house. Disappointing however it also shows to keep checking your data!

Do you have any discoveries you made at a local town library or tips researching at libraries? Leave a comment below…..

2 thoughts on “Sourcing family history from local libraries while travelling”

  1. That’s fascinating. It’s amazing how much time you can spend researching. It’s great that you found that image.

    1. Thanks Naomi for checking out my blog. Yes it it hard to find time. I have found out more recently and it is the house next door to my Great Grand Fathers.

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