Back in December 2009 I wrote a blog post 50 Australian Websites for Family History and it is interesting to see what has changed in just nine short years. Most are still there, some have changed names, some have disappeared or been absorbed into other sites and of course, there is even more content online today. I ended that post with perhaps there should be a Top 100 list.

Now my thoughts are that the list should be shorter, not longer. What Australasian websites could I simply not do without? Or should the focus be narrower and only on one state or territory? Whenever you compile a list you automatically start to leave things out.

My students at U3A know that I am always talking about big ponds and little ponds. Do we search in the megadata bases (big ponds) and hope to narrow down to the right ancestors or do we search in little ponds where the results are smaller but more likely to be correct, assuming of course our ancestors swam in that little pond?

As a disclaimer, I am not being paid in any form to include a website on this list. They are simply my own favourite sites, grouped together by broad subject.

Queensland State Archives Reading Room Jun 2016


As a former archivist I simply must include my favourites with free digitised records online.

Archives New Zealand – some digitised images also available through FamilySearch

Public Record Office Victoria – some digitised images also available through Ancestry and FamilySearch

State Archives & Records New South Wales – some digitised images also available through Ancestry

Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office


Most states have their indexes online to search free and the cost of images/certificates varies. My favourites are:

Queensland – once payment is made you can download the image and keep researching

Tasmania – digitised free access up to 1900, it does not get any better than that

Victoria – once payment is made you can download the image and keep researching

Cemeteries (Tombstones/burial records)

A popular area and the growth of online resources in this area over the last ten years has been fantastic. I will just include portal sites and there are lots of little ponds if you know where your ancestors died. Most of these include records submitted by volunteers and you need to check coverage as the databases are not comprehensive.

Billion Graves – elsewhere in the world too

My great grandmother Dorcas White nee Trevaskis, Toowong cemetery 1981

Australian Cemeteries Index – includes more images

Australian Cemeteries Website – links to all types of records

Find A Grave – elsewhere in the world too


As a former librarian, I must include a few libraries.

Moreton Bay Region Libraries – remember local libraries are fantastic for local and family history

State Library Queensland – a personal favourite with their WW1 Queensland soldier portraits

State Library Victoria – digitised maps, plans, books, journals and more

Military Records

Australian War Memorial – name indexes and digitised records

Frederick Trevaskis, killed in action WW1

Commonwealth War Graves Commission – indexes and digitised records

National Archives of Australia – digitised army dossiers for Boer War & WW1


Papers Past – maintained by the National Library of New Zealand with digitised access to newspapers, parliamentary papers and more

The Ryerson Index – a newspaper index useful to find more recent deaths and burials

Trove – maintained by the National Library of Australia with a range of zones including digitised newspapers and photographs

Portal Sites

This is where a range of topics have been classified together to make searching easier.  Some may be well known favourites, but others may not. Have a look, they might become your favourites too.

CoraWeb – mainly Australian but other links useful to those with British ancestors

Cyndi’s List Australia – Cyndi includes every country in the world, even Outer Space

Dusty Docs – Australia – also has sections for England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and New Zealand

Wills & Probates

Digitised copies can be seen at Archives New Zealand, Public Record Office Victoria or the Tasmanian Archive & Heritage Office (links above).

A few archives have indexes online.

Queensland State Archives – separate indexes and be aware there are three Supreme Courts in Queensland

State Records Office Western Australia – search by name within the main online catalogue

It is not hard to list 25 websites and I have not mentioned all the state archives and libraries. Nor have I included any genealogy or family history societies which are also a must go to place for anyone researching genealogy and family history.

Everyone’s research is different. What websites would you include in your favourite 25?