A guide to family history research using the major Victorian resources
Electoral rolls and telephone books are the first sources to check for living relatives:
A growing range of online sources are available to help you get in touch with living relatives, including websites like Facebook, where people join up to connect with friends and family members.
If you find the person that you are seeking, remember that contact with long lost relatives can be a sensitive matter. It is important that you handle such situations carefully and it is often best to contact that person in writing by post or email instead of suprising them with a sudden visit or phone call. And of course, once you have found that person make sure that you stay in touch!
These missing persons websites are for people who have disappeared suddenly or involuntarily and may be at risk due to a disability, circumstances or because they are children. These services are not to be used for family history research but may help if you have a relative in this situation.
There are a number of online sources and organisations that can help you find living relatives in Australia:
Valuable details about family members may be obtained from sources other than large libraries, archives and other government institutions.
Make sure you look through our other research guides first as information that we have already posted online may help you with your research straight away.You can ask Library staff specific Victorian family history questions through our Ask a librarian service.
National and state libraries and archives can help with reference inquiries that relate to their collections:
You can also employ a professional genealogist to undertake family history research on your behalf. The Australasian Association of Genealogists and Record Agents (AAGRA) coordinates a list of researchers who you can pay to locate your ancestor in records.
As of Monday 16 March 2020 our Library buildings are closed to the public due to the rapidly changing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.
Our Ask A Librarian reference service is still available to assist with your research inquiries.