Here’s another of my “Discovering Links” post. These posts consist of a collection of links that I have discovered, or found useful, and want to share with others. But rather than simply giving you a whole batch of random links each time, I am grouping them by Australian state, country or topic. You can see my previous Discovering Links posts here.
For this one I’ve decided to share my Western Australian links. It is not intended to be an exhaustive collection (not by a long shot), but they are simply ones that many will find useful, and it may include some that you might not have known about.
And while many people think that genealogy costs a lot of money, let me tell you that all of the links below are free. There’s plenty out there, it’s just a matter of knowing where to look beyond the big-name websites, and hopefully this will help with that.
DEAD RECKONING: A GUIDE TO FAMILY HISTORY RESEARCH IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Produced by the Library Board of Western Australia as a book back in 1997, this publication has been updated and is now available online. If you are a novice family historian just starting out tracing your family tree or an experienced genealogy researcher looking for whatever happen to the elusive great uncle, Dead Reckoning is a great place start to learn about family history research in Western Australia.
WESTERN AUSTRALIAN BICENTENNIAL INDEX (WABI)
Western Australian Biographical Index is really the pre-curser to the Dictionary of Western Australia and Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australians series. This is the information noted on card file, and all 85,000 of them have now been scanned, transcribed and made available through both the WA Genealogical Society and the State Library of WA websites. For more on WABI read here.
BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX OF COOROW, CARNAMAH AND THREE SPRINGS
A project of the Carnamah Historical Society and Museum, the biographical dictionary aims to chronicle the lives of people with a connection to the shires of Coorow, Carnamah or Three Springs. These shires encompass the towns and places of Arrino, Billeroo, Carnamah, Coorow, Dudawa, Eganu, Eneabba, Five Gums, Green Head, Gunyidi, Inering, Kadathinni, Leeman, Marchagee, Prowaka, Three Springs, Waddy Forest and Winchester. And you will find some entries for people from the neighbouring shires of Perenjori and Mingenew, which include Bunjil, Caron, Latham, Mingenew, Perenjori, Strawberry and Yandanooka. Keep an eye on this, as it’s ongoing.
WESTERN AUSTRALIAN BIRTHS, DEATHS AND MARRIAGE RECORDS (BDMs)
The Western Australian registrar has free online searching of births, deaths and marriages from 1841 for their historical records. This covers the following: Births 1841-1932, Marriages 1841-1936 and Deaths 1841-1971. Remember it is an index only, so doesn’t contain ‘all’ the info that you’ll find on a certificate, but it is still very useful.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA MOTOR REGISTRATIONS 1917-1928
Motor registrations are a great resource, and thanks to the Royal Automobile Club (R.A.C.) of Western Australia who published an annual Year Book & Road Guide, and Carnamah Historical Society and Museum who have transcribed, indexed and created a searchable online database, you now have access to over 80,000 motor registrations from throughout Western Australia, and covering the years 1917-1928.
OUTBACK FAMILY HISTORY: WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S CENTRAL GOLDFIELDS
If your ancestors went to the central goldfields region of Western Australia, you can’t go past the Outback Family History website. It’s choc full of info on the people, places and history of the towns in the region. You’ll find info such as the: Western Australian Virtual Miners Memorial, Mining maps, Details on hotels (over 200 of them), Cemeteries, Marriages, Early Deaths 1891-1898, Lodge Records, Schools, and Post Office Directories.
WESTERN AUSTRALIAN LONELY GRAVES
If you’re unfamiliar with the term “lonely grave” the definition for it is “a lonely grave is a single or small group of graves outside recognised or currently used cemeteries.” The names, burial sites and photographs of over 2700 Western Australian lonely graves are on this site to date.
IMAGES OF WESTERN AUSTRALIAN HISTORY
The Images of Western Australian History website is a collaborative portal to the treasures that exist in various collections including museums and libraries in Western Australia.
WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ALMANACS 1849-1889
Almanacs predate the Western Australian government Year Books and Post Office Directories, and served a similar purpose in detailing the activities of the colony of Western Australia. The State Library of WA has digitised a series of almanacs covering the period 1849-1889. The link takes you to more info about the Almanacs, and give you the link to go to them.
GALLIPOLI DEAD FROM WESTERN AUSTRALIA
The Gallipoli Dead from Western Australia Project is one that has been a collaborative project between WAGS members and others to record details of known Western Australians who died at Gallipoli. So far this project has named 1023 men who died as a result of their service at Gallipoli. Also check out the Western Front Dead from Western Australia Project they have going.
WESTERN AUSTRALIAN POST OFFICE DIRECTORIES 1893-1949
Post office directories are a valuable source of information for researchers. These Western Australian post office directories provide information by place, surname, government service, and by trade or profession. The different sections enable readers to see at a glance the householders or businesses in any one town; the address of any householder or business in the State. Scanned images are able to be browsed, but not searched.
WESTERN AUSTRALIAN POLICE GAZETTES 1876-1900
Anyone who is researching history in Western Australia should be using the Police Gazettes. They have a phenomenal amount of information for those on both sides of the law. You’ll find info such as: apprehensions; police appointments, dismissals, discharges, promotions, resignations and transfers; tickets of leave, certificates of freedom, and conditional pardons issued to convicts; deserters from military service; escaped prisoners; inquests; licences (publican, gallon, eating, boarding and lodging houses, railway refreshment rooms, wine and beer, colonial wine, spirit merchants, club, wayside house, packet and billiard table); missing friends; prisoners discharged; special inquiries; stealing in dwellings; and warrants issued and a whole lot more …
THE HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA
The Historical Encyclopedia of Western Australia is an ambitious historical project. Previously released in book form, this is now long out of print, the University of WA has decided to make it available online. This comprehensive, authoritative work, covering all periods and aspects of Western Australian history should be a reference point for academic and general historians. There’s over 1000 pages of history relating to Western Australia in this book.
OLD MAPS OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA
The State Records of WA has a collection of several thousand maps which have been been digitised and made available online. These include original surveys of the colony, hand drawn and hand coloured maps, townsite plans, cancelled public maps, group settlement plans which show the allotment of land for individual properties, exploration maps showing the routes in WA throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, and a whole heap more.
REVERSE WESTERN AUSTRALIAN MARRIAGE LOOKUP
A project of the Perth Dead Persons Society, the Reverse WA Marriage Lookup site, is another place to search for WA marriages. Currently covering the years 1906-1965, it has a simple search function, enter a surname and see what comes up. You can narrow it down by adding in a first name, district and year.
WESTERN AUSTRALIAN CONVICTS
The Convicts to Australia is another other the Perth Dead Person Societies’ (DPS) sites, and is actually a reference site for convicts to Australia, not just Western Australia. If you have convicts, be sure to bookmark this one. There’s LOTS of info here.
CONVICTS TO WESTERN AUSTRALIA 1850-1868
Search the Convict Database to discover the men who were transported to the Swan River Colony, Western Australia from 1850 to 1868. Providing researchers with a wealth of information, you get not only the Name, convict number, date of arrival, and ship name. But also date of birth, marital status, occupation, literacy, sentence place, crime, sentence period, previous convictions, ticket of leave date, conditional pardon date, certificate of freedom date.
CEMETERIES OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA
There is no ‘one place’ to search for all Western Australian cemeteries, but a good place to start is the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board. Their cemetery records contain details of “interments, entombments, cremations and memorials” dating back to 1899, and covers Karrakatta, Fremantle, Pinnaroo, Midland, Guildford and Rockingham cemeteries. Also the MCB took over administration of Guildford and Midland cemeteries from the Shire of Swan in 1989, and these records have been included in the system.
11TH BATTALION AIF – CHEOPS PYRAMID PROJECT
The 11th Battalion, raised in Western Australia within weeks of Great Britain’s declaration of war in August 1914, arrived in Egypt in December 1914 to prepare for the Gallipoli campaign. On Sunday, January 10, 1915, Captain Barnes recorded in a letter to his mother: ‘After Church this morning the whole Battalion was marched up to the Pyramid (Old Cheops) and we had a photo took or at least several of them.’ Most of the 704 men who posed for this iconic image have never been named/identified and it is likely that this is the last photograph of many of them. The idea for the project came as a result of the donation of a print of the Cheops image which is now framed and hanging in the WAGS Library, coupled with a desire to expand the work of the late Allan Ellam who, in the 1980s, commenced a similar project. The aim of the project has been to identify as many of the men in the photo as possible as record the stories and honour the sacrifices made by all of the men of the 11th, not just those that appear in the Cheops photo.
PASSENGER SHIPS ARRIVING IN FREMANTLE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA 1829-1889
A chronological list of ships that arrived in Western Australia (Fremantle) from 1829, stating the date it arrived, and where it came from. Many (but not all) include lists of passengers.
WESTERN AUSTRALIAN SURNAMES LIST
Is anyone researching the same family you are? They may well be. So why not check the Western Australian Surnames List. The WA Genealogical Society has a listing of over 470,000 names that people researching, together with contact details. This research interest list is available to members and non-members, both to view and submit, and is open to all those whose ancestors came to Western Australia.
WESTERN AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT GAZETTES 1836-2017
The Western Australian Government Gazette from 1836 is found online at the Department of the Premier and Cabinet website. Browse and search facilities are available. Access to individual notices is from 1st January 2002. Indexes are available online from 1836.
WESTERN AUSTRALIAN SCHOOL RECORDS INDEX 1891-2005
This index will enable family historians to quickly determine what archival material the WA State Records Office holds for Government Schools in the period covered. There are 2,687 Western Australian schools listed in the table.
ROYAL WESTERN AUSTRALIAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION
The Royal Western Australian Historical Society contains a wealth of useful information for researchers, but for this purpose I’m highlighting their photograph collection. Simply click on the “photographs” tab, and enter your search term (name, or place, or topic), and see what comes up. They really do have a stunning collection of photographs.
PASSENGER ARRIVALS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA 1898-1966
The Passenger Arrivals index is an online database that includes the names from passenger lists in the National Archives series K269, Inward passenger manifests for ships and aircraft arriving at Fremantle, Perth Airport and outports, chronological series, 1898-1978 and series A1197, Incoming passenger cards. The index now includes the names of over 5.5 million passengers arriving:
– by ship between 1898 and 1966 (arriving in or travelling through the port of Fremantle or other WA ports)
– by aircraft from 1944 to 1966 to Perth Airport (or travelling through)
– by ship or aircraft from 1965 to 1967
For more about the Passenger Arrival Index read here.
AND ONE MORE …
Just a tip, remember to check out my “Discovering Links Australia” list, as many of these are Australia-wide, and therefore include references to those in Western Australia as well.