Tasmanian records in the library

I volunteer on Fridays at Rosny Library on the eastern shore of Hobart. I help library clients with their family history. Tomorrow, I am running sessions about using the Libraries Tasmania website. This website has both the Tasmanian Library and Archives records. Here is a basic summary of what I will be using with the participants of the sessions especially as it relates to family history.

  1. Looking at front page – remember to scroll down – explore, discover and popular
  2. Check out portals – especially explore Tasmanian archives, discover family history and popular Flickr
  3. Open Tasmanian Archives portal – find guide to records, historic newspapers not on Trove, how to cite records on blogs etc, also images, audio and film
  4. Open guides to records – some of these are online but not necessarily in the Names Index
  5. Go back to Homepage
  6. Open Family History portal – lots of new portals to check out – some with online resources, some you need to visit State Library in Hobart – second floor reference library
  7. Check out the getting started portal
  8. The website portal for popular Flickr shows the images saved by the archives and library that are then available for use in blogs etc.

Using the navigation bar at the top

  1. Chat service under get help then research and finding information – also has other info about researching – this might be disappearing soon though
  2. Search – mainly Names Index and Archives or books about families
  3. Start now using search button – click on names index then put in name
  4. Various ways to search – hints for using the Tasmanian Archives, hints for Names Index searching
  5. Remember spelling variations
  6. When you have results start filtering – on right, sort first from oldest to newest as will be in chronological order of events
  7. On left side, filter by type of record or years or name – sometimes place registered if family were in the same area for many years
  8. Research files- found in archives in State Library but you can submit an inquiry on form linked from name

Various searching results – all fields 

  • Francis Colgrave – 69 results
  • francis colgrave – 69 results
  • Colgrave Francis – 69 results
  • Colgrave, Francis – 69 results
  • “Colgrave, Francis” – 40 results
  • “Colgrave Francis” – 40 results

You can limit to a certain field if required

Other resources at Rosny library

  1. Remember there are also many family history related books etc available outside the main family history room at Rosny library. These are generally reference books only and not available for borrowing.
  2. You can book one to one sessions with Sue on Fridays where she can start you on your journey, provide you with resources like charts to use or help you with further family history questions. Sue also helps with online trees on Ancestry, Family Search, My Heritage and Wikitree. She can also help with basic DNA results and matching.

Hope these hints have helped you use the Tasmanian Library website more efficiently for your family history research.

Photograph - Houses of Brick Construction c1900s - 1910s (1900-1920)

Researching in Tasmania

Clker-Free-Vector-Images / Pixabay

My family have been in Tasmania since the 1830’s when my ancestors arrived as either free settlers or convicts. This means I have used a lot of  family history resources from this state of Australia. This post is going to be about the sites I have used the most to help tell the stories of my ancestors in Tasmania.

Libraries Tasmania

This is my number one site. It includes the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO) resources as well as the Tasmanian Names Index. There is also a guide to all records found on both TAHO and the family history page. You can also use the how to search page for the Tasmanian Archive records. The library has a blog showing the newly digitized items and it has a great list of categories to help filter the records.

There are also some digitized indexes found online that are not part of TAHO records or TNI. Libraries Tasmania also has their own YouTube channel with some videos on particular topics relating to history.

But if researching a person and their family then the Tasmanian Names Index (TNI) is the best place to start. There have been some recent improvements on this site so a librarian has written a blog post explaining ten ways to boost your searching of the TNI.

Convicts in Van Diemens Land

Again first place is the convict records as part of the TNI at Libraries Tasmania, where you search by the convict’s name or the ship they arrived in. Their convict portal page also includes links to other websites within Australia and the rest of the world.

Female convicts in VDL also have another database which has recently been updated. But there is also lots of information about the convict institutions, ships used as well as freedoms etc in the other tabs on the website.

If convicts brought children with them on the ships, many would be put in the orphan schools. Search by child’s name or mother’s name.

Pexels / Pixabay

Trove newspapers

Once I have found the basics of birth, marriage, death and family I try to begin adding to their stories. This is where Trove newspapers website comes in very handy. Tasmanian newspapers on Trove are available from about 1803 through to mid 1950s at the moment. There are many newspapers specific to certain areas of Tasmania but they might cover only certain years. Make sure you check out their help page as there is more than just newspapers on Trove.

The List

If looking for information on land grants and properties, the go to place is the List and the tab LISTMap. This is run by the Tasmanian Government and allows you to overlap maps to look at where land grants might be at present time. There are many other things on the database so check out all the tabs.

Online newspapers not Trove

The library have also digitized some newspapers for Tasmania that are not available on Trove. Takes more to search these as they are not indexed. TO find them go to main page for Libraries Tasmania, and in search area put Tasmanian newspapers, then when they appear, filter on left to online.

BDMs in Tasmania

First step is the Tasmanian Names Index where these are available free of charge up to about 1900. Family search has more up to about 1912. The Tasmanian Federation Index found at the main library in Hobart has records up to about 1930. To check the index, go to Libraries Tasmania website, then family history portal and on right hand side is “Need help, ask us” where you can ask for help with specific requests for information from the Tasmanian Federation CDROM.

If you want to order a more recent certificate then you do this through the Justice Department website and here are the fees charged.

Skitterphoto / Pixabay


My first place to go for cemetery information is Millingtons which covers many of the large cemeteries in the Hobart area. If looking for cemeteries from other places around Tasmania, I then check out the Libraries Tasmania cemetery page to check which records are online. Many Tasmanian councils have records for their local cemeteries.

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

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