Australia · My Heritage · Victoria

My Heritage review

At the beginning of the year, I received an email from MyHeritage offering me 75% off.  I decided to subscribe, to see if they had any additional records for my family than when I last subscribed a few years ago.  I decided at first to review the hints, as I added each person to my new Legacy Family Tree that I started this year as part of my genealogy do-over.  These were the collections that came up in the hints.

Australia Death Notices, 1860-2019

On comparing the information I already had when working through the Research Checklist, these records appeared to be a the same as the information on the Ryerson Index

Australia, Victoria Death Index, 1836-1985

Australia, Victoria Birth Index, 1837-1920

I prefer to use the indexes on the Births Deaths and Marriages Victoria website, as they are more accurate, and the death index contains more information.


I prefer to use FamilySearch, as it also has the indexes for Find a Grave, plus other collections that might have information for the person I’m researching, such as the Probate and Inquest indexes for Victoria, and a number of cemeteries in Queensland. I would then go to BillionGraves to get the details of the memorial..

There was a hint I received for one of my cousin’s daughters.  It was a record I wouldn’t have thought to look for.  My cousin and her family live in Victoria, Australia, but her husband is from the United States.  I found a record for him and his two daughters in the U.S. Public Records Index. I had dates of birth for the two daughters, but I didn’t have a date of birth for him.  This record now gave it to me, as well as an address for the family in California.

One thing I noticed about the My Heritage hints in Legacy Family Tree is some of them disappeared after I’d entered more information for a person.  So I decided I needed to search My Heritage for any additional records they might have for the people I have already added to my tree. When I was searching for records for my dad, I found My Heritage also had the collection

Australian World War II Nominal Roll, 1939-1945

In reviewing the information I already had for dad, it appears to be the same as the information on the World War Two Nominal Roll.  This database is being replaced by the DVA’s Nominal Rolls.

I then tried searching for records for my mother-in-law.  She was born Shirley Patricia Casey, was first married to Murray Irwin Willis, and after his death married Robert Benjamin Farrant.  The problem I had when I searched for records for her under each name, there were so many tree hints for her, it made determining if there were any records for her difficult. With Ancestry, I can select not to see results from family trees, photos and stories, enabling me to just search for records, but there doesn’t seem to be any way to do that on My Heritage.  I then tried narrowing my search to the Census collections, but found too many results for a Shirley Willis in the United States.  I tried entering the Place Australia, and still couldn’t eliminate these results.

Because searching on My Heritage was so frustrating, I decided that the best way to use the site would be to search each collection individually.  But the first thing to do was to determine which collections were worth searching in, and which ones were copies of information already available online for free.  I decided I would keep checking the hints as I add or review people, just in case there was a record they have that I hadn’t yet found.

Since it will take a while to go through all the collections, I will be reviewing a few collections at a time, concentrating on the ones for Australia, and particularly for Victoria, and then moving on to other states/countries as I start adding people from these places to my tree.

To review the collections, I first went to the Collection Catalog and then chose Oceania from the menu under Refine My Location.  The first collection was

Australia Electoral Rolls, 1893-1949

This collection has 16,306.739 records.  Since I couldn’t find details about which states and years were covered in the collection, I decided to search the collection for my grandfather, John Ernest Whimpey.  There were 3 results for him, one from 1946, one from 1939 and one from 1941.  The Australia, Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980 collection on is far more comprehensive, but it doesn’t include these 3 years.  FindMyPast has the 1946 and 1939 Electoral rolls from Victoria, but not 1941 (or it didn’t the last time I checked).  I don’t have a subscription to FindMyPast at the moment, so this is one collection that is worth my while searching.

Australian Newspapers

The description for this collection states that “This index and images are provided courtesy of Trove – The National Library of Australia”.  I decided to see if I could find any articles I had just found on Trove for Albert George Casey, using his initials A.G. Casey.  Unfortunately, the first results were for an R. G. Casey – not very helpful.  I didn’t fancy going through all the results for R. G. Casey, until I came up with ones that actually matched my search criteria, so I decided I would prefer to search directly on Trove, particularly since Trove provides more options to limiting to results to a state, to the different types of articles, or to a decade or even a year.  I would prefer to wait and see if I get any hints in Legacy Family Tree, or any SmartMatches from the tree I have on My Heritage.

The next collections were ones that I have already reviewed when checking my hints.  Then there were the following collections.

Inwards Unassisted Passengers to Victoria 1852-1923

I decided to search for my great grandmother, Sarah Jane Sharp, who came to Australia with her parents from Wakefield, Yorkshire, England. I then compared the record I found for her with the one from the Unassisted Inward Passengers index on the Public Record Office Victoria website, and it was the same.  I also know that has images of the passenger lists in the Victoria, Australia, Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists, 1839-1923 collection.

Australia, Victoria Marriage Index, 1837-1942

I prefer to use the indexes on the Births Deaths and Marriages Victoria website.

I decided that was enough collections to check for today.  I will review some more collections next week.