Skip to main content
state library of queensland
  • Home
  • /

  • Useful websites for family historians

Useful websites for family historians

This is a collection of quality websites selected by information professionals for family and local historians. It includes sites from across Australia and overseas. Links to the most important parts of a website are included.

Adelaide Proformat : ancestral and local history researchers
Graham Jaunay provides access to family history guides, useful software, shipping lists, surname lists plus guidance in locating information on Australian births, deaths and marriages as well as census records.

Australasian Association of Genealogists and Record Agents
Provides a listing of record/research agents and genealogists who subscribe to a Code of Ethics regarding the profession of the genealogist.

Australian Cemeteries Index
A searchable index that provides access to headstone inscriptions and images from more than 650 cemeteries around Australia, predominantly New South Wales.

Australian Dictionary of Biography : online edition
ADB online provides access to authoritative biographies of notable figures in Australian history who died before 1980.

Australian Electoral Commission
Useful information on Australian electoral milestones as well as such information as current electoral boundaries can be found at this website. State Library of Queensland holds an extensive collection of electoral rolls. See Research guide - Electoral rolls for more details.

Australian Jewish Genealogical Society
Provides guidance for those researching Jewish connections both in Australia and internationally.

Australian Medical Pioneers Index
A database of pioneer Australian doctors from 1700s to 1875. The site also provides background information on early colonial medical life.

Australian National Maritime Museum
The Museum site provides guides to shipping and immigration resources held in the Museum library. Research guides are a feature of the site. Of particular interest is Pictures of ships in the Australian trade where there are many links to images of ships. An Index to ship pictures lists ship images held in the Museum's collection. State Library holds many of the books indexed, and a copy of this index is available at the level 3 desk.

Australian War Memorial
This is the official website of the Australian War Memorial. Important biographical databases such as the Boer War, WWI and WWII Nominal Rolls and Roll of Honour records can be searched here. Also available is a Collection database that includes film, sound, war art, photos, official and private records.

Australian Women's Archives Project : Australian Women's Register
Useful resource for locating information on specific Australian women and Australian women's organisations.

Australians in the Boer War: Oz-Boer Database Project
The OZ-Boer Database Project contains nearly 20,000 records relating to Australian soldiers who served in the Boer War.

Claim a convict
Contains details on 21,000 convicts (including the Irish) and exiles from 1788 to 1813.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
This database contains over 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars and the 23,000 cemeteries, memorials and other locations world-wide where they are commemorated.

The Digital Panopticon
This website enables you to search millions of records relating to the lives of 90,000 convicts from the Old Bailey thereby tracing London convicts in Britain and Australia. You can use this site to search for individual convicts, explore and visualise data, and learn more about the records and historical background relating to crime and criminal justice in the past.

Find and Connect Australia
Provides information for former child migrants and everyone with an interest in the history of out-of-home ‘care’ in Australia. Entries for each state including Queensland can be browsed to assist in finding images, records and support for these forgotten Australians.

First Fleet Online
First Fleet Online has an online database of all those who arrived in Australia in 1788 and provides background information on each individual.

Geoscience Australia Place Names Search
Allows you to search the Gazetteer of Australia, a searchable database of Australian place names. Included are man-made places such as cities, homesteads and highways, as well as geographical features such as rivers, mountains, headlands and islands.

Graves and memorials of Australians in the Boer War 1899-1902
Includes an index to graves, memorials and photographs.

National Archives of Australia
The National Archives of Australia cares for the records of the Commonwealth government. The site gives an introduction to the collections, access information, exhibitions, services to researchers including fact sheets on various subjects areas, research guides and publications. Search the collection in various ways through RecordSearch: Basic search, Advanced search, NameSearch, PhotoSearch, Passenger arrivals and Newly scanned records.

People Australia
Search across all the National Centre of Biography's websites: Australian Dictionary of Biography, Obituaries Australia, Women Australia and Labour Australia. Clicking on a name link from a list will take you to a page with links to all relevant biographical entries for that person.

Ryerson Index
Indexes death and funeral notices published in various newspapers around New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. Check the newspaper coverage and details for availability of information. This site is constantly being updated with current information.

Society of Australian Genealogists
Provides access to the Society’s newsletters plus information from special interest groups. Several searchable databases are also available.

Hosted by the National Library of Australia, acts as a portal for all State Libraries and many other libraries and cultural institutions. The 11 zones of content will search through a vast number of Australian and online resources: books, images, historic newspapers, government gazettes, maps, music, archives and more.

CoraWeb - Websites for genealogists
A genealogy gateway providing a comprehensive range of records available and of interest to Australian researchers.

ACT Electoral Rolls 1916-1967
Search transcriptions of the electoral rolls for 1916, 1917, 1928, 1935, 1943, 1949, 1955, 1959 and 1967.

ACT Births, Deaths and Marriages
Has two databases available: Historic Death Index (1960-1993) and Historic Marriage Index (1930-1948). These indexes are key word searchable. 

Canberra's Memorial Parks
A grave search is available for the following: Gungahlin Cemetery and Crematorium, Hall Cemetery, and Woden Cemetery.

Blue Mountains City Council Cemetery Search
Contains burials from cemeteries in the Blue Mountains region, New South Wales. It includes Mt Irvine, Mt Victoria, Blackheath, Katoomba, Wentworth Falls, Lawson, Faulconbridge, and Springwood.

Braidwood Gaol Entrance Book 1856-1899
A searchable database of the entrance books for Braidwood Gaol from 1856 to 1899. May contain details of age, birthplace, religion, height, complexion and occupation.

Capital Punishment Database NSW 1826-1837
Comprised of information on 1,300 people sentenced to death between 1826 and 1837. Many of those convicted later had their sentences commuted to transportation and sent to the penal colonies of Norfolk Island or Moreton Bay.

Catholic Cemeteries + Crematoria
The Deceased Search includes the following cemeteries: Catholic Cemetery Kemps Creek, Liverpool Cemetery & Crematorium, Catholic Cemetery North Rocks, The Religious Society of Friends (Quaker) – Rookwood, and Catholic Cemetery Necropolis Rookwood. Entries may include photographs of the headstone/s.

Hawkesbury on the Net : Cemetery Register
Contains listings of burials from a number of cemeteries in the Hawkesbury region, New South Wales. It includes cemeteries in Hawkesbury, Kurrajong Heights, Wilberforce, and Lower Portland. This is an ongoing project.

Irish Convicts to NSW 1788-1849
A database of Irish convicts transported to New South Wales between 1788 and 1849.

Lismore Lawn Cemetery and Memorial Gardens register
Register name search for burials and cremations at the Lismore Lawn Cemetery and Memorial Gardens.

Newcastle Morning Herald Index
Hosted by the Newcastle Region Library, this index covers the years 1942 to 1984.

Northern Cemeteries
Consists of five cemeteries. There is a searchable database for the following four cemeteries are: Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium, North Ryde (1922 onwards); Frenchs Forest cemetery, Davidson, previously known as Frenchs Forest General cemetery (1940 onwards); Field of Mars cemetery, Ryde (1890 onwards); Gore Hill cemetery, St. Leonards (1877-1974) and Sandgate cemetery, Newcastle (1881 onwards). 

NSW Lands Registry Services' (NSW LRS)
NSW LRS has created an online portal to provide easier access to online material and services. The Historical Land Records Viewer (HLRV) enables people to view digitised NSW historical maps, plans, titles and indexes. There are over 6 million digital records available, from 62 collections.

NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
Search historical indexes from 1788 for births up to 100 years ago, marriages up to 50 years ago and deaths up to 30 years ago. Updated annually. State Library holds most of the pre-1856 births, deaths and marriages registers on microfilm.

Rookwood General Cemetery
The Find a Loved One Search provides information on the interments that have taken place within Rookwood General Cemetery.

Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries
Includes Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park and Woronora Memorial Park. There are separate searchable databases for Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park, which includes Pioneer Memorial Park (Botany Cemetery) and Eastern Suburbs Crematorium; and Woronora Memorial Park.

State Archives Collection – Museums of History NSW
Contains an ever expanding range of online guides, indexes, articles and webinars. Some of these indexes cover immigration, convicts, censuses, land, insolvency, naturalisation, colonial secretary’s papers, First Nations Australians. Many of these records include Moreton Bay (Brisbane) to 1859. State Library holds much of the material indexed.

Sydney Benevolent Asylum - Index to admissions and discharges 1857-1900
An index of inmates at the Sydney Benevolent Asylum. The database contains over 78,000 records.

Brisbane City Council sites include:

Bundaberg Regional Cemeteries
Searchable database containing records from a number of cemeteries in this region. May provide years of birth and death, places of residence and grave details.

Cairns Regional Cemeteries
The cemeteries for Cairns, Babinda, Forest View, Gordonvale, Nelson Road, Babinda, Mossman, and Port Douglas can be searched through a database containing burial records.

Central Queensland Family History Association Inc
Based in Rockhampton, the Central Queensland Family History Association Inc provides for family history research throughout the Central Queensland region. They have several online resources of use to family historians researching ancestors from this area. They also provide a research service.

Community and Personal Histories - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services
Community and Personal Histories team may be able to help you find out where your Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander family comes from, who your family are and how you are connected to a certain place.

Department of Resources sells and provides services online:

Fraser Coast Regional Council Cemeteries
Searchable burials database for the following cemeteries: Howard cemetery (including the Columbarium and Lawn sections), Maryborough cemetery (including the Columbarium, Garden of Rest and Children's Memorial Garden), Polson Cemetery and Columbarium (including the South Sea Islander Memorial and Cemetery), Tiaro Cemetery (including the Columbarium), Munna Creek Cemetery, Deborah Cemetery, and Nikenbah Cemetery.

Genealogical Society of Queensland (GSQ)
One of the pre-eminent family history societies in Australia, GSQ offers friendly assistance to those seeking to trace their family tree. From its resource centre at Wishart, Brisbane, GSQ provides a range of opportunities to broaden knowledge in the family history domain, including the chance to participate in the many Special Interest Groups – this includes the DNA Group. GSQ offers a fee-based family history research service.  To explore what GSQ offers visit or visit on Facebook

Gympie Cemetery Trust
Includes a Deceased search, also known as Gympie cemetery burial information database.

House and suburban histories from South-east Queensland has a number of digitised booklets and collections tracking the design, construction and traditions of Queensland houses.

  • Designs provides an historical overview for the time periods 1887-1920, 1920-1930, 1930-1940, and 1940-1959, drawing on original materials.
  • Hardware catalogues, and Hardware and material include catalogues and images of products used.
  • Miscellaneous has a section on house names as well as case studies of particular buildings.

Ingham Cemeteries
Register of burials in the Ingham district, including Hinchinbrook, Ingham, and Halifax.

International Adoptive Families of Queensland Inc.
A non-profit support group for Queensland families involved in overseas adoptions.

Judy Webster's genealogy advice for Australia, especially Queensland
This site provides advice and indexes that help genealogists to research local, interstate and overseas folk by using Queensland's historical records. The emphasis is on unusual Queensland State Archives sources that are superb for problem solving. Also visit her Queensland Genealogy Blog, which highlights useful resources as well as research techniques.

Mackay cemeteries
Listing of cemeteries around the Mackay District, created by the Mackay Historical Society. Some of the cemeteries include burial listings.

Moreton Bay Region Cemeteries
Moreton Bay Regional Council maintains a database of burial records for people buried in Moreton Bay district cemeteries, including Albany Creek, Bribie Island, Caboolture, Dayboro, King Street, Lawnton, Redcliffe, Samford, and Samsonvale.

North Burnett Regional Council Cemeteries
Searchable database that covers the numerous cemeteries in the North Burnett Region. The cemeteries include: Byrnestown, Chowey, Coalstoun, Dallami, Degilbo, Eidsvold, Gayndah, Monto, Mount Perry, Mount Shanrock, Mulgildie, Mundubbera and Paradise. Please note that not all cemeteries are currently up-to-date.

Nudgee Cemetery - Deceased Search
Provides a searchable database for people interred in Nudgee Cemetery, Brisbane.

Queensland births, deaths and marriages
Search the historical indexes from 1829 for births up to 100 years ago, marriages up to 75 years ago and deaths up to 30 years ago. Updated annually. The indexes are available without charge. This site also provides details on how to apply for certificates and the fees involved. Order historical records online and, when available, scanned images of register pages.

Queensland Courts
Provides access to information about the courts in Queensland including fact sheets and database to search civil files (e-courts) (dates of availability depend on the area in the state). Also of interest is the Supreme Court of Queensland Library, which offers access to the Library services and collections including the online database for Queensland Judiciary Profiles.

Queensland Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women - Adoption
This department is responsible for providing statutory services to eligible adults affected by adoption seeking information. The site outlines non-identifying and identifying information it can provide to those in this situation.

Queensland Family History Society (QFHS)
Based in Brisbane, QFHS is one of Queensland's major family history and genealogy organisations. They offer access to a large number of resources in their research centre as well as limited research assistance, workshops and one of Queensland's largest shops of genealogical resources.

Queensland place names
The Department of Resources manage place names in Queensland and have created a database of Queensland place names. Entries provide the geographical location and origin of the place name.

Queensland State Archives
Queensland State Archives is the storage place of numerous records for Queensland government and Queensland government agencies. Access is provided to numerous online indexes including assisted immigration, inquests, divorces, probate and much more. In Explore our collection you can find the indexes and brief guides organised by subjects. Also available is a catalogue search, ArchivesSearch.

Renamed places in Queensland
Covers an extensive range of place name changes including those of towns, suburbs and localities, street name changes and  public and private buildings. It is an evolving site with input from various sources.

RHSQ : Royal Historical Society of Queensland
RHSQ promotes Queensland history. One of their publications is the Royal Historical Society of Queensland Journal , later titled Queensland History Journal . Check the article listing for contents which include obituaries, biographical articles, accounts of early immigrant ships, coastal shipping and the establishment of settlements throughout Queensland. Text Queensland holds digitised copies of the journal from 1914 to 1994, which can be browsed or searched. Find articles after 1994 at State Library.

Rockhampton Regional Council Cemeteries
The Rockhampton Regional Council have a number of burial indexes available as pdf. They cover Rockhampton Memorial Gardens, Bajool cemetery, Cawarral cemetery, Emu Park cemetery, Gracemere cemetery, Mount Morgan cemeteries, Josekeleigh Cemetery, Marlborough cemetery, Milman cemetery, North Rockhampton and South Rockhampton cemeteries, Warcon cemetery, Westwood cemetery, Yaamba cemetery and Yeppoon cemetery.

Rolls of the Board of Architects Queensland, 1930 – 1980
Donald Watson and the Board of Architects of Queensland (2017) have created a searchable, digitised index of "Queensland Architects 1930-1980" by combining the following:

  • Queensland Government Gazettes
  • text files for Removals from the Register of Architects 1964-1980
  • lists of approved Architectural Companies in Queensland 1973-1980
  • and Architect Rolls of Queensland 1930-1980.

Text Queensland
A searchable database of books, theses and journals and includes Pugh's Almanac and the Queensland Government Gazette 1859-1900.

Toowoomba Regional cemeteries
Deceased search database is searchable by surname, given name and cemetery. This database includes the following cemeteries: Back Plains, Bergen/Djuan, Cabarlah, Cecil Plains (Old), Cecil Plains, Clifton, Cooyar, Crows Nest, Douglas, Drayton & Toowoomba, Glencoe, Goombungee, Greenmount, Kooroongarra, Milmerran, Nobby, Pittsworth, St Paul's Church Tummaville and Yarraman. Please note this does not cover all cemeteries and crematoria in Toowoomba and further searches may need to be made.

Centennial Park Cemetery
Contains a searchable database of the cemetery and crematorium at Centennial Park, Pasadena, South Australia.

Genealogy SA
Provides access to an Online Database Search that includes a cemeteries index, deaths reported in newspapers, an index to the South Australian Government Gazette (1845-2000), and indexes to South Australian births, deaths and marriages (1842-1928[B]/1972[D]/1937[M]).

State Records of South Australia
Holds the archival records created by State and Local Government agencies within South Australia. This website provides access to such resources via topic, a guide to family history research at the archive, passenger lists plus other indexes. Also available is State Records online catalogue, ArchivesSearch.

Carr Villa Memorial Park
Launceston City Council maintains this cemetery and you can do a burial search. Launceston City Council has also provided the records to Tasmanian Archives and Heritage, some of which have been digitised and can be viewed online.

Libraries Tasmania
The joining together of the services and websites of the State Library of Tasmania, the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office, Adult Education and online access centres. Search the Tasmanian Names index to locate historical records and images.

Mersey Vale and Devenport Cemetery
An online searchable database is available as well as a site map of the cemetery, which is run by the Devonport City Council.

North-West Tasmanian Coastal Cemeteries
Searchable database of a number of historic cemeteries in Don, Forth, Kindred and Devonport. The information has been gathered from headstone inscriptions, early newspaper articles and obituaries plus family information.

Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office
The amalgamation of the Archives Office of Tasmania and the Heritage Collections of the State Library of Tasmania. Includes a family history page, name indexes that provide access to digitised Tasmanian records and guides to records on various topics.

Cranbourne Public Cemetery
Index of over 3000 persons buried in Cranbourne Cemetery since 1850. Provides name and age of deceased, date of burial and grave details.

Family Matters Blog
Keep up-to-date with all the latest family history news from State Library of Victoria.

Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust
Provides access to searchable databases of a number of cemeteries in the north, east and west of Melbourne. They include: Altona, Anderson's Creek, Burwood, Coburg, Emerald, Fawkner, Footscray, Healesville, Keilor, Lilydale, Northcote, Northern memorial park, Preston, Templestowe, Truganina, Werribee, Williamstown and Yarra Glen.

Public Record Office Victoria
Explore the online indexes and records by topic to access helpful genealogical information. Included are assisted and unassisted immigration, departing passengers, probate, education, divorce, publicans and criminals. Some records have been digitised. State Library of Queensland holds many of the immigration records indexed in these databases. A number of publications are also available containing further information on various subjects.

Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust
A database of burials and cremations at Springvale Botanical Cemetery, Bunurong Memorial Park and the St. Kilda General Cemetery.

Victoria Government Gazette : Online Archive 1836-1997
This archive of historic material provides access to digital images of the New South Wales Government Gazette (1836-1851), the Port Phillip Government Gazette (1843-1851) and the Victoria Government Gazette (1851-1997); as well as searchable indexes for each gazette.

Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
Search the historical indexes from 1836 for births up to 1916, marriages up to 1942 and deaths up to 1988. The indexes are available without charge. This site also provides details on how to apply for certificates and the fees involved. Order historical records online. The State Library holds the indexes on microfiche and CD-ROM.

Dead Persons' Society, Perth, Western Australia
An entry point to shipping information for all states and features material on convicts and the military.

Department of Justice, Western Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
Search the Western Australian Online Indexes for births, deaths and marriages from 1841 until early last century for free. This site also contains information on who can apply for certificates, application forms and the fees involved.

Fremantle Prison - Convict Database
A searchable database of nearly 10,000 convicts who were transported to the Swan River Colony from 1850 to 1868.

State Library of Western Australia
Provides many useful guides to family history resources available within the State Library of Western Australia and online. Also available are digitised versions of the police gazettes and their indexes for the years 1876 to 1900, which are key word searchable, as well as digitised versions of the post office directories for the years 1893 to 1949 that can be browsed but are not key word searchable.

Metropolitan Cemeteries Board - Perth, Western Australia
A searchable database of interments, cremations and memorials at Fremantle Cemetery and the Perth cemeteries of Karrakatta, Pinnaroo Valley, Midland, Guildford and Rockingham Regional. Search by surname and/or given name(s).

State Records of Western Australia
The State Record Office of Western Australia has the "responsibility for managing, preserving and providing access to the State's archives." Available on this website are guides to the collection, ArchivesSearch and much more.

Archives New Zealand
Archives New Zealand hold a variety of records including immigration, education, naturalisation, probate and inquests. Research resources provide in-depth information on the collections.

Auckland City Libraries
Provides useful family history resources with databases covering Auckland area passenger arrivals 1838-1883, heritage images, police and cemetery records.

Auckland War Memorial museum
The Museum tells the story of New Zealand, its place in the Pacific and its people. The Museum is a war memorial for the province of Auckland and contains the Online Cenotaph, where people can search for information on New Zealand service men and women.

Cemeteries and Cemetery Records : New Zealand
Hosted by Christchurch City Libraries, this site provides access to a number of New Zealand cemeteries including online indexes where they are available.

Department of Internal Affairs: Births, Deaths and Marriages
The Births, Deaths and Marriage Office are responsible for the registration of all births, deaths and marriages in New Zealand and access to the certificates. Births, Deaths and Marriages Online is a historical database to search New Zealand Government records for births, deaths and marriages from the 1840s onwards. Some year restrictions do apply.

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography
The site offers over 3000 biographies of notable, deceased New Zealanders.

Otago Nominal Index
Contains 241302 records from a variety of sources including newspapers, electoral rolls, directories and police gazettes for the Otago and Southland district.

Papers past
Showcases selected 19th and 20th century New Zealand newspapers; magazines and journals; letters and diaries; parliamentary papers and digitised New Zealand books in English and Maori. The site currently contains digital images of over seven million pages from a growing number of publications.

Passenger Lists
This site contains a number of passenger lists to ships entering New Zealand. These lists can be searched by the name of the ship or by the port of arrival. Information is provided about general conditions on the voyage out and government regulations to be observed onboard.

Varcoe's New Zealand Marriages Index
This database can be used in conjunction with the New Zealand marriage indexes on microfiche to find marriage partners. The New Zealand births, deaths and marriages indexes are available on microfiche at State Library.