Family history and genealogy
The Family History Collection consists of birth, death and marriage records for all Australian States, as well as cemetery registers, electoral rolls, probate indexes, shipping records, handbooks and directories. You can research your family tree with free access to ancestry databases in the library.
Family history research group
Individuals in the group work at their own pace in researching their family history, ancestors and genealogical goals. Our Local History Librarian is also available during these sessions to guide and help with tracing your genealogy/family history. More information
Ancestry Library Edition
This genealogy research tool is available within the library only. It provides patrons with instant access to a wide range of unique resources for genealogical and historical research. With more than 1.5 billion names in over 4,000 databases, Ancestry Library Edition includes records from the United States Census; military records; court, land and probate records; vital and church records; directories; passenger lists and more. These collections are continuously expanding, with new content added every business day. Check out the Ancestry website.
Tips for tracing your family
Remember that the starting point with all family history research is to begin with you and work backwards.
A selection of databases, registers, directories and other reference tools can be found at the following links:
Electoral Rolls 1903-1980 are now available online via on Ancestry access – into Library Edition of Ancestry
Immigration to NSW
How to find unassisted passengers at State Records –
also Immigration from many lands –(guide)
also Holders of “Archives Resources Kit” (ARK) – (ARK
contains copies of many immigration records)
Ships in Australian Waters – (Unassisted
Passenger & Crew arrivals 1845-1900)
– Select ‘Australia and New Zealand’, then ‘Index to Bounty
Immigrants arriving in NSW’)
Immigration to NSW on Ancestry
– (costs) Immigration to
NSW on findmypast – (costs)
Bounty scheme to NSW –
Chinese Naturalisation Database, NSW (1857-1887)
Donegal Relief Fund Passenger Lists –
migration to Australia in the 1830s –
Galway Emigrant Index 1828-1866 –
Sydney News –
Famine Memorial – (special immigration
scheme to bring destitute single women from the workhouses of Ireland, 1845-48)
Lebanese Settlement in New South Wales –
Heritage Centre NSW –
North Head Quarantine Station, Register of deaths – (‘RecordSearch’,
advanced search, ‘Series’, Series C526
also North Head Quarantine Station –
Pure Merinos & lists of the Australian Agricultural
Shipping and Arrivals (WebGen Australia) –
Ships Muster Index: Passengers & crew departing NSW
(1816-1825) – (Select ‘Databases’, then ‘NSW Ships
Soldier Settlement in NSW (1916-1939)
– (‘A Land Fit for Heroes?’)
Guide to Starting a Family Tree Online Military Indexes
A Genealogist’s Guide to Tracing People from Our Past
New York City and the History of Ellis Island
Geoneaolgy Explained here
Other online resources
Family History Service
Services available from the State Library of New
Professional Family History Researchers can undertake research for you (fees
apply). Speak to a family history librarian on Lower Ground 2 of the State
New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and
The Registry holds over 17 million records of
events registered in New South Wales. These records include Early Church
Records (baptismal, marriages and burials) from 1788 to 1855 and Birth, death
and marriage registrations from 1856 to the present day.
Society of Australian Genealogists
This site provides information about the Society
plus links to Australian and overseas sources. It also provides online access
to their library catalogue and some on-line databases.
State Records NSW
Collections of records created by the NSW
government and its agencies.
IHR NSW Family History Documents
This site boasts more than 15,000 pages of records.
You can become a member of IHR or pays as you go. Some of the documents
available include land records, electoral rolls, school lists and mining and
An excellent site which concentrates on Australia
whilst also providing wide coverage of other areas.
Dead Persons Society Ryerson Index
This indexes death notices and obituaries in
Australian newspapers. It is a contemporary index.