Five genealogy websites that you must know for Australian Genealogy

Family Ancestry Detective

Family Ancestry Detective

There are hundreds of websites out there to use for genealogy. But after you get past building your tree on, you may want to dig a little deeper for the stories and details of you family members. You may want to know a little bit about who they really were. The websites below are a great port of call and will find that you use them over and over again, so it is best to save them to your favourites or keep them written down. Australian War Memorial – find your families military records and where they fought in different conflicts. The website has a “search for a person” page where you can put in your ancestors name. Once you find your ancestor, make sure that you take note of their service number and what conflicts are listed. This is important to do further research on where and what happened in the conflict that your ancestor fought in. Also noting their service number can help you when searching for your ancestors service record in the National Archives of Australia. If you are visiting that Australian War Memorial, look at the where your ancestor is located on the Wall of Honour.  Trove – this is an Australian content based website run by the National Library of Australia. It allows you to search many types of resources. The best resource is the newspaper section but I have found books that have mentioned my ancestors too. It can take a bit of work to search, as sometimes you need to just make sure that you think about your search terms. I have an article already in my blogs to help with searching on Trove. You can find some amazing articles about your ancestors, I have one about a policeman in my family going out to the murder of a baby.  National Archives of Australia – the National Archives not only covers war records but arrivals of overseas immigrants. So not only could I download my Grandfathers service records but I could see my mother in law arrival in Australia on passenger lists into Sydney Harbour. Some records will be readily available but other records will need to be requested.  State Records for NSW – the State Records for NSW are some of the oldest records as New South Wales was the first state in Australia. Their online indexes cover an amazing range from convicts and court records to war records for NSW government employees. There are land and naturalisation records and records for occupations that may have worked under the government, such as railway workers, teachers, police and nurses or needed authorisation like chemists. I have gotten numerous things like a police service record and probate packets for ancestors from the state records that were very interesting. – Ryerson Index – this index is for death notices that were originally always put in the newspaper. The index was originally created in Sydney, so the notices are especially strong in that area. But as you will read on their website, they are slowly gaining more entries from other states and cities. The wonderful thing about death notices is that many family members can be listed, you can see where they may have been buried or place they lived at and you may even find that they were the member of a club or organisation in the area. In the death notices for my great grandfather, the shipwrights union put their notice in calling for anyone that wanted to attend the funeral too.

These websites have been a goldmine of information and a great starting point for finding more information. For instance you may know what conflict your ancestor fought in and google from there. Or you might learn that your ancestor worked in the police force from a newspaper article on Trove and search police records. The National Archives may tell you what boat your family arrived into Australia and you can search for pictures of that boat. There is endless possibilities from the information that you find on these websites.

Please feel free to share this article because – understanding the past can bless the present.


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