Family History

Desperate to know if your ancestors were of the rich and famous back in their time? If you feel the need to dig back through the roots of your past and discover your family history, our Local History Centre is just the ticket.

Get inspired to explore your intricate ancestry with talks, tutorials and workshops hosted by yours truly.

The Centre can also treat you to beginners’ courses, general info as well as assistance from experienced researchers.

For our latest Local History Newsletter head over here, or head over to the Library and Local History Centre events page for upcoming events. We’ve also thrown a few handy links your way (below) to help you along.


Ancestry Library edition

This ever-popular database normally requires a subscription, however you can access it for FREE in the Library. This little gem of a site has comprehensive coverage of UK, USA and Australian records which include: censuses, parish records, births, deaths, marriages, probate, electoral rolls, immigration and military records. City of Perth also recently added rate books prior to 1946  - cheers, COP!

Family Search
This free website belongs to the Church of Latter Day Saints, and contains a hefty 12 million+ records mostly from our mates in the UK and USA. Includes: censuses, parish records, births, deaths, marriages, probate, land and military records.

WA Genealogical Society links to websites
This puppy is a comprehensive list of over 1,500 links specific to Family History Research internationally. Oh, and new links are added monthly for your researching pleasure.


National Archives of Australia
If you had family members serve in the Australian armed forces, or who migrated to Oz in the 20th century then boy, this is the place for you. The family history page will guide you through using website if you’re a little stuck.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
This database lists the names and place of commemoration of the people of the Commonwealth forces who died in both world wars. It not only names over 1.7million of them, but records details of the 67 civilians who lost their lives “as a result of enemy action” during WWII.

Australian War Memorial           
Here, the family history page helps guide you through the research of an individual’s service records and wartime experiences.

East Perth Cemeteries             
This one lists the burials of early settlers at this smaller cemetery. Sections of the cemetery include: Church of England, Roman Catholic, Wesleyan, Congregational, Hebrew, Presbyterian and Chinese.

Trove Newspapers                    
Get lost in this treasure trove (ah, see what we did there) of info, which offers you the digitisation of Australian newspapers from way back. Leaving no state unturned, the 19th and 20th century publications are magic’ed into digital form right up to the up to the rockin’ 50s. Excellent material for births, deaths and marriages.

WA Registers for Births, Deaths and Marriages 
Self-explanatory, really: records starting way back in 1841, with births to 1932, deaths to 1971 and marriages to 1936.

State Library of Western Australia: Family History    
Head over here for guides, handy websites and access to e-resources.

United Kingdom

Genuki: UK and Ireland
This non-commercial, charitable trust is run by volunteers and is your go-to virtual reference guide to genealogical information in the UK and Ireland, accessed by county. 

Free BMD
It’s free, and it’s BMD (births, marriages and deaths) all in one hit, for those of you searching the UK. The index of civil registrations dates back to 1837, and is listed by the year and quarter of registration. Births from 1911 also include the mother’s maiden name for added search-ability, and deaths include the age at death.