Online family history services

The internet is opening a treasure trove for family history researchers.
 
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02.Births, deaths and marriage records online

We recommend using the free websites listed below, starting with the Births, Deaths and Marriages government sites in Australia and the UK, if that's where your relatives link to. If all these avenues have been exhausted, then consider paying for access to other sources.

The paid sites give you access to a database to make the job of tracing relatives easier and streamline the process of researching and sharing a family tree. There can also be ongoing costs for the convenience of having a one-stop shop for your family tree.

It’s important to read sites’ privacy policies, particularly if the site isn’t based in Australia as it won’t adhere to our privacy laws. Sensitive, personal family information should be protected, and keep in mind that not everyone in the family tree may want it put online.

 

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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.

Other resources

Accuracy is another thing to consider. It’s wise to check and verify things, particularly for information that goes back a long way, to avoid publishing inaccurate information.

Paid family history sites

Always read the fine print before signing up and be wary of supplying credit card details to activate a free trial. Local sites include ancestry.com.au and findmypast.com.au, which also have links to UK and US records. Note that a library edition of ancestry.com.au can be used at the NLA.

A few others include My Heritage, TribalPages and One Great Family.

You might want to consider sharing the cost among several people in your family interested in contributing who then have “time share” access to the site for their research. Not only will this save money, it will also encourage family members to collaborate on the project and share information they’ve uncovered.

 
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