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* Australian

Like the United States, Australia is a country where the majority of the population consists of immigrants and their descendants. Convicts were sent to New South Wales between 1788 and 1842, to Tasmania between 1803 and 1848, Western Australia (men only) between 1850 and 1868, and Queensland from 1824 on.

Assisted immigrants had most of their passage paid by their government, and usually came from the British Isles and Germany. They arrived in New South Wales beginning in 1828, Victoria beginning in 1839, South Australia beginning in 1836, Queensland beginning in 1859, and the Northern Territories beginning in 1873. Unassisted immigrants could come anytime, although the various Gold Rushes in the different states were popular periods. People who came from locations other than the British Isles and Germany, such as China, the United States, and New Zealand, normally came unassisted.

Contacts and Sources

Vital Records Indexes

Birth, death, and marriage indexes are available to help you with your Australian family history research. You can find these indexes through family history societies, LDS Libraries, many council libraries, and all state libraries. They are also for sale to the general public on fiche and CD-ROM from the respective Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriage offices. The list below describes more specifically what is available.

  • New South Wales: Pioneer Index 1788-1888, Federal Index 1889-1918, Between the Wars Index 1919-1945 marriages and deaths.
  • Northern Territory: Births, deaths, and marriages 1870-1902.
  • Queensland: Consolidated pioneer index of births, deaths, and marriages to 1889, birth index to 1914, marriage and death index to 1934.
  • South Australia: Consolidated indexes of births, deaths, and marriages to 1922, marriages to 1937, deaths to 1970, also a CD-ROM of births to 1906.
  • Tasmania: Pioneer index 1803-1899, deaths and marriages to 1914.
  • Victoria: Consolidated indexes of birth, death, and marriage to 1920, marriage index 1914-1930, death index 1914-1980.
  • West Australia: Pioneer Index 1841-1905, deaths to 1980, marriages to 1965.

You can find the following information in these indexes:

  • Births: name of child, parents' names, year or date of birth, place of birth or registration, and reference number.
  • Deaths: name of deceased, place of death, age, date or year of death, parents' names for most states, and reference number.
  • Marriages: names of both parties (cross referenced), some states give ages, marriage year or date, and reference number. Victoria also records the birthplace of the bride and groom.

Addresses for Ordering Copies of Vital Records

Some of the addresses below have dates associated with them. For those that don't, you can assume that they have records from the early years until the present. However, each state is slightly different. For example, Tasmania was founded in 1803 and they have church records until 1838 when civil registration begins. The state with the earliest records is New South Wales, which begin in 1788.

Australian Capital Territory
Registrar General
P.O. Box 788
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601

New South Wales
Registry of Birth, Deaths, and Marriages
191-199 Thomas Street Ultimo, New South Wales 2007
(G.P.O. Box 30, Sydney, 2001)

Northern Territory
Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages
P.O. Box 3021
Darwin, Northern Territory 0801

Queensland
For pre-1890 certificates:
The Queensland State Archives
P.O. Box 1397
Sunnybank Hills, Queensland 4109
For post-1890 certificates:
Registrar General
Albert Street
P.O. Box 188
Brisbane, Queensland 4002
(Note: if requesting a birth certificate, state that you want the parents' marriage details to be added.)

South Australia
Registrar General
59 King William Street
Adelaide, South Australia. 5000
(or G.P.O. Box 1351, Adelaide, 5001)

Tasmania
For post-1900 certificates:
Registrar General
15 Murray St.
Hobart, Tasmania 7000
(or G.P.O. Box 198, Hobart, Tasmania 7001)
For pre-1900 certificates:
Tasmanian State Archives
77 Murray Street
Hobart, Tasmania 7001

Victoria
Birth, Death, and Marriage Offices: Government Statistics
295 Queens Road
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
(or P.O. Box 4332, Melbourne, 3001)

West Australia
Registrar General
P.O. Box 7720
Cloisters Square
Perth, West Australia 6000

Archives and Libraries

Originally, each state of Australia was a separate government or colony. Archive offices hold records pertaining to its own state such as shipping records, probate indexes, electoral rolls, newspapers, Colonial Secretary records (official Government records) gold mining records, land records, maps, prison records, and convict records. State Libraries normally have copies of the old parish registers. Many of the Archives actually publish their records on fiche or film for sale to the public.

Australian Capital Territory

National Library
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

New South Wales

Archives Authority of New South Wales
2 Globe St.
Sydney, New South Wales 2000

Australian Archives (New South Wales Branch)
Level 17
477 Pitt St.
Sydney, New South Wales 2000
Phone: (02) 9201-3100
Fax: (02) 9211-0552

State Library of New South Wales
General Reference
Macquarie St.
Sydney, New South Wales 2000
Phone: (02) 9230-1414
Fax: (02) 9223-3369
E-mail: grl@ilanet.slnsw.gov.au

Mitchell Library (New South Wales Historical reference)
Macquarie St.
Sydney, New South Wales 2000
Phone: (02) 9230-1693
Fax: (02) 9235-1687
E-mail: mitchell@slim.slnsw.gov.au

Northern Territory

Northern Territory Archives
5th Floor, Capricornia House
31 Lindsay St.
Darwin, Northern Territory 0801
(or G.P.O. Box 874 Darwin NT 0801
Phone: (08) 8989-5188
Fax: (08) 8941-1458

Queensland

Queensland State Archives
435 Compton Rd.
Runcorn, Queensland 4113
(or P.O. Box 1397, Sunnybank Hills, Queensland 4109)
Phone: (07) 3875-8755
Fax: (07) 3875-8764
Web site: http://www.archives.qld.gov.au/

State Library of Queensland
Queensland Cultural Centre
Southbank South Brisbane, Queensland 4101
(or P.O. Box 3488 South Brisbane, Queensland 4101)
Phone: (07) 3840-7775
Fax: (07) 3840-7840

Australian Archives
996 Wynnum Rd
Cannon Hill, Queensland 4170
Phone: (07) 3399-3822
Fax: (07) 3399-6589

South Australia

State Library of South Australia
North Terrace
Adelaide, South Australia 5000
(or G.P.O. Box 419, Adelaide South Australia 5001
Phone: (08) 8207- 7360
Fax: (08) 8207-7247

Australian Archives
11 Derlanger Ave.
Collinswood, South Australia 5081
Phone: (08) 8269-0100
Fax: (08) 8269-3234

Tasmania

Archives Office of Tasmania
77 Murray St.
Hobart, Tasmania 7000
Phone: (03) 6233-7488
Fax: (03) 6233-7471

Australian Archives
4 Rosny Hill Rd.
Rosny Park, Tasmania 7018
Phone: (03) 6244-0111
Fax: (03) 6244-6834

State Library of Tasmania
91 Murray S.
Hobart, Tasmania 7000
Phone: (03) 6233-7526

Victoria

Administration and Probate
2nd Floor, 436 Lonsdale St.
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Phone: (03) 9603-9296

Australian Archives
Level 2, Casselden Place
2 Lonsdale St.
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Phone: (03) 9285-7999
Fax: (03) 9285-7979

Land Titles Office
283 Queen St.
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Phone:(03) 9603-5444

Public Records Office
City Search Room
4th Floor
318 Little Bourke St.
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Phone: (03) 9651-4131
Fax: (03) 9651-4132

Public Records Office
Ballarat Search Room
Mair St. (corner of Doveton St.)
Ballarat, Victoria 3350
Phone: (053) 33-6611
Fax: (053) 33-6609

Public Records Office
Laverton Search Room
57 Cherry Lane
Laverton North, Victoria 3028
Phone: (03) 9360-9665
Fax: (03) 9369-7836
Toll Free: 1800-657-452

Registrar-General's Department
Holds pre-1862 Land Records
456 Lonsdale St.
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Phone: (03) 9603-5444

State Library of Victoria
328 Swanston St.
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Phone: (03) 9669-9926
Fax: (03) 9663-1480

Western Australia

State Archives
Alexander Library Building
Perth Cultural Centre
James St.
Perth, Western Australia 6000
Phone: (09) 427-3360

Family History Associations and Research Centers

Australian Capital Territory
  • Canberra Heraldry and Genealogical Society, G.P.O. Box 585, Canberra, ACT 2600
New South Wales
  • Family History Group of Bathurst Inc., P.O. Box 1058, Bathurst, NSW 2795
  • Bega Valley Genealogy Society, P.O. Box 19, Pambula, NSW 2549
  • Bland District Family History Group, P.O. Box, 55 West Wyalong, NSW 2671
  • Blue Mountains Family History Society, P.O. Box, 97 Springwood, NSW 2776
  • Botany Bay Family History Society, P.O. Box 600, Sutherland, NSW 2232
  • Broken Hill Family History Group, P.O. Box 779, Broken Hill, NSW 2880
  • Burwood, Drummoyne and District Family History Group c/o Burwood Central Library, 4 Marinaduke Street, Burwood, NSW 2134
  • Camden Area Family History Society, P.O. Box 679, Camden NSW 2570
  • Campbelltown Family History Society, P.O. Box 57, Campbelltown, NSW 2560
  • Cape Banks Peninsula Family History Society, P.O. Box 67, Maroubra, NSW 2035
  • Casino & District Family History Group Inc., P.O. Box 586, Casino, NSW 2470
  • Central Coast Family History Group, P.O. Box 1257, Gosford South, NSW 2250
  • Cessnock Family History Group, P.O. Box 225, Cessnock, NSW 2325
  • Clarence River Family History Society, P.O. Box, 396 Grafton, NSW 2460
  • Coffs Harbour District Family History Society Inc., P.O. Box J42, Coffs Harbour Jetty, NSW 2450
  • Coonamble Genealogy Group, 'Glenoria' Gulargambone, NSW 2828
  • Corowa & District Family History Society, P.O. Box 104, Corowa, NSW 2646
  • Cowra Family History Group, P.O. Box 495, Cowra, NSW 2794
  • Deniliquin Family History Society, P.O. Box 144, Deniliquin, NSW 2710
  • Dubbo Macquarie Family History Society, P.O. Box 868, Dubbo, NSW 2830
  • Eurobodalla Family History Society, P.O. Box 440, Moruya, NSW 2537
  • Forbes Family History Group, P.O. Box 574, Forbes, NSW 2871
  • Gosford District Local History Study Group, Shopping Centre, Washington Dr., Niagara Park, NSW 2250
  • Goulburn & District Family History Soc., P.O. Box 611, Goulburn, NSW 2580
  • Griffith Genealogical & Historical Society, P.O. Box 270, Griffith, NSW 2680
  • Gwydir Family History Society, P.O. Box 61 Moree, NSW 2400
  • Hastings Valley Family History Group Inc., P.O. Box 1359, Port Macquarie, NSW 2444
  • Hawkesbury Family History Group c/o Hawkesbury Shire Library, Dight Street, Windsor, NSW 2756
  • Hornsby Ku-ring-ai Family History Society, P.O. Box 500, Turramurra, NSW 2074
  • Hurstville Family History Group c/o Hurstville Municipal Library, MacMahon Street, Hurstville, NSW 2220
  • Illawarra Family History Group Inc., P.O. Box 1652, Wollongong, NSW 2500
  • Inverell District Family History Group Inc., P.O. Box 367, Inverell, NSW 2360
  • Kiama Family History Centre, Railway Parade, Kiama NSW 2533
  • Leeton Family History Society, P.O. Box 475, Leeton, NSW 2705
  • Lithgow & District Family History Society Inc., P.O. Box 516, Lithgow, NSW 2790
  • Little Forest Family History Group, P.O. Box 87, Milton, NSW 2538
  • Liverpool & District Family History Society, P.O. Box 830, Liverpool, NSW 2170
  • Manning Wallamba Family History Society, P.O. Box 48, Taree, NSW 2430
  • Milton Ulladulla Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 619, Ulladulla, NSW 2539
  • Moruya & District Historical Society Inc., P.O. Box 259, Moruya, NSW 2538 (See also Eurobodalla Family History Society)
  • Nepean Family History Society Inc., P.O. Box 81, Emu Plains, NSW 2750
  • Newcastle Family History Society, P.O. Box 189, Adamstown, NSW 2289
  • Orange Family History Group, P.O. Box 930, Orange, NSW 2800
  • Picton & District Historical Society Inc., P.O. Box 64, Picton, NSW 2571
  • Port Stephens-Tilligery Family History Society, 7 Poilus Parade, Tanilba Bay, NSW 2319
  • Richmond-Tweed Family History Society Inc., P.O. Box 817, Ballina, NSW 2478
  • Shoalhaven Genealogical Society Inc., P.O. Box 591, Nowra, NSW 2541
  • Singleton Family History Society Inc., P.O. Box 422, Singleton, NSW 2330
  • Society of Australian Genealogists, 120 Kent Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
  • Tamworth & District Family History Group, P.O. Box 1188, Tamworth, NSW 2340
  • Tumut Family History Group, P.O. Box 162, Tumut, NSW 2720
  • Wagga & District Family History Society Inc., P.O. Box 307, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650
  • Warialda Family History Society, 105 High Street, Warialda, NSW 2402
  • Wingham Family History Society c/o Mrs. D. Brooker, 139 Bugary Road, Wingham, NSW 2429
  • Wyong Family History Group, P.O. Box 103, Toukley, NSW 2262
  • Young & District Family History Group, P.O. Box 586, Young, NSW 2594
  • Fellowship of First Fleeters, 105 Cathedral Street, East Sydney, NSW 2000
  • 1788-1820 Pioneer Association, P.O. Box 57, Croydon, NSW 2132
Northern Territory
  • The Genealogical Society of the Northern Territory, P.O. Box 37212, Winnellie, 0821
Queensland
  • Australia's Immigration and Family History Centre, P.O. Box 937, Hervey Bay, Queensland 4655
    Web site: http://www.peg.apc.org/~frasertravel/hervey/family/family.htm
  • Bundaberg Genealogical Association, P.O. Box 103, Bundaberg, Queensland 4670
  • Caboolture Ancestral Research Group, P.O. Box 837, Caboolture, Queensland 4510
  • Cairns & District Family History Society, P.O. Box 5069, MSO Cairns, Queensland 4871
  • Central Queensland Genealogical Association, P.O. Box 6000, Rockhampton, Queensland 4702
  • Charters Towers & Dalrymple Family History Association Inc., P.O. Box 783, Charters Towers, Queensland 4820
  • Dalby Family History Society, P.O. Box 962, Dalby, Queensland 4405
  • Darling Downs Family History Society c/o Mrs. Mary Hollis, 30 Smithfield Street Toowoomba, Queensland 4350
  • Genealogical Society of Queensland, 1st Flr. Woolloongabba Post Office, Stanley Street, Woolloongabba, Queensland 4102 (or P.O. Box 8423); Southern Suburbs Branch, P.O. Box 844, Mt. Gravatt, Queensland 4122. (There are also branches at Bayside, Beaudesert, Gold Coast, Goodna, North Brisbane, Redcliffe, Redlands, and Sunshine Coast.)
  • Gladstone Family History Society, P.O. Box 1778, Gladstone, 4680
  • Gold Coast & Albert Family History Group, P.O. Box 1126, Southport, Queensland 4215
  • Gympie Ancestral Research Society, P.O. Box 767 Gympie, Queensland 4570
  • Hervey Bay Family History Association, P.O. Box 937, Hervey Bay, Queensland 4655
  • Ipswich Genealogical Society Inc., P.O. Box 323, Ipswich, Queensland 4305
  • Mackay Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 882, Mackay, Queensland 4740
  • Maryborough District Family History Society, P.O. Box 408, Maryborough, Queensland 4650
  • Middlemount Family History Association, 133 Centenary Drive, North Middlemount, Queensland 4746
  • Mount Isa Family History Society Inc., P.O. Box 1832, Mt. Isa, Queensland 4285
  • Moura Family History Group, P.O. Box 77, Moura, Queensland 4718
  • Redcliffe & District Family History Group, P.O. Box 3122, MDC Clontarf, Queensland 4019
  • Queensland Family History Society, P.O. Box 171, Indooroopilly, Queensland 4068
  • Roma & District Family History Society, P.O. Box 877, Roma, Queensland 4455
  • South Burnett Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 598, Kingaroy, Queensland 4610
  • Sunshine Coast, P.O. Box 1051, Nambour, Queensland 4560
  • Townsville Family History Association of North Queensland Inc., P.O. Box 577, Hermit Park, Queensland 4812
South Australia
  • South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society, G.P.O. Box 592, Adelaide, South Australia 5001 (Library is at 201 Unley Road, Unley)
  • Port Pirie Family History Library, Dunn Street, Port Pirie, South Australia 5540
  • South Eyre Peninsular Family History Group, 26 Cranston Street, Pt Lincoln, South Australia 5606
  • South East Family History Group, P.O. Box 758 Millicent, South Australia 5280
  • Yorke Peninsular FHG, P.O. Box 260, Kadina, South Australia 5554
Tasmania
  • Genealogical Society of Tasmania, P.O. Box 60, Prospect, Tasmania 7250
  • Burnie Branch, P.O. Box 748, Burnie, Tasmania 7320
  • Devonport Branch, P.O. Box 587, Devonport, Tasmania 7310
  • Huon Branch, P.O. Box 117, Huonville, Tasmania 7109
  • Launceston Branch, P.O. Box 1290, Launceston, Tasmania 7250
Victoria
  • The Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies, P.O. Box 339, South Blackburn, Victoria 3130; Bendigo Branch, P.O. Box 145, Bendigo Victoria 3552
  • Australian Family Researchers, P.O. Box 52, West Rosebud, Victoria 3940
  • Benalia & District Family History Group, P.O. Box 268, Benalia, Victoria 3672
  • Bendigo Regional Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1049, Bendigo, Victoria 3550
  • Cobram Genealogical Group, P.O. Box 75, Cobram, Victoria 3643
  • East Gippsland Family History Group, P.O. Box 1104, Bairnsdale, Victoria 3875
  • Emerald Genealogy Group, 63 Monbulk Road, Emerald, Victoria 3782
  • Geelong Family History Group, P.O. Box 1187, Geelong, Victoria 3220
  • Genealogical Society of Victoria (GSV), Level 6, 179 Queen Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000
  • Lakes Entrance & District Genealogical Group, P.O. Box 674, Lakes Entrance, Victoria 3909
  • Mornington Peninsula Family History Society, 16 Tavistock Road, Frankston, Victoria 3199
    Web site: http://peninsula.starway.net.au/~pbeckett/mpfhs.htm
  • Narre Warren & District Family History Group, P.O. Box 149, Narre Warren, Victoria 3805
  • Nathalia Genealogical Group RMB, 1003 Picola, Victoria 3639
  • Portland Family History Group, 8 Townsend Street Portland, Victoria 3305
  • Sale & District Family History Group Inc., P.O. Box 773, Sale, Victoria 3850
  • Shepparton Family History Group, P.O. Box 1529, Shepparton, Victoria 3630
  • Sunbury Family History Society, P.O. Box 601, Sunbury, Victoria 3429
    Web site: http://www.vicnet.net.au/~sfhs/
  • Swan Hill Genealogical & Historical Society, P.O. Box 1232, Swan Hill, Victoria 3585
  • Toora & District Family History Society, P.O. Box 41, Toora, Victoria 3962
  • Wangaratta Genealogical Society Inc., P.O. Box 683, Wangaratta, Victoria 3676
  • West Gippsland Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 225, Warragul, Victoria 3820
  • Wimmera Association for Genealogy, P.O. Box 880, Horsham, Victoria 3402
  • Wodonga Family History Society, P.O. Box 289, Wodonga, Victoria 3689
  • Yarram Genealogy Group, P.O. Box 42, Yarram, Victoria 3971
    Web site: http://www.rootsweb.com/~ausygs/
Western Australia
  • Western Australian Genealogical Society, Unit 5, 48 May Street, Bayswater, Western Australia 6053 (It also has a branch at Albury.)
  • Carnarvon Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1049, Carnarvon, Western Australia 6701
  • Geraldton Family History Society, 89 Carson Terrace, Geraldton, Western Australia 6530

Professional Genealogists in Australia

Addresses of people willing to undertake research can be obtained from http://home.vicnet.net.au/~aagra/astates.html or write to:
Australian Association of Professional Researchers and Record Agents (AAGRA)
P.O. Box 268, Oakleigh, 3166
Please enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

Web Sites

Helpful Web Sites offers links to many helpful Web sites that focus on Australia:

Books

  • The Convict Ships, by Charles Bateson
  • Searching for Mary Ann - Tracing Women Ancestors in Australia, by Lenore Frost
  • Tracing Your Family History in Australia, by Nick Vine Hall
  • The 1828 Census of New South Wales, Library of Australian History
  • Genealogical Research Directory Library of Australian History
  • How to Trace Your Military Ancestors in Australia and New Zealand, by Richard Montegue
  • The A to Z of Genealogy -A Handbook, by Janet Reakes
  • Census and Musters in Australia and the British Isles, by Janet Reakes
  • He Must Have Swum! -Tracing Your Ancestor's Arrival into Australia, by Janet Reakes & Eileen Johnson
  • How to Trace Your Convict Ancestors, by Janet Reakes
  • How to Trace Your Family Tree and Not Get Stuck on a Branch, by Janet Reakes
  • How to Trace Your Missing Ancestors -Whether Living, Dead or Adopted, by Janet Reakes

For some tips on researching abroad, see the topic All about international resources.

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