Researching Genealogy

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Top 10 genealogy websites

1. Handy search resources
Use this site to access links state libraries, registries of births marriages and deaths, immigration registers and indigenous family histories. The eResource section gives you access to databases, indexes and ejournals.

2. A criminal past
If your family has a colourful past and came to Australia at Her Majesty’s pleasure, then you just might be able to find out more about any criminal cousins. Data is being added all the time so it’s worthwhile checking regularly for any new information.

3. Commonwealth war graves
For those who have lost a loved one in either of the two world wars, you can search the database of 1,700,000 men and women of the Commonwealth forces who lost their lives, find a cemetery and get some hints as to where to go next with your search.

4. Search for a war veteran
For those who are searching for a relative who has served in the Australian forces since 1860s, this site has step-by-step guides on how to start and continue your search. You can find out how to obtain personal service records, personal items and photographs and look though biographical databases to find information.

5. Find a useful link
Consisting of 4,500 pages of more than 50,000 free genealogy links for the US, UK, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, chances are if it’s not on this site, it may not exist. You can link to sites, which hold birth, marriage and death records, research surnames, access parish records and city directories. There is also free software available to enable you to record your family tree.

6. Shake your family tree
The richest sources in the national archive collection are those created during the 20th century. They include the armed services, indigenous records and immigrants. During 2012 you can attend a Shake Your Family Tree Day in your capital city, with each Archives location offering activities including talks, preservation workshops, tours, and the opportunity to speak with experts.

7. Join a society
While the Society of Australian Genealogists does charge a joining fee and annual subscription, this is a useful resource, especially for those who are serious about researching and cataloguing their family history. You can access webinars, special sessions and unique resources by becoming a member.

8. From good old Blighty
If your background is the British Isles, this site is for you. It has a large collection of information pages for England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man compiled by the UK and Ireland Genealogical Information Service.

9. Step-by-step guidance
When tracing your family background, a clear methodology will ensure you don’t waste time on unnecessary websites or paying for searches and documents you don’t need. Follow this step-by-step guide, access resources and find out about interesting events, which may just help you with your search.

10. Record your family’s health history
It’s not just who was your great-great grandfather that’s important, but also any genetic health conditions he may have passed on. Record the details of your family’s health and wellbeing so future generation gets a head start on good health.

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