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Information Sources

The main sources of data needed to fill in your forms and charts are shown below. 

Relatives and family friends 

These people can often provide you with information on your family and may even have photographs, family bibles, letters, diaries, newspaper cuttings of births, marriage and death notices, obituaries, social notes, accident reports, and the like.

Interview these people personally if possible, otherwise write to them. It is a good idea to offer them some of your knowledge of the family first, to break the ice. Have a look at some of the literature available on basic interviewing techniques before your visit. Take notes while you are there, and ask if they would agree to you recording the interview, and offer them a copy or written notes from the interview.

Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates 

You will probably have some of your own, possibly some of your parents' and even your grandparents' certificates. They will vary in the amount of information they contain depending on where and when the event was registered.

In Australian states, civil registration started around 1850, England and Wales in 1837, and later in other parts of the British Isles. Details of what you can expect to find on certificates and information on civil registration commencement dates in Australia and overseas countries are available in the WAGS Library.

For some places there are indexes on microfiche, microfilm or CD, which you can access to ensure that you are requesting the right certificate.  For information on where these indexes are held, the cost of certificates, and addresses to which to send your request, contact WAGS library, either in person or by phone.

When purchasing a certificate always request a full certificate, not an extract. Don't be surprised at minor discrepancies in ages or in the spelling of names. The information recorded is only as accurate as the knowledge of the person who supplied it. Always check to see who the informant was.

You can find out where to obtain certificates for Australian states on our Genealogy Links page, look under the birth, marriage & death category, and then for the state you are interested in.

Cemetery Records and Monumental Inscriptions

We have a large collection, many of these have been transcribed and are available in microfilm, microfiche, CD, book and online form.

Search our Library Catalogue.

This information is included in the pdf pamphlet downloadable from our Starting out page.


Last Updated on Friday, 15 January 2021 10:47

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