Websites for family history

A selection of useful websites for family history research.

Australian resources

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family History

Aboriginal Affairs Family Records Service

The Family Records Service helps Aboriginal people in NSW to access records that are held in the archive collection of the former Aborigines Welfare Board (formerly the Aborigines Protection Board) and Chief Secretary records relating to Aboriginal affairs. Records are from 1890 to 1969.

Aboriginal Family History

The State Library of NSW provides access to the Australian Indigenous Index, Research Guide and Koori Mail Online collection.

Aboriginal People – NSW State Records & Archives

NSW State Records provides links to a number of records relating to Aboriginal people in NSW.

Australian Indigenous Family History

The National Library of Australia provides a research guide with information on BDMs, Mission and reserve records, military history and links to other sources including the Tindale genealogies.

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)

AIATIS has produced a range of resources to help with researching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family history.


Benevolent Society Post Adoption Services

The Benevolent Society provide support services to adoptees, parents, siblings, and partners who have been separated from family.


This organisation provides information, counselling and other services for people separated from their family, including adoptees.

New South Wales Department of Family and Community Services

This website provides information on how to search for adoptions etc.

Service NSW

This website provides details about how to apply for adoption information and/or an integrated birth certificate. From 16 November 2020, adopted people in NSW will be issued with 2 birth certificates from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.  



ArchivesACT, established in 2008, provides access to ACT government archives.

National Archives of Australia (NAA)

The National Archives of Australia, which contains more than 40 million items, includes mainly Australian government records from Federation in 1901 to now.

New South Wales State Archives and Records (State Records)

NSW State Records hold a vast collection of historical records and archives dating back to the European settlement of Australia in 1788. Work has been continuing on the digitisation and/or indexing of key records.

Northern Territory Archives

The archives hold records that have been created since 1978 when the NT gained self-government. Check the website for location of records before 1978.

Public Record Office of Victoria (PROV)

Public Records Office Victoria holds a wide variety of records created by the Victorian government from the mid-1830s to present day.

Queensland State Archives (QSA)

The archives provide access to records relating to Queensland. It provides a number of fact sheets to assist searchers.

State Records of South Australia

South Australia’s State Archives Department, established in 1919,  was the first state archives in Australia and holds government records relating to life in South Australia.

State Records Office of Western Australia (SROWA)

The archive, established in 2000, is located on the 3rd floor of the State Library of Western Australia. It contains over one million records dating from 1829 to present day.

Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office (TAHO)

Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office (formerly the Archives of Tasmania) is a part of Libraries Tasmania. Established in 2008, TAHO’s records include the whole of Tasmania including islands. It also holds records on the Antarctic due to the close connection.

Births, Deaths & Marriages

Australian Capital Territory

Access Canberra provides limited information relating to deaths registered more than 30 years ago and marriages registered more 75 years ago.

New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages

Provides free access to Births, Deaths and Marriages  indexes from 1788. You can search birth records more than 100 years ago, death records more than 30 years ago and marriage records more than 50 years ago. A list of early church codes is also available.

Queensland Registry

Provides free access to Births, Deaths and Marriages indexes from 1829. You can search birth records more than 100 years ago, death records more than 30 years ago and marriage records more than 75 years ago.

Ryerson Index

This index of death notices and obituaries, which currently has over 7 million records, is compiled from 387 Australian newspapers, publisher websites and funeral director websites.

Tasmanian Name Index

Provides access to a range of databases that contain information on early settlers in Tasmania including Births (1803-1900), Deaths (1803-1900) and Marriages (1804-1899).

Western Australia Department of Justice Births, Deaths and Marriages

The Western Australian Pioneer Index allows you to search Births (1841-1932), Deaths (1941-1971) and Marriages (1841-1936).

Child Migration

Barnardos Australia

Barnardos provide a service for people who have lived in Barnardos care.

Child Migrants Trust

The Trust works on behalf of former child migrants  who are looking for information about their family, childhood, migration history or who are seeking to find their lost family members.

Former Child Migrants Referral Index (1913-1968) 

Index of all children who came to Western Australia as unaccompanied child migrants from the United Kingdom and Malta from 1913-1968. Locations include homes at Bindoon, Castledare Junior Orphanage, Clontarf, Fairbridge Farm School, Pinjarra, Mofflyn, Victoria Park, Nazareth House, Bluff Point, Swanleigh and Tardun Farm School.

Church and Cemetery Registers

Australian Cemeteries Index

The website contains over two million inscriptions and half a million images online.

Hawkesbury Cemetery and Grave Register

The website is the results of an ongoing voluntary project to transcribe, photograph and map the cemeteries, graves, memorials and monuments within the Hawkesbury region of NSW.

Military History

Australian Red Cross Missing Wounded and Prisoner of War Enquiry Cards

The cards were used by the Australian Red Cross’ Central Bureau for Wounded, Missing and Prisoners of War to trace the welfare and location of Australian military personnel during WW2.

Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial contains a wealth of material on Australia’s involvement in conflicts from the 18th century to present. Service records for Australian personnel are held by the National Archives of Australia, not the Australian War Memorial.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is responsible for the 1.7 million graves of Commonwealth forces  in more than 150 countries and territories.

DVA’s Nominal Rolls

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has compiled rolls for Australian defence personnel who served in WW2, the Korean War, Vietnam War or First Gulf War. Please note: there are some missing names as defence personnel could veto their name being published on the lists.

Graves and Memorials of Australians in the Boer War

This site, compiled by The Heraldry& Genealogical Society of Canberra (HAGSOC),  aims to document all graves and memorials of Australians who served in the Boer War 1899-1900.

National Archives of Australia (Service records)

The NAA holds more than 1.5 million WW1 and WW2 service records. WW1 records have been digitised. The NAA is currently working on the digitisation of WW2 records, a project that is expected to take around five years.


Australian Capital Territory Electoral Rolls 1916-1967

This site contains names extracted from ACT electoral rolls for 1916, 1917, 1928, 1935, 1843, 1949, 1955, 1959 and 1967.

Australian Medical Pioneers Index

Provides access to a comprehensive database of medical pioneers.


Trove provides access to over 90 million items, including books, newspapers, journals, images and gazettes.


New Zealand

Births, Deaths & Marriages

New Zealand Births, Deaths & Marriages Online

Indexes births that occurred at least 100 years ago, (stillbirths that occurred at least 50 years ago), marriages that occurred at least 80 years ago and deaths that occurred at least 50 years ago or the deceased's date of birth was at least 80 years ago.


Great Britain and the Channel Islands

Various resources


This ongoing project aims to transcribe the civil registration index of births, deaths and marriages for England and Wales from 1837.


This ongoing project  aims to transcribe the baptisms, marriages and burials in parish registers for England and Wales from 1538 until the beginning of civil registrations in 1837.

National Archives Ireland – Australia Transportation Database

Details of people transported to Australia from Ireland from 1788 to 1868. This includes convicts and, in some cases, members of convicts’ family transported as free settlers.

Old Bailey Online

Provides free access to the court trials held at the Old Bailey, 1674-1913. This includes the trials of many convicts who were sent to Australia.

Scotland’s People

Allows access to a wide range of records including civil and church registers, census returns, valuation rolls, legal records, and poor relief and migration records. Searching is free, however payment is needed to access the records.

The National Archives UK

A catalogue to records held in the UK Archives, it brings together indexes and documents, and directs you to help sheets on accessing the collection.

The Island Wiki

The websites are devoted to the Bailiwicks of Guernsey (Donkipedia) and Jersey (Jerripedia).These websites contain the largest online repository of information about the islands, with hundreds of family trees, thousands of family records and an illustrated general history of the islands.


Provides a link to all the county websites that offer online transcribed indexes of the original records held by the local registry offices.


Miscellaneous websites


Cyndi’s List

For over 20 years, Cyndi’s List has provided a comprehensive list of links to online genealogical research sties.


FamilySearch is a free online database operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS Church). It contains a wide range of records from many countries. Please note: You need to register as a user before you can search. Registration is free.