Key ResourcesTracing your family history in Australia: a national guide to sources
Tracing your family history in Australia: a bibliography
Australian Joint Copying Project
This is a large collection of microfilmed material, from archives and libraries in the United Kingdom, relating to Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific, most of South East Asia and Antarctic
Top Australian content in Ancestry includes the Australian electoral rolls collection, which includes all Australian states other than South Australia, and a large collection of passenger lists. To view the Australian databases in Ancestry go to the Search tab and select Australia & NZ under Explore by Location.
The Australasian content in Findmypast relates to all Australian states and New Zealand with a small number of records for the Pacific Islands and Papua New Guinea. Most content is from published sources and includes almanacs, Blue Books, electoral rolls, government gazettes, police gazettes, post office directories and more.
Archives and Libraries
The National Archives of Australia
The National Archives houses Commonwealth government records such as military, immigration and naturalisation papers. Records date from Federation in 1901 although, for some government departments, earlier material dating back to the mid-1850s is held. Over 18 million records have been digitised and are searchable by selecting Search the collection from their home page. Other material can be viewed in their State and Territory reading rooms.
Explore TROVE for digital content and information on collections around Australia. Some of the most important sections for family historians include:
- Digitised newspapers and more
Digitised newspapers from around Australia up to 1954. We recommend using Advanced Search.
- Pictures, photos, objects
Search for photographs, artworks etc. from around Australia.
Search for maps of Australia and the world. Only some of the content can be viewed online.
- Archived websites
Search archived websites dating from 1996 onwards as part of the National Library's Pandora project. Many of the websites are no longer available on the internet including First Families 2001 (see details below).
- First Families 2001
This archived site is a database of names and a collection of stories about the people of Australia and was completed to celebrate 100 years of Federation.
Use our SLWA Family History Bookmarks to find websites for Australia recommended by the Family History Subject Specialists. Simply click on any heading of interest e.g. australia-newspapers to see a list of websites relating to this topic. The larger the tag, the more websites appear on the list.
The following sites are also useful gateways to Australian family history material:
Web Sites for Genealogists by Cora Num
Australian family history and genealogy selected websites by the National Library of Australia
Page last updated: Monday 30 June 2014