Finding free family history records of Australian ancestors

Occupations and trades

Ever wondered what great granddad did for a living? 

This list comprises links to various sources of occupation and trade / apprentice information.  Many databases are searchable online by surname or trade.

Jump to:

Australian Capital Territory

  • ACT Memorial - a database of men and women who have an association with the ACT and who served in conflicts



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 "Select a topic"
  2. Click on the appropriate arrow 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 link 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

NSW State Archives search - You can search the NSW State Archives here. It is the largest collection of records relating to the history of NSW and the lives of its people. It comprises over 14 million items. The records in the Collection are arranged firstly by the Government agency (a department, branch, office or official) that created them, then into series of records, then into items (bound volumes, files, documents, or objects) within the series. From there you may be able to order a copy of the records online, depending on availabilty and age of the record.



Western Australia


South Australia




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. Read the Information for Researchers page for information on the service.

Other lists:

  • Territory Stories - provides a range of stories that record the history and development of the Northern Territory from the early days, to the present



  • Cable Clerical Index - The Cable Clerical Index (CCI) is an index of more than 6570 Australian Anglican clergy. Only names and dates of ordination are published for those born before 01 Jan 1916.
  • - Australian electoral rolls are a good source of information for occupation details of individuals from 1903 onwards.  These are best searched on which has a full and useful index and links to the original records.
  • The Goldminer's database (New Zealand) - Search the names of 50000 goldminers from the goldrushes of New Zealand 1861 - 1872
  • National Police Memorial - Honour Roll - The Memorial pays tribute to Australian Police Officers who have been killed on duty or have died as a result of their duties since the advent of policing in Australia and to recognise the unique nature of police service and the dangers that police face in their daily pursuits.
  • Did your ancestor drive for Cobb & Co?


Last update October 2017