Trace my family tree for free
Links for many of these and other sites can be found on the National Library of Australia 's family history page. Joining a family history group can introduce you to others with similar interests and provide help if you run into a dead end with your research. Some groups have their own resources and run seminars to help educate people on how to find out about their ancestry.
You can pay the births, deaths and marriages registry to conduct a search on your behalf if you don't want to do the searching yourself, but they charge a fee for each search. There are also transcription agents, but be sure to only use one licensed by the registry, and check out the cost beforehand.
These can be useful if you want some details but not a full copy or transcript of a certificate. Family tree software There are both free and paid family history software products that can act as your own family history database. Several features are important in a family tree program.
Before booking that trip to find your roots, here's how to get started researching your genealogy.
GEDCOM compatibility allows easy sharing of data with other researchers, and is also needed to upload files to online genealogy sites. The free programs all save files in this format. Government births, deaths and marriage records We recommend using the free websites listed below, starting with the Births, Deaths and Marriages government sites.
If all the free avenues have been exhausted, then consider paying for access to other resources.
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State government websites It's now possible to find records for relatives going back several generations, and in some cases complete records and certificates can be viewed online. Start with your home state or territory births, deaths and marriages website. The online resource site Trove has been created by the National Library of Australia and has a great deal of digitised content and links for further research. The National Archives of Australia has family history information.
The Australian Family History Compendium website can be used to search for links to online records. Genuki has links for UK and Ireland family history research.
UK government records are available at its website , the English Census website and the national archives. Find records for Ireland at the national archive or the births, deaths and marriages registry and Scotland at the Scotland's People website. New Zealand records can be accessed on the Department of Internal Affairs website.
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Cyndi's List and CoraWeb have extensive lists of genealogy sites with links for groups that might be useful. Accuracy is another thing to consider. It's wise to check and verify things, particularly for information that goes back a long way.
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Paid family history sites Always read the fine print before signing up to any paid sites, and be wary of supplying credit card details to activate a free trial. Local sites include ancestry. Note that a library edition of ancestry. The Gould Genealogy and History site sells a large range of family tree software as well as other resources for research and archiving. In Australia, the Centennial Park Cemetery in Adelaide, which has , burial and memorial sites, allows you to search records online, along with location details, so that family historians can find information about relatives including age, date of death and area of residence.
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Most services have websites with information on how and what they test and offer downloadable information kits, with some even claiming to be able to link people to well-known figures from history. Latest Electronics and technology. Best NBN plans. Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone review. Arlo Doorbell and Chime review. Parallels Desktop for Mac 15 review. How to buy the best personal alarm. Latest content. Australia's best cooktop brand.
Make the most of your extras cover. How we test breadmakers. Latest reviews. Broadband provider performance Ham reviews TV reviews Digital camera reviews Glass and window cleaner reviews. You can trace any or as many family lines as you prefer. It may be easiest to begin by concentrating on the line of most interest to you — perhaps your surname line or that of your maiden name. Remember that at each generation the number of our ancestors effectively doubles - 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great grandparents, 16 great great grandparents etc.
By the time you reach your 8x great grandparents there may be over ancestors to find at that generation. Most people will find that distant cousins may have married which reduces the number of individual ancestors in a generation but even so there are many thousands of direct ancestors waiting to be discovered — along with all of their brothers and sisters too!
By researching only one or two lines at a time you will find it easier to concentrate on the research and it will not be as confusing as investigating all the lines at once. How do I record my family history information? Some people record their family history information on paper or on index cards.
The majority of people now use a computer to record their information and there are a variety of software programs, some of which are free, which can be used for this. This will allow you to record the information you discover about your ancestors. The data can be viewed either in a family tree format showing how your ancestors are related to each other, or as an individual profile for each ancestor which shows all of the details known about them. By allowing other ancestry members to view your family tree you may well discover that other people are researching the same family and they may have other information to share and swap with you.
How far back can I trace my family history? However, it then depends upon how accurately that person provided details about their birthplace as to whether research in the country of origin will be successful. Much will also depend upon the survival rate of the records of the country in question.
How to Begin Tracing Your Family Tree
Those researchers with ancestry in other parts of the British Isles are more fortunate and it may be possible in a lot of cases to take the family line back beyond Parish registers of baptism, marriage and burial in England do, in some cases, extend back to the sixteenth century and other records, such as wills, predate these even. Why is the surname is spelt incorrectly? Until the more widespread introduction of elementary education at the end of the 19th century, the spelling of surnames was not fixed in any way.
People who could not read and write relied on those who could to enter their names and details on records such as birth certificates. Those people recording the data wrote down the name in the way they thought it should be spelt. In a country like Australia, with its large immigrant population, a variety of accents would be spoken and the way in which a particular name might be recorded would depend upon the hearing and interpretation of the clerk.
You therefore need to be imaginative in considering all of the different ways in which a surname could be spelt eg Jefferies, Jeffreys, Geoffreys etc This is especially important where the initial letter of the name can change. The search facilities on the website allow you to specify whether you wish the search to be limited to exact spellings or to include likely variants. The majority of records that have been digitised relate to historical material and it would be very surprising if you were able to find yourself within these databases.
None of the records were made specifically for the benefit of family historians but were compiled by the government who gave assurances of privacy for certain periods of time depending upon the record in question. It is these historical records which are now being made available and you will therefore need to know some details about the last two or three generations of your family in order to use the databases to the best advantage. You have the census records from the UK, where are the Australian ones?
The first national census survey in Australia was taken in Unfortunately, the Australian government, once it had extracted all the statistical data required from the various censuses, destroyed the original returns and no census records survive for the period between and The records of the census will not be made available by the government until 7 August