Researching your ancestors from Great Britain and Ireland

A guide to researching your ancestors in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, using resources at State Library Victoria.


On this page you will find information on how to locate the immigration and naturalisation records of your ancestors who emigrated to Australia.

As well as providing information on when they arrived in Australia, records can often include such useful details as their date and place of birth, employment history, military service records, photographs and names of next of kin. Knowing their birthplace and parents' names will be useful  when it comes to researching the previous branch of your family tree.

'Application for assisted passage NAA A1877,7 Copeland family', National Archives of Australia

Ships information

If you are looking for information on a specific ship, please consult the Library's Ships and Shipping research guide.

State Library Victoria


As of June 15 2020 the Library is open with reduced spaces and services.

Our Ask A Librarian  reference service is still available to assist with your research inquiries.