Essential Websites

Here are some links to essential genealogy websites. We will continue adding to the list as we find more sites that we find indispensable. Please let us know if any of the links no longer work.

New South Wales

NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages is where new births, deaths and marriages are registered. Online indexes are available on their website for births up to 101 years ago, deaths up to 31 years ago and marriages up to 51 years ago.

NSW State Records was previously the Archives Office. Useful indexes to many of the records are here, and are being progressively added to.

The Society of Australian Genealogists is a marvellous resource for Australian research and has many useful guides to records. Some online indexes are also kept here.

State Library of NSW Catalogue Find out whether the State Library or Mitchell Library has the resource you want.

NSW Department of Lands allows limited online searching here. Historical Parish Maps can be viewed in small sections by following the link from the Parish Map Preservation Project and clicking on the Historical Maps link.

Geographical Names Board of NSW Search allows a search of the Geographical Names Register or you can download the whole register. This is where to find out which parish and county a town or village belongs to.

Ryerson Index to Contemporary Death Notices and Obituaries in Australian Newspapers. Includes newspapers from other states – a full list of newspapers is provided.

Mariners and Ships in Australian Waters holds transcriptions of ships’ passenger lists to NSW from 1854. Not all years are complete and more are being added every week.


National Archives of Australia is a marvellous resource that is digitising its records at a great rate. RecordSearch includes service records and alien registrations, and PhotoSearch gives access to photos.

National Library of Australia has a digital collection that includes newspapers, maps, photos, journals and extinct websites.

The United Kingdom

ScotlandsPeople is the official government source of genealogical data for Scotland. It gives access to births, deaths, marriages, censuses and wills on a pay-per-view basis.

GenUKI is a huge collection of genealogical information pages for the UK and Ireland.

FreeBDM is gradually transcribing the indexes for the civil registrations of birth, death and marriage to allow instant searches.

General Register Office is where you can order the certificate once you’ve found the reference in the indexes.

FindMyPast was previously called 1837online and has a great variety of British records on a pay-per-view basis. is a subscription service giving access to images of censuses and civil registration indexes for England and Wales and indexes for some Scottish censuses.

OldMapsUK has digital images of old maps that you can search by place-name. Vision of Britain also has maps, as well as historical information and statistical trends.

Proceedings of the Old Bailey has digital images of over 100,000 trial records, including convicts transported to the Colonies.