The following is an idea of the records I will search. The aim in searching all these records is to not only expand your family tree but to get a good idea of what your ancestors lives were like, how they lived etc.
Births Deaths & Marriages – Civil Registration
Civil registration of Births Deaths and marriages was first introduced in England and Wales in 1837 and in Australia it was 1838. A great deal of information can be gained from these certificates and the information provided varies from country to country. This source is the foundation for family history research which can then be expanded through other records.
The first National censuses were taken in England, Wales and Scotland in 1801. To begin with these census returns were only for statistical purposes. After 1841 further information about the persons age, birthplace, occupation and the family relationships was added. Unfortunately there are no national censuses for Australia at this time.
Prior to civil registration parish registers that record baptisms, marriages and burials are the prime source of information. The earliest English parish registers date from 1538. I can access both English and Australian parish registers.
I am able to research Australian service personnel from the Boer War onwards, however I specialise in World War One and World War Two servicemen. I am able to provide unit histories, war diaries, service records etc. I am also able to provide in nearly all cases their burial location and provide a photograph of their final resting place. I also have exclusive access to the grave registration cards for World War Two servicemen. These cards are not readily available to the public and contain vital information such as cause of death, original burial location etc.
I have access to hundreds of newspapers and have found these to be extremely beneficial. In many cases obituaries can be found in the older newspapers and quite often photographs and articles on marriages etc in later editions of the newspapers. I thoroughly search any relevant newspaper as I know from experience anything could be found.
Shipping and immigration
Immigration records are an important source of information. Within these records, passenger lists identify who within the family made the journey and from which country and in the case of the United Kingdom, which county they originated from. Approximately 1.5 million free migrants moved to Australia before 1900, with the majority coming from England. After 1945 approximately 6.5 million migrants from countries all over Europe made Australian their home. Quite often families returned home and this can also be traced.
Criminal Records - Convicts
Between 1788 and 1868 around 162,000 convicts were sent to Australia from the United Kingdom. Through records in Australia and the United Kingdom, information of their original crime, sentence and passage can be found. Often the records of the crime and the trial can provide far more personal information about the individual than can be found in many other sources.
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