Researching your Victorian ancestors

A guide to family history research using the major Victorian resources

Searching the catalogue

The Library has a vast range of resources to help you find out more about the lives of your ancestors. The collection contains primary and secondary sources about people, places and events and  includes such material as books; indexes; databases; diaries; letters; photographs; maps; biographies and social histories.

You can search the library catalogue for the name of a specific publication or resource or you can browse through titles on a particular topic. Try searching the catalogue for the name of an ancestor, family group or a place where your ancestors lived. You may find a ships' diary describing an ancestors voyage to Victoria, a parish map of the town where they lived, or a photograph of their house.

Catalogue search strategies

The following examples show the type of keywords you can use to find relevant material:

Search for a theme: convicts genealogy, Mildura pioneers, Cornish immigrants
Search for a family: Theobald family, Westgarth family
Search for a person: Elizabeth May Murray MacMahon, Reverend Francis Hales, Mabel Dowling Taylor

Introduction to genealogy - some books to get you started

Eva reading

Portrait of Eva reading,

Portrait of Eva reading, H84.37/4/31