Finding free family history records of Australian ancestors

Health, Homes and Adoption

A collection of links related to Australian history.  Some include online databases for things such as early school, homes and hospital records.

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Australian Capital Territory



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. Also available are Brief Guides on many subjects and a catalogue search. The Queensland State Archives holds many of the nineteenth and early to mid-twentieth century records on Queensland government schools, hospitals, asylums, medical staff, orphanages and children’s homes.

Queensland Archives has compiled indexes of their archival records. Use these links to get to the page and search the index database by name.

info Once you get to the Queensland Archives page, here's how to use it:

  1. Scroll down to "Index Categories"
  2. Click on the appropriate radio button for the type of records you are looking for - this will then expand to show what record sets are available.
  3. Click on the appropriate radio button for the records you are looking for - this will then expand (below the list) to show a search area where you can input names etc.

You may also be able to download the full index using a link that will appear on the top right of the page or below the search box (depending on what device you are using, eg: desktop, iPad etc).

Try also


New South Wales



  • Adoption and wardship (1864-1961) Records of children in state care
  • Adoption records 1850-1961
  • Wards of state (1864-1966) You can search by name up until 1894. Records from 1894-1915 must be identified by date range.
  • Hospital patient records Hospitals kept various records about the patients in their care, from simple lists of who was a patient to detailed medical notes about treatment. These archived records are mostly from hospitals that have now closed except for the Royal Women’s Hospital which is still operating.
  • Mental health records (1849-1912) Some name indexes are online and will give you information like the asylum name and date of admission. Most records are not digitised and you will need to visit the North Melbourne Reading Room.
  • 1849 - 1885 digitised listing of patients in asylums PROV has digitised copy of a master list of patients for each asylum from 1849-1885. This may help you identify which asylum your relative may have been admitted. It will also offer the admission date which can then help you identify the case file for that patient.

Western Australia


South Australia

  • The Manning Index of South Australian HistoryThe Index contains many thousands of references to South Australian newspaper and magazine stories for the years 1837 to 1937. It also includes extensive selected text from the indexed publications, other primary and secondary sources and numerous extracts from Mr Manning's own writings.




Northern Territory