When you wake up one morning with the bright idea that you want to research your family history, little do you realise where the journey will take you!
A little curiosity can lead to a major, time-consuming obsession that spans decades of your life and introduces you to far-flung cousins.
But how to get started?
In Australia, the best way to get up and running is to check out the Birth, Death & Marriage (BDM) websites (see links below). Many of them have search facilites with options to buy certificates.
It is easy to get caught up in side branches and it is easy to mix up generations and cousins.
Many early Australian families used the same family names generation after generation as well as across generations. So be wary of making assumptions!
And keep your notes well organised, so that you know which information has been confirmed by certificate and which information is based on specualtive searches.
NSW: BDM NSW
Victoria: Justice Victoria BDM
South Australia: Geneology SA
Western Australia: Dept of Attorney General BDM
Queensland: Justice Services BDM
Tasmania: Justice Family History (unfortunately they do not have an online search facility)
Northern Territory: Justice Historical Mircofiche Indexes
ACT: ACT Government Indexes
There is also a specific site for people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage wishing to trace their family history called Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).