New South Wales Genealogy Online

Databases & Web Sites for NSW Family History Research

Research and explore your New South Wales, Australia genealogy and family history online with these online New South Wales genealogy databases, indexes and digitized records collections—many of them free! The following links lead to birth, death, marriage and cemetery records for Sydney and other locations around New South Wales, plus census records, incoming passenger lists, convict records and more.

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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Henryk Sadura / Getty Images

The New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages offers a free online, searchable Historical Index of Births, Marriages and Deaths which covers births (1788-1915), deaths (1788-1985) and marriages (1788-1965). The free index includes some basic details, often including parents' given names for birth records and spouse's name for marriage records, but full information is only available by ordering a copy of the birth, death or marriage certificate.

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Search this free, online index from the State Records Authority of New South Wales to locate the full names of both respondents and the year of divorce for both divorces and judicial separations. At present this index is complete for the years 1873-1923, and is still being updated to cover the years 1924-30. For additional information, you can order the full divorce case file for a fee.

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These passenger lists record immigrants to New South Wales whose passage was subsidized or paid for through one of the several assisted immigration schemes from the United Kingdom and other countries. The index covers Port Phillip, 1839-51, Sydney and Newcastle, 1844-59, Moreton Bay (Brisbane), 1848-59 and Sydney, 1860-96. If you find an ancestor in the index, you can also view digital copies of the Bounty Immigrants lists, 1838-96 online.

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Obituaries and death notices from 138+ newspapers totaling almost 2 million entries are indexed on this free, volunteer-supported Web site. The concentration is on New South Wales newspapers, specifically two Sydney newspapers the Sydney Morning Herald and the Daily Telegraph, although some papers from other states are also included.

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Six convict databases from the NSW State Archives can be searched at once through a single search form. Copies of the full records are available for a fee. Available convict databases include:

  • Certificates of Freedom, 1823-69
  • Convict bank Accounts, 1837-70
  • Tickets of Exemption from Government Labor, 1827-32
  • Tickets of Leave, Certificates of Emancipation and Pardons, 1810-19
  • Tickets of Leave, 1810-75
  • Ticket of Leave Passports, 1835-69

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Search and/or browse index cards of inscriptions found in cemeteries (primarily public cemeteries) in New South Wales, Australia. Most of the entries are actual monumental inscriptions from cemeteries in New South Wales, but some entries were taken from burial registers. Free online at FamilySearch.org.

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FamilySearch has Masonic Lodge registers and indexes from the Grand Lodge of New South Wales and Australian Captital Territory online in browse-only format for free viewing. Start by browsing the Masonic Lodge Indexes.

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Parish and historic maps can provide a wealth of information about local history, family genealogy and your own land and property. This online project is converting the State's rapidly deteriorating parish, town and pastoral run maps to digital images. If you don't know the parish name, use the Geographical Names Register to search by locality or suburb to find the parish name. Some older maps may still be found in the Parish Map Preservation Project.

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This free online index compiled by Mrs Kaye Vernon and Mrs Billie Jacobson includes the name of the lease holder, lease number, date of application, location, remarks, series number, reel/item number, and surveyor’s name. Available on the NSW State Records' Web site.

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This free, online, ongoing index lists names of passengers (cabin, saloon & steerage), crew, captains, stowaways, births and deaths at sea, transcribed from the State Records Authority of NSW Reels of the Shipping Masters' Office, Inwards Passenger Lists. Coverage is complete for the period 1870-1878, with partial coverage for the periods 1854-1869, 1879-1892.

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The State Records Office of NSW hosts free, online indexes to Deceased Estate Files, 1880-1923Intestate Estate Case Papers, 1823-1896, and Early Probate Records (supplementary probate records, not the main probate series). In addition, Probate Packets for 1817-May 1873 (Series 1), 1873-76 (Series 2), 1876-c.1890 (Series 3) and 1928-32, 1941-42 from Series 4 are available in Archives Investigator