Hi, I am new to this and I don't know much about my family's history and I am curious to find out. I just don't know how to get started. Does anybody have any advice on where to start?

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Hi Hannah

The National Archives of Australia holds the records of the Commonwealth of Australia, and as a result, we have records relating to individuals who have at some time had dealings with the Commonwealth.  For example, one of our most popular family history resources are the records about people who served in the Army, Navy and Air Force during WWI and WWII.  Or, if any of your family were naturalised and became Australian citizens, we would have naturalisation/citizenship records for them. We also have records relating to people who were selected to migrate to Australia in the 20th century as part of an assisted migration scheme. For more information on beginning family history research at the National Archives, please see http://naa.gov.au/collection/family-history/index.aspx

However, you would probably be best off beginning your research using births, deaths and marriages records to trace your family relationships, starting with yourself and then working backwards to your parents and then their parents/siblings, and then their parents and siblings etc.  Once you start to get the bones of that set of relationships, then you can start filling in the details and interesting bits of information you learn about your ancestors.  Births, deaths and marriages are not a function of the Commonwealth - those records are held by the States. Contact details for the different BDM registries in each of the States can be found at http://naa.gov.au/collection/fact-sheets/fs89.aspx

For information about some other family history resources you may be interested in, that are not held by the National Archives, please see http://naa.gov.au/collection/fact-sheets/fs202.aspx

I would also recommend that you get in touch with your local genealogical society.  I am sure they will be interested in pointing out the most effective way of beginnning your search.  A list of genealogical societies in Queensland can be found at http://www.affho.org/affho/members.php#qld

Best of luck



(NAA staff)




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