Early Australian census records

Illuminate Australian society and your family history using census records from 1788 to 1901

Census substitutes

Genealogists and historians who have used English, Scottish and Welsh census records may expect to find individuals listed in Australian census records. However, few records of individuals from earlier Australian censuses survive. Those that do are listed in the pages of this guide.

Even if you can't find information about individuals in census records, you can use other types of records to find home addresses, occupations, ages and so on.

To find out information about where individuals were living, look at historic postal directories, electoral rolls and rate books, birth, marriage and death records, and occupational registers.

Marriage and death records, postal directories, electoral rolls and occupational registers may also include details about a person's occupation. Birth records may indicate parents' occupations.

Birth, marriage and death records will help you to figure out a person's age.

An excellent summary of the information contained on birth, marriage and death records from different Australian states/colonies can be found at the website What you can expect to see on an AUS BDM certificate.

A wide selection of all of the records mentioned above are available to access in State Library Victoria's Family History & Newspaper Room.