Tuesday, October 4, 2016

My Top Ten (10) Genealogy Tools

In August 2016 US bloggers James Tanner and Randy Seaver posted their top ten list for genealogy.
Pauleen Cass and now Jill Ball have done their Aussie choices.

Well, here are mine, taken from over twenty years of research using the internet.  Do you agree, or do you have your own favourites that you constantly refer back too?

Note these are in no particular order. Also, this is by no means a conclusive list, as there are far too many to list here...for all the best sites to see, visit Cyndi's List.

Ancestry.com - I've been a member since they started.  Since I use Family Tree Maker 2014 (and have done since FTM V2 1994), I now use the shakey leaves for clues, then go and prove the connections.  I am particularly enamoured with the DNA service since I had mine done whilst I was attending RootsTech2014. This has opened many more possibilities and is an exciting tool, even if I don't fully understand it all - yet!!!

I have loved genealogy.com (taken over by Ancestry and now, sadly a read-only site) since it was GenForum - you may find some genealogical research not located elsewhere as it goes back a long time in web years.

National Archives Australia - they a complete treasure trove there in their Record Search I happened to find my father's immigration record and downloaded the complete file, but since the amendment of the privacy act in 2000 access to these digital records has become limited. However, on the other hand, there have been some subsets of records that now have their own pages, to explore. Bringing Them Home - Name Index which is a list of index entries that point to Government records for Indigenous in the Northern Territory (1911 - 1978) and Victoria (approx 1860 - 1970). See the site for further information. I have managed to find lots of information on NAA to add 'meat' to the 'bone' of the family histories, that I've been researching and working on over the last 45+ years.

Discovering Our ANZAC's This was put together by the National Archives of Australia and Archives New Zealand.  Launched on the 28th October 2014 it contains all the digitised records from the Boer War and World War One.  Holding the records of 600,000 people, including 140,000 New Zealanders. (I was amongst the first to order a copy of my partner's grandfather's WW1 service history. You had to do this to get access to the digital copy...now they are all available.)

© National Archives of Australia 

Ryerson Index - My go-to site when I'm looking for recent deaths that may not be found in death indexes in the various states of Australia

SA Genealogy's South Australian Online Search - Some people I speak with who research, mainly on the east coast of Australia, have found research difficult in South Australia.  This is one of my fav sites...shhh it's our little secret...ok?!? 

Trove - what can I say about this awesome site...I'm addicted.  I have to allocate my time, or I'm on this site day and night...You may know it for the digitised newspapers of Australia, but also use it for pictures, archived websites (1996 - now), books, audio (found an audio of my partner's great aunt, well someone who had engaged with her during her working life, here in Australia) diaries and letters, etc.

Searching for those elusive Scottish Ancestors who landed in Australia and seemed to have walked on water to get here?  Then check out the Scottish Archive Network they have the 1852-1857 Highland and Islands Emigration Society Passenger Lists. You may just find that missing emigration information for the family tree.

Google Newspapers - The Sydney Morning Herald is available from the 1830's to 1980's and has been an invaluable aid for research for me as a professional.  It's also a great way to find out what was happening during a particular time. Search to find your preferred newspaper, (if it's here, otherwise check out Trove for Australian Newspapers). You never know what it is you may find.

Many Australians have links with 'Australian Royalty' CONVICTS. Once kept hidden within families at all costs, I've seen a complete switch in attitude, through the length of my research, with people now wishing them had a convict in their family.  Tasmania is rich in convict history.  The site that has made that research less difficult is LINC with the Tasmanian Name Index with a list of resources too numerous to mention here.  Go check this site out if you have any connections at all with Tasmania.

GADD Family of John GADD Convict Tasmania
Sarah GADD nee Manton with son George Henry GADD & his family

Well, clearly I cannot count!  I hope you have found something of interest in My Top Ten (10) Genealogy Tools.


Sharing the passion of family history
Chief Genealogist 
Experts In Genealogy


  1. Keeping it to 10 is a challenge. Like you I like SCAN and also Ryerson for checking recent deaths.... a great help

  2. Thank you Pauleen, but I just can't count...

  3. Great tip BTW re the migration records for the Scottish Highland Emigration...must check it out for the Commodore Perry which also brought out Dorfprozelten (Bavaria) emigrants.

  4. I have included your blog in Interesting Blogs in Friday Fossicking at


    Thanks, Chris

    1. Thank you Chris! I appreciate you sharing my blog.