Researching in Victoria

I am writing  a post for each state of Australia with a list of great resources for researching ancestors in that particular state.  Tasmanian records are held mainly at Libraries Tasmania where both archive and library resources are on the one website.

Even though most of my relatives stayed within Tasmania since the 1830s, there were a few who travelled out of the state.

Clker-Free-Vector-Images / Pixabay

Many ex convicts left Tasmania and headed to Victoria especially to the gold fields around Ballarat. But part of the problem in following up these people is that some of the Tasmanian shipping records are not available and those that are found, often only have Mr Smith or Mrs Smith + 2 children – no first names. So how do you know it is your ancestor departing Tasmania and visiting Victoria?

The following websites are where I go to find more information about ancestors and their whereabouts in Victoria.

Public Records Office Victoria (PROV)

The home page for the family history section has many portals for different record categories. Some are online but others you need to visit the record office. Make sure you check out the topic guides, the book on issuu about using the archives and the online exhibition about using records to follow an ancestor’s life in the archives.

State Library of Victoria (SLV)

Again many collections to look through under different themes but also one on family history. These can also be searched by format eg photos, manuscripts, diaries etc. You might also find information through their blog on family matters. There is also a guide to researching your Victorian ancestors and has links to things like births, cemeteries, electoral rolls etc.

The Diggings

Gold mining ancestors

The first place to go to find information on gold mining is the research guide in SLV. Maps of the Victorian gold fields are found on this goldfields website. If you know you have a miner in your family and plan to have a holiday in the area, then this will be the best website to use as it also includes accommodation as well as history. Make sure you check the tags mentioned for gold history

Historical societies

If you have a family that remained in a particular area of Victoria, then contacting a local family history society might be a good idea. Often they will have folders of information on families and businesses in the district.  There are also historical societies for groups and institutions like ambulance, fire brigade etc.

Readers: What are other important websites you use to gather information when researching ancestors in Victoria?

Please read the comments as other family historians have added more websites to use.

4 thoughts on “Researching in Victoria

  1. Comment from Elizabeth in Facebook group

    Births Deaths Marriages Victoria is an amazing website. Has heaps of options – surname, first name, date range, family names, Uses wild cards ie Bren* for Brennan or Brenning.
    And for $20 purchase a digital copy of a certificate immediately!

  2. Comment from Maire in Facebook group

    What a great resource – would be great for every state. I have found the historical societies in different towns vary greatly from responses, to search costs, to search abilities. Also finding pages on FB for the ancestors towns has been helpful. The Whittlesea one is fabulous. Rheola is another that’s turned up treasures. Examples of historical groups – Wangaratta, Woodend historical groups have been great. Warrnambool was more of a challenge.

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