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.

Genealogy databases

  • Ancestry – Library members have access to more than 1.5 billion names in over 4,000 databases. Includes records from US census, military, court, land and probate, church records, passenger lists. Electoral Rolls 1903-1980 are now available online.
  • MyHeritage Library Edition™ – One of the largest, most internationally diverse genealogy databases of its kind in the world. It includes billions of historical documents from more than 48 countries, millions of historical photos, public records, indexes and additional resources.
  • The Australian Newspapers Collection – Search two of the most influential Australian newspaper: The Age (1854-2000) and the Sydney Morning Herald (1831-2000).
  • State Library of NSW has a comprehensive range of historical newspapers printed in Britain.

Link to family history databases

Join the 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.

Link to family history research group

Tips for tracing your family

Remember that the starting point with all family history research is to begin with you and work backwards.

Family history research weblinks



Family history service

  • Services available from the State Library of New South Wales – Professional Family History Researchers can undertake research for you (fees apply). Speak to a family history librarian on Lower Ground 2 of the State Reference Library.
  • New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages – 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 agricultural records.
  • Coraweb – 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.


Immigration to NSW


UK links


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Page last updated: 04 Sep 2023