News Story

Finding Family Tree Information in Cook Islands

Cook Islanders and volunteers around the world team up to increase user-friendly access to vital records.

Beaming on the steps of the Cook Islands’ Ministry of Justice building, Mike Higgins of FamilySearch International, the Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Mr. Tamatoa Jonassen, and other community leaders came together to praise a job well done this week.


After extensive efforts, a complete name index of Cook Islanders’ vital records has been released that greatly speeds up the research process.

In 2016, the government of Cook Islands and FamilySearch signed an agreement to digitize and publish microfilmed records.

Microfilmed records are film reels or cassettes that have been made easy to read. When these documents were first published on the website they could not be easily searched. Cook Islands locals and worldwide volunteers collaborated to create a name index. This index lets the user search birth, marriage and death records by name.

FamilySearch is owned and funded by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It offers free access to genealogical records from around the world to interested persons.

President Russell M. Nelson, worldwide leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said, “When our hearts turn to our ancestors, something changes inside of us. We feel part of something greater than ourselves.”

Watch a video that explains how volunteers can contribute to the worldwide indexing initiative:


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