Each week, I focus on either a new (or updated) record collection at ancestry.com.au, FamilySearch or Findmypast, or one of the other resources that I have used when researching my family history. This week I decided on a new collection at ancestry.com.au,– Victoria, Australia, Index to Naturalisation Certificates, 1851-1928.
The Naturalisation records for all of Australia can be found on the National Archives Australia website, and these include the images of the original naturalisation papers. However, when I was searching for the naturalisation record for my ex-husband’s ancestor Hans Hansen, I found there were many records for the name Hans Hansen. Although I was able to narrow down the search to naturalisation records by using “Hans Hansen naturalisation” in the Keywords, this still resulted in a number of entries. Fortunately, a family tree I had been given early on in my family history research provided details of his naturalisation, so I was able to use these details to find the record. Without this information, I would have had a lot of records to look through to find the right one.
When I saw this index , I wondered – would using the ancestry.com.au index help to narrow down my search on the National Archive website?
I decided to use only the information I had from Hans’ daughter’s birth certificate – it showed he was born about 1836 in Denmark, and he lived at Kamarooka. Using the year of birth only, I came up with 6 entries for Hans Hansen. Already I see that using the ancestry index has helped narrow down my search, as it limits my search to entries from Victoria, and allows me to select a birth year. Adding the location where he lived didn’t make any difference to the results.
From the 6 entries, three of these had middle names. My Hans didn’t have a middle name, so this left me with 3 entries. It didn’t take long to go through the 3 entries to find the one for my Hans – it was the 2nd entry – Hans Hansen born about 1837, certificate date 25 Feb 1895, native place Lonbi Denmark. I was able to confirm this entry was for my Hans by viewing the image attached to the index entry, which provided additional details – Address Kamarooka Occupation farmer.
Now that I knew the year of his naturalisation, I was able to add this to the year range, and rather than having to search through a number of entries, now only his entry came up.
So, although the naturalisation records are available for free online at the National Archives website, using the index at the ancestry.com.au website helped to narrow down my search. I was then able to view his naturalisation papers, which provided the name of the ship he had arrived in Australia on.