Members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are advised that this research guide contains names and images of deceased people

Aboriginal family hunting goanna, Wahgunyah Region

Before you begin

Talk to as many family members as you can. Family members will often have valuable information such as names (including nicknames), dates and firsthand accounts of events like births, deaths or marriages. You may like to ask the following questions:

  • Do I know my ancestors' first and last name, or any nicknames or aliases they may have had?
  • Do I know any birth, death or marriage dates?
  • Do I know the town or area they lived in?
  • Do I know if my family served in any wars?
  • Do I know which parish they belonged to, or to which particular denomination in which town?
  • Do I know if my family lived on an Aboriginal reserve or a mission?

Collect or copy any relevant documents such as birth certificates, newspapers articles, letters or diaries etc. that you or other family members may have. This type of information will assist you with your research.

Write down as much information as you can about your family.

To help organize your information you can download a blank family tree chart to write your details on.

We recommend the AIATSIS Family History Kit Factsheet 3: Getting started with your family history as a very useful guide for beginners.