Biographical Database of Australia: Australia’s New Genealogy Resource

logo - Biographical Database of AustraliaThe latest BIG thing to hit the Aussie genealogy scene is the Biographical Database of Australia website. Already being referred to as BDA, this website is the result of many years of work by volunteer genealogists and historians and contractors.

With over 500,000 records online already, with this number set to increase dramatically over the next year, this is a genealogy resource that you should be looking at.

The Biographical Database of Australia is being run as a not-for-profit project, with its aim  being to … “transcribe and index biographical data from original records of individuals who arrived from overseas or were born in Australia, including Aboriginal people, convicts and immigrants of all nations. It also aims to include data from early biographical dictionaries, newspapers and other published information and to incorporate the work of modern genealogical and historical researchers. The only restriction is that biographical subjects must be deceased.”

Biographical Database of Australia

This first release contains over 500,000 entries from transcribed manuscript records , such as convict, muster, census, baptism, marriage and burial records for most of the New South Wales population 1788-1828, for Norfolk Island and Tasmania 1802-1811, and many immigrant and convict records from 1829-1837 along with full text short biographies of 11,000+ residents of most colonies/states published 1881-1907.  The BDA is a work in progress and will expand towards the present to include all Australian states.

Each record identifies a single person or group at a place and point in time. Anyone can search the index for free which throws up a list of index entries with brief summary details of the individual.

Subscribers can open any index entry, which may be:
– the transcript of a single unlinked record for an individual, or
– a series of linked records forming a Biographical Report for an individual.

A unique feature of BDA is its aim of linking records to form a fully referenced timeline for each individual called a Biographical Report. Many thousands of these have already been woven together, each representing a life story forming part of a national tapestry.

Now I’m sure all of you are interested in the price? Well trust me it’s not going to break the bank at all, as for a years subscription it is only $30. Thirty dollars, really? Yes, really. Remember they are a not-for-profit organisation, so aren’t out to make the big bucks, but rather simply cover costs, while making data available for everyone.

You can find more details about the whole project, who is involved, the history of it, a table showing what is covered by subscribing as well as sample reports, and a whole heap more information all on their website.


2 thoughts on “Biographical Database of Australia: Australia’s New Genealogy Resource

  1. […] And if you have Donegal ancestors, how about the Atlas of County Donegal  as mentioned by Irish Genealogy News or Gould Genealogy’s recommendation of the Biographical Database of Australia. […]

  2. Hi
    My name is Ann Sell but I was born Ann Beardsley and checking the family tree the lady on the Friendship, first fleet, by the same name was transported to Australia. I have been to Norfolk Island this year and met a lady whose mother had the same maiden name, Beardsley. This lady also gave me a copy of an email she received in the year 2000 from someone called Victoria Dunlop who said she was 5 x great granddaughter of Ann Beardsley. I have tried contacting Victoria but as yet no luck but it is early days into trying to find her.
    I am very interested to know anything relating to these two ladies is it possible you have any information please.
    Thanking you Ann Sell

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