Researching your Victorian ancestors

A guide to family history research using the major Victorian resources

Local and Family History societies

Many historical and family history societies have unique collections of material that is local to that area - including published and unpublished works, local indexes, guides, histories, photographs and maps. Most of these societies are staffed by volunteers who often have an in-depth knowledge of the area, and can offer expert advice about researching your ancestor. Contacting or visiting the society in person is highly recommended.

There are also many excellent state and regional historical societies that aim to preserve, publish and promote access to their historical collections.

To discover the wide range of societies now available in Australia, browse the following lists:

Genealogy societies

Australasian Association of Genealogists and Record Agents
AAGRA aims to offer the services of reliable and competent genealogists and record agents. Ideal for those wanting professional family history and genealogy services and general record searching.

Family History Connections
Formerly the Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies (AIGS). Based in Blackburn this society has a research library, a bookshop, runs specialised classes and workshops and produces a journal called The Genealogist.

Genealogy Society of Victoria
Based in Melbourne, the GSV is the second oldest genealogical society in Australia. The GSV has a research library, a bookshop, offers a range of classes and information sessions and provides research support. They produce a quarterly journal called Ancestor.

Society of Australian Genealogists
Based in Sydney, SAG is the oldest genealogical society in Australia. They have a substantial research library containing an extensive range of state and territory family history material.

Victorian GUM (Genealogists Using Microcomputers) Inc.
A good place to evaluate and purchase the latest family history software programs.

Whats on

  • Finding families In this introductory webinar, learn the principles of family history research and find out how to access family history resources through the State Library Victoria.
  • Branching out  During this four-week online course, which runs from 7 June to 4 July 2021, the Library’s Family History team will equip you with the tools you need to discover your family history story.

Family portrait

Family members on lawn, sitting on chairs, house nearby

Family members on lawn, sitting on chairs, house nearby, H2009.60/132.