History Hub

History blogs, links and data providers which contribute in a contemporary way to conversations, research and practices  for history, genealogy and heritage.

NewsFlash: the Genseek Indexes are coming back!  Time to whip of the dust covers. Primarily from newspaper sources the indexes cover local history in south-west Victoria,  colonial and convict settlements and with focus on shipping and passenger records.


Registries: Births, Deaths and Marriage

Without an official registry certificate you will waste both time and money researching your people project, so always obtain a birth, death or marriage certificate where available.

Australia is particularly lucky because ours are the among the finest certificates when it comes to providing personal information about an ancestor, relative etc.

Name, Age, Occupation, Residence, Birthplace, Parents and Children commonly are recorded on our certificates after the 1850’s.

But also you can find previous spouses or children, pre-existing illnesses and death cause, burial place, date and minister or witnesses attending the death.

On death certificates in Victoria in particular you will find how long people spent in the ‘colonies’ (states) of Australia, so that helps to narrow down shipping records for a person’s arrival.

Without official certificates, you can literally end up barking up the wrong family tree. Every state of Australia has their own registry office, you can generally order online, and they are usually delivered fairly quickly online via a link, or to your post box. The prices is minute compared to the information they provide, and it only covers the cost of Government’s maintaining these records.

So always start your research with official certificates, and work from there.

Church Records

Prior to the 1850’s in Australia it was the Churches who usually kept baptismal, marriage and death records for European settler folk.

Convicts, Indigenous Australians and outpost settlers and soldiers were under the auspices of Government, so their records are more likely to be kept in government archives.

For the rest of the population particularly pre 1850’s,  it was the church who kept their own personal collection of baptisms, marriages and deaths so it is important to track down the religion of your ancestors and access the church records for the locality they lived in.

If they were of no religion check anyway, and even if their particular denomination did not have a minister in that area, check other churches and check surrounding towns.

Churches worked in ‘parishes’ that had fuzzy borders, and they didn’t always align with government land parishes. People sometimes didn’t like a particular minister so would go outside the parish to have their children christened or to marry .

So broaden your scope because church records can be invaluable: christening and marriage records usually contain the names of ‘godparents’ or ‘sponsors’ or ‘witnesses’ and they were commonly relatives. So never ignore the witnesses on church records as possible family links.



Can’t live without it! This government funded-National Library of Australia initiative particularly provides free access to digitized newspapers Australia-wide. Absolutely essential to fleshing out the history and clearing up some of the myths. Caution: Newspapers don’t always get their facts right, and a story was often republished regionally as well as state-wide or nationally. The further the paper from the event, the smaller the story appeared and more commonly errors crept in. So if its a significant story, check other papers around the event place, but also check primary sources: births, deaths, marriages, inquests, (which should always be point 1 anyway).

Australian Local and Family History Facebook Page  Do you write and publish history? This is a great facebook page for like-minded contributors and a way of sharing tips, tools and techniques.

Australian History Bloggers Fan Page  a great meeting place for breaking news on history and genealogy.

Australian War Memorial  Goto place for soldier’s service records, official unit diaries and ship’s logs and just about everything else official that war and military related.

Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies (AIGS)

ABC South West Victoria – History Portal

Aboriginal Languages Victoria

Aboriginal Victoria

Ballarat and District Genealogy Society

Ballarat Benevolent Society Register of Inmates 1860-1897

Ballarat Historical Society

Barwon-South West Local History

Camperdown and District Historical Society

Colac and District Family History Group

Cornish Association of Victoria

Dry Stone Walls – Kanawinka Geopark

Dry Stone Walls Association of Australia

Find & Connect  This website was developed to help Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants understand more about their past and about the historical context of child welfare.

Genealogical Society of Victoria (The)

Glenelg & Wannon Settlers & Settlement : “local & family history website designed for the sharing of information on the early families who settled in the Glenelg and Wannon valleys of south-west Victoria, Australia”. Hosted by Casterton and District Historical Society.

Government Gazettes – Victoria

Guns and Canon Trail – South West Victoria

Harriland Press Indexes – For the real family goings on of your Victorian family: eg Missing Victorians, Criminal, Wife and Children Deserters,

Historical Earthquakes in Victoria  Kevin McCue Australian Seismological Centre, Canberra, ACT 2601

Historic Earthquake Events (Aust Govt)

Mariners and Ships in Australia

National Archives Australia

Native Title Victoria

Newspapers in Victoria

Pandora Archives (National Library of Australia)

Port Fairy Historical Society

Rail History Australia (Aust. Govt website)

Regional Guide to Victorian Geology J, McAndrew and M.A,H.Marsden, 1973.

Royal Historical Society of Victoria

State Library of Victoria  Official State Archival Repository


Tasmania Names Index (Wendy Knolle Index / Tasmanian Family History Society, Hobart Branch

Victorian Bluestone: An Affective Cultural History

Victoria: Historical Societies Links @FamilySearch Wiki

Warrnambool and District Historical Society  “WDHS has created a collaborative working relationship with Warrnambool Family History Group (WFHG website) and the two groups share resources to benefit both members and the public. WDHS History House is an approved Public Record Office of Victoria Place of Deposit (POD) for local historical items.”

Warrnambool Botanic Gardens

Western District Families blog site by Merron Riddiford