Searching your family history can be a rewarding experience, but where do you start?

Euripides of Aberdeen, 1924

Image: Euripides of Aberdeen, 1924. Photographer Frederick Garner Wilkinson, ANMM Collection


There are various resources to help you research your family history, whether you are looking for arrival dates, tracking ancestors or checking ship passenger lists. However, not all records are complete and some may have been lost and damaged over time. While you may get lucky finding family history information, it could also take a lot of time and research.

We have compiled a list of resources focused on migration to Australia to help you in your search.

Vaughan Evans Library

The Library is the research library of the Australian National Maritime Museum.

Our library staff have produced many research guides that may help your family history search, including:


Contact the library to make an appointment to visit the library and for further advice.

Shipping and passenger records

In Australia, shipping and related passenger records prior to 1923 are held in the state the vessel arrived in. Records for all vessels that arrived after 1923 are held by the National Archives of Australia.

State or territory



National Archives of Australia
National Archives of Australia: Record Search (1921-1950 arrivals)

New South Wales

State Records of NSW

Northern Territory

State Library of NT


Queensland State Archives

South Australia

State Records of South Australia


Archives Office of Tasmania


Public Record Office Victoria

Western Australia

State Records Office of Western Australia


Genealogy websites