New South Wales GenWeb Project
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All databases listed on this page are available online.  They are FREE (F) to view unless otherwise stated.  Those requiring a fee to view are marked with a dollar sign ($).  Databases that are FREE to view but require payment for further information, or fee-based look-up services, are marked (P).  FREE or donation-based look-up services are marked (L).  Offline databases and associated research files are listed on the resources page.  For convict databases and resources go directly to the Convict Heritage page.
Biographical Records
Births-Deaths-Marriages (BDMs) NSW
Births-Deaths-Marriages (BDMs) Australia
Births-Deaths-Marriages (BDMs) UK & Ireland
Births-Deaths-Marriages (BDMs) Worldwide
Census Records Australia
Census Records UK
Census Records Ireland
Census Records Worldwide
Electoral Rolls
Indigenous Record
Military Records
Miscellaneous Records (Australia)
Miscellaneous Records (International)
Shipping Lists (including Immigration & Naturalisation)

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Biographical databases featuring famous and everyday Australians.

F Australian Biography

A web-based biographical resource profiling extraordinary contemporary Australians.

F Australian Dictionary of Biography: Melbourne University Press, 1966

Volumes 1 and 2 (published in 1966-67),  1788-1850 
Volumes 3 to 6 (published in 1969-76),  1851-1890 
Volumes 7 to 12 (published in 1979-90), 1891-1939 
Volumes 13 to 16 (published in 1993-2002),  1940-1980 
Volumes 17 and 18 will cover people who died between 1980 and 1990; a supplementary volume of Australians not covered by the original volumes was released in 2005. 

F Dictionary of Australian Biography: by Percival Serle, Angus and Robertson, 1949

Contains 1030 biographies of Australians, or men closely connected with Australia, and who died before the end of 1942.

Features select Australasian colonialists from 1855-1892; fee-based look-up service.
F OzLife Index

Index to articles about prominent Australians appearing in major Australian newspapers from September 2000 to July 2005.

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Births, Deaths & Marriages in New South Wales are recorded by the NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages.  The Registry currently holds in excess of 17 million records including early church records (baptismal, marriages and burials) from 1788 to 1855; and birth, death and marriage registrations from 1856 to the present day.  Records are labelled Restricted or Unrestricted according to classification.  Restricted records are only available to the person named on the certificate (identification required).  Unrestricted records are open to all (identification is not required).  A record is unrestricted if - birth occurred between 1788 to 1907; death occurred more than 30 years ago; or marriage occurred more than 50 years ago.

F Deaths & Burials NSW & Norfolk Island, 1788–1810
F NSW Births Database (1788-1907) 
F NSW Deaths Database (1788-1977) 
F NSW Divorce Index (1837-1923)
F NSW Marriages Database (1788-1957) 
F  [Excel 1.4mb]

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Births, Deaths & Marriages in Australia vary according to the state or territory of registration.  Not all States are available online.

F Australasia Births Deaths & Marriages Exchange
F QLD Divorce Index, 1861-1899
$ VIC BDMs Database (see below)
       + births 1853 to 1924 
       + deaths 1853 to 1985 
       + marriages 1853 to 1942 
       + church baptisms, burials and marriages 1836 to 1853 
       + births, deaths, marriages at sea 1853 to 1920 
F VIC Index to Divorce Cause Books (VA 2549) Supreme Court of Victoria (1861–1924)
F WA BDMs Pioneer Index (see below)
       + births 1841 to 1931 
       + marriages 1841 to 1931 
       + deaths 1841 to 1909 
F TAS Colonial Family Links Database
F TAS Index to Divorces, 1861 - 1920

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Births, Deaths & Marriages in the United Kingdom prior to 1837 were recorded in the parish registers as baptism, marriage and burial records.

F FreeReg (UK Parish Register Database)

All births, marriages and deaths post 1837 are recorded at the register office in the district where the event took place.

F FreeBDMs (ENG & WLS BDM Database) (partial index with regular additions)
F FreeBMD Birth Index (1837-1983) (partial index)
F FreeBMD Marriage Index (1837-1983) (partial index)
F FreeBMD Death Index (1837-1983) (partial index)
$ Irish Records Extraction Database (1600-1874)
$ Irish Gravestone Inscriptions
$ London Times, Births and Christenings (1983-2003)
$ London Times, Deaths (1982-1988)
$ London Times, Marriages (1982-2004)
F Ireland BDM Exchange
F UK BDM Exchange

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Census Records Australia: the first organised survey of the New South Wales population occurred in 1795 in response to Governor Hunter's call for a muster of the inhabitants. Musters provided both a population count and a formal record as to whether the individual received provisions from the Government.  General musters, which included all the inhabitants of the Colony, were generally held once a year between 1795 and 1825.  These were supplement by  individual musters which counted settlers, livestock, convicts, females and children.  The first census was held in November 1828; then 1833, 1836, 1841, 1846, 1851, 1856, 1861 and subsequent decades till 1901.  Unfortunately only the 1841, 1891 (no names) and 1901 census have survived, at least within Australia (a copy of the 1828 Census is available from the National Archives in England.

Note: Indigenous Australians were not included in the Commonwealth Census until a referendum saw the abolishment of Section 127 of the Constitution in 1967.

$ 1828 New South Wales Census (The National Archives UK Copy)
F 1841 New South Wales Census Index
F 1837 - 1857 Tasmania Census Indexes

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Census Records for the United Kingdom are available from 1841 to 1901 at via subscription; while an incomplete index is available for FREE at FREECen; the 1881 British Census is FREE to view at Family Search.  A number of Regional Indexes (Reg) are also available for FREE.

1841 - Conducted on the night of 6 June 1841 (15 years & over had age rounded down to the nearest 5 years)
1851 - Conducted on the night of 30 March 1851 
(30/31 March 1851 in Scotland)
1861 - Conducted on the night of 7 April 1861 
(7/8 April 1861 in Scotland)
1871 - Conducted on the night of 2 April 1871 
(2/3 April 1871 in Scotland)
1881 - Conducted on the night of 3 April 1881
1891 - Conducted on the night of 5 April 1891
1901 - Conducted on the night of 31 March 1901

Channel Islands | England | England (Reg) | Isle of Man | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Scotland (Reg) | Wales | Wales (Reg)

F 1841 Channel Islands Census Index

Channel Islands | England | England (Reg) | Isle of Man | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Scotland (Reg) | Wales | Wales (Reg)

$ 1841 Isle of Man Census
$ 1851 Isle of Man Census
$ 1861 Isle of Man Census
F 1881 Isle of Man Census
$ 1891 Isle of Man Census
$ 1901 Isle of Man Census


Electoral Rolls in Australia include Local, State and Federal.  From 1843 to 1856, only men owning freehold property or of wealth were permitted to vote.  From 1858, all adult males who had lived in the electorate for the preceding six months, and who were British subjects by birth, or had been naturalised for five years and had lived in the colony for the preceding two years were required to vote (excluding police, serving members of the armed forces, paupers, prisoners and the indigenous).  In 1893, the property vote and the six months residence requirement were abolished.  In 1902, Australian women gained the right to vote in both Commonwealth and New South Wales elections.  In 1955, electors of either sex had to be British subjects by birth or naturalisation and be aged 21 years or more. In the case of New South Wales, electors must have lived in Australia for six months, in the state for three months and in the relevant electoral sub-division for one month before enrolment.  In 1962, Aborigines were given the option to vote in Federal Elections but were still denied a vote in State elections.  Compulsory enrolment and voting for Australian Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders was not introduced until 1984.

Click Here for a complete Guide to Electoral Milestones (off site)

Until 1970 an 'adult' was classified as 21 years of age and over.  By 1974, the Commonwealth and other states had dropped the age to 18 years.

$ Australian Electoral Rolls 1901-1936 (limited dates available)
F ACT Electoral Rolls 1916, 1928, 1929, 1935, 1943, 1949, 1955, 1959 and 1967

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Indigenous databases are limited.  For detailed information on researching Indigenous family history in the State of New South Wales see:

A Guide to New South Wales State Archives relating to Aboriginal People; and (or)

Connecting kin: guide to records - a guide to help people separated from their families search for their records.

F Aboriginal Colonial Court Cases, 1788-1838
F Aboriginal Languages of Australia: Resource Index
F Aboriginal People in the Register of Aboriginal Reserves, 1875-1904
F Dawn and New Dawn Magazines, 1952-1975

Published by the New South Wales Aborigines Welfare Board, with the aim of providing interesting information and an exchange of news and views. Includes details of BDMS, baptisms and photographs.

F List of Aboriginal Schools, 1876-1979
F Mura Gadi

Online guide to manuscripts, pictures and oral histories relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders held in the National Library of Australia.

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Military records within Australia are readily available from the Australian War Memorial and the National Archives of Australia.

F ANZAC Memorial, 1914-1918 (requires free account registration)
F Australian Military Forces (AMF) Prisoner of War and Missing, Far East and South West Pacific Islands
$ British Army WWI Pension Records
$ British Naval Biographical Dictionary, 1849
F Closer Settlement and Returned Soldier's Transfer files, 1907-1936, 1951
F Commemorative Roll (AUS)
$ Commissioned Sea Officers of the Royal Navy, 1660-1815
$ Great Britain Army War List, January 1893
$ Great Britain Royal Naval Division Casualties of The Great War, 1914-1924
F Honours and Awards (AUS)
F Honours and Awards AU (Gazetted)
F Honours and Awards AU (Recommendations: First World War)
F Honours and Awards AU (Index: Second World War, Korean War and Malayan Emergency)
$ Indian Army Quarterly List, 1 January 1912 (UK)
F Nominal Rolls (AUS)
F Nominal Roll Sudan War, 1885
F Nominal Roll Boer War, 1899-1902
F Nominal Roll WWI, 1914-1918
F Nominal Roll WWII, 1939-1945
F Nominal Roll Korean War, 1950-1953
F Nominal Roll Vietnam War, 1962-1975
F NSW Contingent to the Sudan, 1885
F Official Records Database: Memorial's Official Records Collection (AUS)
F Prisoners of War and Missing in the Far East and South West Pacific Islands (AUS)
F Queenslanders in the South African War, 1899-1902
$ Rebellion of 1837, Upper Canada (CAN)
F Remembrance Book
Lists members of the Australian Defence Force who have died on operations after 30 June 1947 designated as non-warlike service and its equivalent.
F Roll of Honour (AUS)
$ Royal Irish Constabulary (IRL)
F WWI Personnel Files (Search via name at the NAA for original documents)
F WWII Casualties for Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard (USA)
F WWII Dead and Missing from Army and Army Air Forces (USA)

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Miscellaneous databases that pertain to Australian genealogy and social history.


9,300 persons listed in the New South Wales Government Gazette as having held a New South Wales Auctioneers licence at some stage over the period 1848 to 1900.


Australian Newspapers

Access to historic Australian newspapers digitised as part of the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program.

F Braidwood Gaol Admission Register, 1856-1899
Register entries of the Braidwood Gaol, New South Wales.
F Colonial Secretary

Includes Colonial Secretary Papers, 1788-1825; Letters Relating to Land; and Main Series of Letters Received, 1826-1982

F Court‚ Police‚ Prison

Includes Bench of Magistrates, 1788-1820; Court of Civil Jurisdiction 1799-1814; Divorce, 1873-1930; Gaol Photographs, c.1870-1930; Police Service Registers 1852-1913; Quarter Sessions cases, 1824-37; and Register of Criminal Depositions Received, 1849-1921.

F Deceased Estates, 1880-1923
F Education & Child Welfare

Includes Mittagong Farm Home for Boys, 1907-1921; Orphan schools, 1817-1833; Randwick Asylum for Destitute Children, 1852-1915; and Schools and related records, 1876-1979.

F Gaol Photographs, 1870-1930

Includes the following prisons: Albury (1876-1929); Armidale (1894-1915); Bathurst (1874-1930); Berrima (1883-1888); Biloela (1885-1906); Broken Hill (1904-1929); Deniliquin (1895-1929 - latest addition); Dubbo (1889-1920); and Darlinghurst (1869-1914)


Index of the names and residences of the initial shareholders and the number of shares held by each.


49,164 entries on successful applicants for contracts awarded by the New South Wales Government over the period 1832 to 1900.

P Hotel and Liquor Licensees

Index of over 52,000 persons who were licensed in the New South Wales liquor industry from 1856 to 1900.

F Insolvency Index, 1842-1887

Database consists of over 20,000 entries covering persons and companies that registered inventions in NSW from 1855 to 1884.

F Land Records

Includes Colonial Secretary's Letters Relating to Land; Closer Settlement and Returned Soldier's Transfer files, 1907-1936, 1951; Surveyor General's Maps and Plans, 1792-1886; Surveyors' Field Books, 1794-1860; and Surveyors' Letters, 1822-1855.


Local Government Petitions for or against the formation of Local Government Municipalities; records over 47,000 persons who signed one of the 315 petitions or counter petitions during the period 1858 to 1883


12,000 contracts awarded by the New South Wales Government to persons to provide specific mail services over the period 1835 to 1901.

F NSW Surveyors' Field Books, 1794-1860
F NSW Surveyors' Letters, 1822-55
F Railway Employees
Includes Railway Employees - Nominal Roll of the First Railway Section (AIF), 1917-1920; Railway Supply Detachment; NSW Government Railways and Tramways Roll of Honour, 1914-1919
F Randwick Asylum for Destitute Children, 1852-1915
F Registers of Firms, 1903-22
$ Sands Directories: Sydney & NSW

Collection of the Sand’s directories for Sydney and New South Wales, Australia from 1861-1933. Directories were NOT issued in 1862, 1872, 1874, 1878, or 1881.

F South Australian Teachers, 1851-1962
Teachers in South Australian schools; alphabetical by teachers name or school.

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Miscellaneous databases that pertain to International genealogy and social history.

F Digital Archive (Norway)
Based on original sources (protocols and documents) in the National and Regional State Archives of Norway.
F Family Deeds (UK)
Collection of old deeds and documents; documents are transcribed in full.
Searchable database of major family history sources held at the London Metropolitan Archives..
F Registers of Exeter Cathedral
Baptisms, Marriages & Burials; book format.

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Shipping Lists (including Immigration & Naturalisation) vary in regards to the amount of information available.  It often pays to cross reference different databases.  The term 'assisted immigrant' refers to those people whose passage was subsidised or paid for through one of the several assisted immigration schemes which operated to New South Wales from the United Kingdom and other countries.

F Assisted immigrants arriving Moreton Bay-Brisbane, 1848-59
F Assisted immigrants arriving Port Phillip, 1839-51
F Assisted immigrants arriving Sydney, 1844-59 (includes Newcastle)
F Assisted immigrants arriving Sydney, 1860-79
F Assisted immigrants arriving in Sydney, 1880-96
$ Australian Convict Transportation Registers: First Fleet, 1787-1788
$ Australian Convict Transportation Registers: Second Fleet, 1789-1790
$ Australian Convict Transportation Registers: Third Fleet, 1791
$ Australian Convict Transportation Registers: Other Fleets & Ships, 1791-1868
F Australian National Historic Shipwreck Database
F Australia Passenger Indexes, NSW 1810-1857
F Convicts and Convict Ships NSW, Port Jackson, 1787-1800
F Convicts and Convict Ships NSW, Norfolk Island & Tasmania, 1801-1849
F Convicts and Convict Ships NSW, Norfolk Island, Sydney & Hobart, 1840-1847
F Emigrants from Great Britain & Ireland to Australia, 1825-1832
F Emigrants from Scotland to Australia, 1852-1857
F Emigrant Shipping: Surnames List for passengers into Australia
F Emigrant Shipping: Surnames List for passengers into New Zealand
F Famine Orphans from County Cork to Australia (female only)
F Index to Inward Passenger Lists to Victoria from British, Foreign and New Zealand Ports 1852-1923
F Index to Registers of Assisted British Immigrants to Victoria, 1839-1871

Miscellaneous Immigrants, 1828-43

F Naturalisations NSW, 1834-1903
F Naturalisations TAS, 1835-1905
F Naturalisations VIC (Croatians), 1855
F Outward Passengers from Victoria to Interstate, UK, NZ and Foreign Ports, 1852-1876
F TAS Index to Departures, 1817 - 1867
F TAS Index to Naturalisations 1835-1905
F Unassisted Immigrants, 1842-55
F Vessels Arrived in Sydney, 1837-1925
© 2017 NSWGenWeb Project  ^ top