Your Aussie ancestors lived in one of six states or territories: Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria or New South Wales. Or they could have resided in Tasmania, an island off the southern coast. It is important to know when each state or territory came into existence, and from what other state or territory it was created. Each one has different records collections in different time periods. Determining which state or territory where your ancestors resided is the first step toward discovery.

Around 1770, Capt. James Cook arrived on the eastern coast of the continent. He claimed the area for Great Britain. Other European settlers began to arrive in the early 1800’s, mainly from the British Isles. Therefore, record keeping in Australia followed the custom of records kept in the mother country: church parish registers, civil registrations, land and probate records, and censuses. New South Wales has preserved censuses from 1828, 1841, 1891 and 1901, all with indexes. There are also Electoral Rolls for 1842-1864, and 1903-1980, all indexed. Other states have varying record types and years of availability.

A professional genealogist with British Isles expertise can navigate the records of Australia. Of course, the next step after ferreting out the Australian ancestors is to discover where they came from specifically, before their long voyage. Scotland? Wales? England or otherwise? Let the professionals at Heritage Consulting Genealogy Research Services help you solve that mystery!