Cemeteries · FamilySearch · Researching your family history · Victoria

Thursdays Tips – FamilySearch

At this stage, I am still focusing on websites that are free to search with records from Victoria, Australia.   I started with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, and then looked at websites with newspapers.  The next type of record I use are cemetery records.  The first site I use to find cemetery records is FamilySearch, as it has indexes to memorials on Find A Grave and BillionGraves. This way, I only need to search one site, and then I can go directly to a memorial, no matter which site it is on.  It also means that if there is no memorial on either site, I don’t waste time searching both sites and finding nothing.

Also, the search on FamilySearch is better at picking up variations in a name. For example, my dad had a cousin called Herbert Ernest Whimpey.  A search for Herbert Ernest Whimpey brought up an entry for my grandfather, John Ernest Whimpey, and then an entry for H. E. Whimpey on BillionGraves.  The date of death matched the date I had for Herbert.  If I had tried searching on BillionGraves, I may not have thought to search just for initials, and I might not have otherwise found this record.

One thing I do when searching for people who lived all their life in Australia is to Restrict records by Country Australia.  That eliminates all the results that might come up from elsewhere (particularly the United States).

When I’m searching on FamilySearch, I don’t just focus on Find a Grave and BillionGraves, but I look at any other results that come up.  The main other collection that has come up so far for Victoria is the Australia, Victoria, Index to Probate Registers, 1841-1989. Although I don’t bother to use this collection, since I prefer to use the Public Record Office Victoria website, it reminds me to check the Public Record Office website.

My research as part of my genealogy do-over has expanded beyond Victoria, Australia, so I have also found records for family members in the following collections on FamilySearch:

England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008

England and Wales Census, 1911

England and Wales Census, 1901

England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005

Australia Cemetery Inscriptions, 1802-2005

Australia, New South Wales, Cemetery, Military, and Church Record Transcripts, 1816-1982

At this stage, I have only been researching back to my great grandparents and their descendants.

FamilySearch is also useful in directing you to where other records might be found, and more information about the collections that are available.  For example, the FamilySearch Wiki has an article about Australia Civil Registration.