I am trying to find out what happened to a family member who moved to Australia in the 1900's.

His name was William Ashton and he was born on 20th April 1898 in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. He moved to Oz and never seemed to contact his family again, I have word that his father was a difficult man to get on with as many of his children didn't get on with him, I wonder if this is why William moved away. I'm curious as to what William did once he got over there and if he ever married and had a family of his own.

Any information would be gratefully recieved.


Thanks in advance,


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Hi Kerry

The UK National Archives holds passenger lists from 1890 to 1960. You can search online http://www.ancestorsonboard.com/ for information that will help you identify when he left the UK, and where he arrived in Australia. Some basic information about the UK National Archives passenger records is at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/passenger-lists.htm, and more detailed information on how to search for passenger records in the UK is at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/looking-for-person/passe....

Because William was British, he would not have become naturalised as an Australian - and therefore there will be no citizenship or naturalisation records for him. Prior to 1949, people who were naturalised in Australia were given British nationality.  It wasn't until 1949 that people were naturalised as Australians. 

Information about the kinds of records the National Archives of Australia might hold for William can be found at http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/fact-sheets/fs123.aspx. Please note, however, that as his arrival was early 1900s, it is most unlikely there will be any records in our collection. 

If you can identify the state in which he arrived, I suggest you contact the archival institution inthat State (a list of addresses can be found at http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/fact-sheets/fs02.aspx) as William may have come to Australia as part of an assisted migration scheme.

Once you have located where William settled within Australia, you may be able to find his death or marriages registered with the Births Deaths and Marriages registry in the State. From there you may be able to find out if he had any children.  A portal of links for BDM registries in each Australian State and Territory is at http://australia.gov.au/topics/law-and-justice/births-deaths-and-ma....

Good luck searching


(NAA staff).







Hi Kerry

I've just discovered another index that you may find useful - ryersonindex.org - an index of death notices that appear in Australian newspapers.  The index is by no means complete, and NSW is better represented, but it could give you some clues.


Thanks Tonia

I'll look into this, anything that will give me clues is useful.

Thank you for your help




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