Finding free family history records of Australian ancestors

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.

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Australian Capital Territory



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).


New South Wales




Western Australia


South Australia

  • South Australian Naturalizations 1839 - 1903
  • Persons Lost and Found 1838 to 1920 - This database of 30,900 deserters from wives, families, ships, military and other service (eg apprenticeships and work contracts), the deserted, those failing to support their families, missing persons, escaped prisoners, absconders from asylums and industrial schools, convict expirees arriving from other colonies, and bigamists
  • 1841 Census—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

The Nothern Territory Department of Arts and Museums is responsible for the Northern Territory Archives. A list of collections in the archive is available for download in PDF format (warning: 250+ pages) which can then be searched offline.  The archives can also be searced online using the "Archives Navigator" service although it is not straight forward and no indexes are available. 

Other lists:

  • Territory Women - Territory women who placed their names on the 1895 Electoral Roll so that they could take their part in shaping the new nation of Australia




Last update November 2018