Finding free family history records of Australian ancestors

Selected international databases





New Zealand


  • Yad Vashem - Database of holocaust (Shoah) victims - Yad Vashem, together with its partners, has collected and recorded the names and biographical details of millions of victims of systematic anti-Jewish persecution during the Holocaust (Shoah) period.

Last update November 2020

Births, Deaths and Marriages

Australian Birth, Death and Marriage records are held individually by each state. All states except Tasmania and the Northern Territory have searchable online indexes available.  Tasmanian records are held on CD which is available for purchase.  All online indexes are free. Northern Territory certificates can be ordered online however you need to know the record details.

Read more: Births, Deaths and Marriages

Census and Electoral rolls

Since 1901 (Federation) Australia has conducted elections and kept detailed electoral rolls.  The laws have changed a few times over the years: Compulsory voting was introduced in 1924, Women's right to vote was won progressively across the different states between 1895 and 1911, Indigenous Australians won voting rights in 1962.  Included are some links to naturalisation records and some census records.

Read more: Census and Electoral rolls

Convicts, prisoners and courts

Australian convicts are some of the most well documented people in history. Follow their journeys here with this growing list of resources dedicated to our colonial convict history.  There are also links to prison records for "non-convicts" (people who were not here by means of convict transportation from England.) Also, here you will find many links to databases of court records including both criminal and civil cases.

Read more: Convicts, prisoners and courts

Historical Societies and Groups

Australia has a vast network of History Societies and groups dedicated to recording and preserving our nation's history. Support them now by becoming a member today!

Below is a list of active historical societies across the country. Click the links to visit their websites and/or Facebook pages.  History groups are an invaluable resource especially for genealogy research as they usually have local knowledge of family names in their area. Where available you can make enquiries regarding your ancestry interests direct to the group and usually you'll find they are happy to assist. Be patient - most family history societies are run by teams of dedicated volunteers who generously donate their time to carefully locate, investigate and preserve valuable images, documents and family tree resources.

Read more: Historical Societies and Groups

Wills and Inquests

Looking through last Will and Testament documents are a good source of information on descendants, property and locations.  At some stage almost all Wills must pass through the Australia Court system and thus become an official court record to be stored in perpetuity. Where no Will has been left (intestate estates) usually next of kin apply for estate administration, documents of which also complement the official records.  Many early Wills are now online in index of full document form.  Also, this list has links to inquest documents and coroners reports.

Read more: Wills and Inquests