I’m trying to track down my grandfather who came to NZ in the 1950’s and was very secretive about his life/family before NZ.

I have no idea where he was born but I believe he could have been born in Russia or Serbia.

He told my father one story that he had to leave Russia because of the KGB killing everyone, so he left and went to Serbia and when he got there he apparently made up a fake last name in the fear that the KGB would come looking for him and kill him.

From Serbia he then went to Braila Romanian and meet my Grandmother and married, they then came to NZ with her mother Cristina Parau.

Later on they had two sons (1952 and 1953) and a daughter. I’m unsure to when the daughter was born but after she was born she shortly died afterwards of natural causes.

I have some of my Grandmothers documents and there are many different spellings of first names and last names.

Does anyone know how I could find a birth record for my grandfather?

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    – Jan Murphy
    Sep 28, 2015 at 5:04
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    – PolyGeo
    Sep 28, 2015 at 5:08
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    – PolyGeo
    Sep 28, 2015 at 21:48

2 Answers 2


Your grandparents immigrated to New Zealand in 1951.

Passenger List is viewable at https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KLBP-4T7

Cazaro born 12 Sept 1918 in Pančevo, Yugoslavia (now Serbia).

Iordana born 10 June 1920 in Brăila, Romania

Both are listed as Romanian citizens of the Orthodox religion.

It appears they were WWII refugees and made their way to Greece. Then the International Refugee Organization took them in and made them part of the Group Resettlement of New Zealand. They departed Naples, Italy on 7 Nov 1951. Given this, I would say they did not change their last name.

Go here and download images 41 through 64 for further research - https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12580-46188-99?cc=1609792&wc=MP7G-3Y7:119260801,119038001,119278401


I think that the first step should be to try and find your grandfather's immigration to New Zealand record because presumably they would have expected to know where he came from.

Even if he gave false information, it may provide some aliases or other leads that you could follow.

The New Zealand, Immigration Passenger Lists (FamilySearch Historical Records) appears to cover the time that your grandfather immigrated:

This collection will include records from 1839 to 1973.

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