What do you really know about your family?
We provide professional family history research into your NSW ancestors at affordable prices. We can help you to understand your ancestors more fully whether you just need a copy of a single document, help with a dead end, or would like us to trace your entire family tree.
We search out the lesser-known types of records that can broaden and deepen your knowledge of your ancestors – who they were, what they did, and what was important to them.
If you are looking for more than names and dates then these are the records you need.
New South Wales The first white colonists to arrive were convicts and their keepers, beginning with the First Fleet in 1788 with 759 male and female convicts under Governor Phillip.
Convict records were kept from the beginning as part of the administration of the new colony, especially when it became necessary to distinguish between convict and free persons with the arrival of free immigrants and the completion of sentences of convicts.
The Colonial Secretary was responsible for the day-to-day running of the early Colonial government. The correspondence of the Colonial Secretary contains letters or references concerning many residents in the Colony, convict and free, such as requests for grants of land and convict indulgences.
Immigration of free persons became necessary to make the new colony viable. Records are scant in the early period of the Colony before 1828 and become increasingly detailed as the Government got involved in luring new colonists through various bounty schemes.
Land and property and was a big issue from the earliest days of free settlement – it was the prospect of good farming and grazing land that brought so many out here. Land grant registers were kept from 1792 onwards and although the rules changed frequently the hunger for land did not.
Voting rights were initially tied to land ownership or occupation, and although some electoral rolls are available from 1842 most do not start until 1859. With Federation in 1901 electors were required to vote in State and Federal elections, and women were given the vote.
Death duties have been payable on a consistent basis since 1880 until relatively recently, following the English model. A system was devised where probate could not be granted until the death duty was paid or exemption given.
Your ancestor may also have been mentioned in periodicals such as newspapers, government or police gazettes, or be listed in directories.
Many other types of records were kept and are available for NSW family history researchers. Please enquire if you do not see what you need here or in the menu at left.
We are based in Sydney, New South Wales, and our primary area of expertise is New South Wales records from the beginning of the Colony in 1788 to Federation and beyond.