30 June 2015

6 Genealogy Sources You May Have Overlooked

Image by Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Searching for ancestors who vanished? Looking for a way to break down those genealogy brick walls?

Try these sources, all of which refer to people from many countries. In each record set, read 'Learn More' and 'Discover More' to find out about the record contents and sources. When images are available, either online or in Archives, they will have information that is not in the transcription.

  1. British Civil Service Evidence of Age records

    These records are for people from around the world, including 654 from Australia / NZ. I've found some exciting details (especially for people whose birth was never registered) in images that have recently been added to this record set. Note that a right arrow leads to the next related image, which is often a baptism record.

  2. Passport records

    Various series of passport records refer to people departing either temporarily or permanently (eg, going overseas on holidays or returning to their home country). Records held in Queensland (Australia) often give not only departure details but also ship and date of arrival and State of disembarkation.

  3. Trade Union Records

    These are for railway staff, carpenters, joiners, cabinetmakers, woodworkers, lithographic artists/printers, designers, engravers, boilermakers, iron shipbuilders, etc. Countries included are Australia, Belgium, Canada, Channel Islands, England, Germany, Gibraltar, Ireland, Isle Of Man, Malta, New Zealand, Rhodesia, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, USA and Wales.  Australian branches include Adelaide, Ballarat, Bathurst, Bendigo, Brisbane, Broken Hill, Charters Towers, Fremantle, Geelong, Hobart, Ipswich, Kalgoorlie, Leeton, Mackay, Melbourne, Mildura, Mount Morgan, Newcastle, Perth, Port Augusta, Port Pirie, Sydney, Townsville, Wollongong and others.

  4. Great Western Railway shareholders

    The index includes names of shareholders, executors, beneficiaries and others (many of whom lived overseas). The image often gives death or burial date/place, occupation, address, names of other parties (executors or legatees for deaths, and husbands for marriages), date of marriage or other event. Most events relate to residents of England and Wales, but there are also thousands of Scottish, Irish and overseas records, including more than 200 entries for Australians.

  5. British India Office collection

    If you are researching someone who lived or worked in India, start here. This collection includes births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, burials, wills and probate records, civil and military pensions, East India Company cadet papers, and applications for the civil service. It covers military personnel, civil servants, surgeons, planters, entrepreneurs, missionaries and others. I found a pension record that gave names and exact birthplaces (long before civil registration) of the man's children, who were back home in England.

  6. New South Wales will books (wills for people worldwide, as explained below).

    Don't be put off by the 'NSW' heading! The collection includes wills for many people from other States and other countries, including England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, New Zealand, Canada, USA, South Africa, Germany, Fiji, Mexico, India, Holland, China, Papua, New Guinea, etc. For my personal tips on using this magnificent resource, see Will Books 1800-1952.

If you've made exciting discoveries in any of these sources, please tell us about them in a comment below.

(This post first appeared on http://genie-leftovers.blogspot.com.au/2015/03/6-genealogy-sources-you-may-have.html.)

I use and recommend the Book Depository.


  1. Judy,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2015/03/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-march-20.html

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you Jana - that's a great compliment. :-)

  2. Thanks for these, Judy. A few minutes into looking at the Great Western Railway Shareholders and I've discovered the death and probate information for three of my four x great-uncles :-)

    1. That's certainly a spectacular success story, Rach. I'm almost as excited as you must be! Now you may want to read the relevant sections in 10 Tips for Wills, Intestacies and Probate. Good luck!


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