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Key Victorian family history resources   Tags: family_history, genealogy  

A guide to family history research using the major Victorian resources
Last Updated: Jul 18, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Getting started Print Page

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Ann Copeland
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Librarian, Genealogy Team
State Library of Victoria

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Family history guides


Getting started

This guide will help you begin your family history research using the resources at the State Library of Victoria.

It provides a simple six-step guide to beginning your family history and lists the essential Victorian records and resources that may help you with your research.

The guide also includes a selection of resources for other Australian states and territories. For detailed research queries please talk to the staff in the Library's Family History and Newspaper Room, or research your topic further by using the library catalogue and eResources.


The six steps

  1. Start with yourself and work backwards
    Move backwards one generation at a time to your parents, grandparents, etc. Remember that when you are doing your genealogy you are finding a person, in a specific place at a particular time.

  2. Obtain a blank pedigree chart
    Use this chart to document your findings in the appropriate place to show relationships between family members. Free downloadable and printable charts are available from the FamilySearch and
    Ancestry Library Edition websites and books in the Library's Family History and Newspaper Room.

  3. Talk to your relatives
    Ask them questions about your ancestors and relations. Collect together any family photographs, diaries, letters and other documents, such as birth, marriage and death certificates.

  4. Look at official documents
    From your birth certificate you may learn your parents’ marriage and birth details. From your parents’ marriage and birth certificates you may obtain information about your grandparents’ marriage and births, etc. Each certificate may contain some piece of information that helps you find out more about your family.

  5. Get organised
    Write down all the information you have gathered - birth dates, places, baptism dates, addresses, cemetery details etc. Always write down where you have found the information and make sure it's very specific so you can locate it again if required. Start a file on each person and family that you research. Include copies of charts and any other information you find.

  6. Consult resources in the Family History & Newspaper Room
    Visit the Library's Family History & Newspaper Room to research your ancestors using the Genealogy Collection. The collection brings together key Australian and international
    genealogy resources that are available in print, microfilm, microfiche, CD-ROM and online.

The Library

State Library of Victoria

328 Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia

+61 3 8664 7000

State Library Victoria forecourt


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