If you’re looking for Australian records online, you need to check out Findmypast.
While you still won’t find everything on their website, their Australian collection does have over 100 million records already, and this figure continues to grow with millions more added nearly every month.
Here’s a compilation of their Australian additions from the past couple of months.
Australian Electoral Rolls (over 1 million new records)
Over 1 million new records have been added to their collection of Australian Electoral Rolls. The new additions cover Queensland and Tasmania and will allow you to discover where your ancestor lived and whether they were eligible to vote.
Note: FMP have also made vast improvements to their Australian Electoral Rolls search. Previously the Rolls existed as simple PDF searches that could only be accessed separately, state by state. They have now fully transcribed these collections and placed them into one central collection. This makes searching for your Australian ancestors easier than ever before as you can now search across all 12.6 million of these valuable census substitutes at once. The entire collection covers New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Western Australia and spans the years 1860 to 1959.
Queensland Custom House Shipping 1852-1885 Passengers and Crew (over 107,000 records)
Search over 107,000 records kept by the Collector of Customs (Brisbane) to discover the names of the passengers and crew of 485 inward voyages between 1852 to 1885. These transcripts list information from taken from original documents held by the National Archives of Australia and will allow you to discover your ancestor’s age, nationality, occupation, date & port of arrival, date & port of departure and the name of the ship they sailed on.
Victorian Births 1837-1917 (added 104,000 new records)
Findmypast have recently added another 104,170 records to their Victorian Births collection, taking the total of these records to almost 2 million (1,905,370) now. Discover: Birth place, birth year, registration number, parents’ names, birth year, birth place, marriage details & previous children
Victoria Petty Sessions 1854-1985 (over 3 million records)
Over 3 million Victoria Petty Sessions records have recently been released in association with Public Records Office Victoria. This fascinating collection includes both transcripts and scanned colour images of original court registers that will allow you to discover whether any of your Australian ancestors had a brush with the law.
Covering both civil and minor criminal cases, the Court of Petty Sessions’ brief was wide, making these records a powerful resource for those with Australian ancestors. Your ancestors may appear as a witness, defendant, complainant or even as a Justice of the Peace. Cases ranged from merchants who had not paid duty on their goods, to workers suing for unpaid wages. Debts were collected and disputes settled. Public drunkenness was a common offence, as was assault and general rowdiness.
These cases, brought before a magistrate, would usually not involve a jury and complaints regarding money were originally limited to sums not exceeding £20. Today, the Magistrates’ Court addresses issues that would have been brought before the Court of Petty Sessions. Dating back to colonial days, the Court first convened in 1838 in Melbourne. Over time, additional courts were established throughout Victoria and by 1880 there were 235 Petty Sessions in operation across the state.
The registers available in this collection cover the years between 1854 and 1985. Transcripts will list the event date, your ancestor’s role (whether plaintiff, defendant, etc.), cause or reason for the case, the court it was held at, the date and brief description. Images may provide additional details such as how they brought before the court (arrest on view, warrant, or summons), notes on any fees, the court’s decision, a memo of conviction, or order and any additional remarks.
Please note, the indexes of the records listed above are available to view for free on any Findmypast website, but to view the actual records you will need to have a Findmypast Australia or a Findmypast World subscription.