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National Family History Month

About National Family History Month

August is National Family History Month and there’s no better time to delve into researching your family history.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced researcher, State Library Victoria has a wealth of workshops and resources to help you on your research journey.

We'll be sharing new family history blogs each week throughout August to celebrate Family History Month, drawing on our expert librarians' wealth on knowledge on the topic.

Happy researching!

Family history tools & resources

Lucky digger that returned. Gill, S. T., 1869. H86.7/40

From research guides to online resources and talks, find all the inspiration and tools you need to research your family's past at the Library.

Explore our tools and resources

Newspapers & Family History Reading Room tour

Discover how the Library’s rich collection can help piece together your family tree to uncover hidden secrets and fascinating details about your ancestors’ lives. Learn the skills you need to master the Library’s databases and efficiently use the research equipment.

Dates: 2pm–3pm on 2, 10, 16 and 24 August.

Book tickets to Newspapers & Family History Reading Room tour.

How to trace your ancestor’s criminal past

Collins, John T., Coburg Pentridge Gaol. 1964. This work is in copyright. H94.200/955

Did your ancestor have a brush with the law?

Well the good news for family historians is, if they were convicted of a crime, they just became a whole lot easier to trace!

In the final blog as part of our National Family History Month series we explore how to research your ancestor's criminal past, drawing on prison registers, court records, Victorian Police Gazettes, newspapers and more

Read our blog

How to research your ancestor’s occupation

Sievers, Wolfgang, photographer. Women packing boxes of Smith’s Potato Chips in factory, Melbourne, 1966. This work is in copyright; H2003.100/747.

Occupational records are a valuable family history resource, helping to confirm where your ancestors lived, determine their social status and plot out their movements.

Read our blog for a look at how to trace your ancestor's working life through a range of occupational records.

You can also refer to our new guide to Researching your ancestor's occupations.

Hospital records for family history

Nurse attending two wounded soldiers, ca. 1942. H99.201/1491

To family researchers, hospital records are like rear-view mirrors. They give you hindsight so you can plan forward for your health and the future health of your family.

Read our blog to learn how to research your ancestor's health through historical hospital records.

You can also refer to our new Health and welfare records guide for more information on resources at the Library.

When the boat comes in: voyages to Victoria

Ship with passengers, streamers and gangplank lowered, [196-]. Maggie Diaz. H2016.274/3

Pinpointing the date and place of arrival of your ancestors can be an evocative moment, as you cast your mind back and imagine their journey and ongoing lives.

There are a range of records you can use to research your ancestor’s journey, including passenger lists, immigration records, shipboard diaries.

Read our blog for tips for tracking down an elusive ancestor.

Researching births, deaths and marriages in Victoria

Wedding ceremony and guests, [197-?]. Photo by Maggie Diaz. This work is in copyright. H2013.261/547

Major life events such as births, deaths and marriages are some of the key milestones in a person’s life, and are a great place to start when researching an ancestor.

Read our blog to find out where these certificates are, how to you search for them, and what they might contain.

Researching your home

Black and white photo of an old house

Three children standing on veranda of single storey weatherboard house with established garden. H2009.60/11

Oh what stories houses would tell, if only they could talk!

This brand new webinar will help to answer the questions and curiosities you may have about your family home, whether it’s the house you’re living in now or the scene of your childhood memories.

Date: 10am-11am Thursday 18 August. 

Book tickets to Researching your home.

Welfare records for family history

Melbourne Benevolent Asylum, North Melbourne H92.330/267

Discover lost connections and unfamiliar histories by learning about welfare records in this online family history workshop.

This webinar will delve into the diverse types of welfare records and where to find them, including what is available in the State Library's vast collection.

Date: 10am-11am, Thursday 11 August.

Finding families

Black and white photographic portrait of an extended family

Family group on a verandah, c 1912; photo by Mark James Daniel

Do you want to discover more about your ancestors and how they lived their lives?

In this online workshop, you’ll take the first steps to exploring the secret stories in your family’s history.

Date: 10am-11am Thursday 4 August.


Learn how to navigate the Library’s extensive newspaper collection in this live and interactive online session.

Our collection includes over 4000 different local and international papers, dating back to the 18th century. You'll dive into the millions of words printed on both current and historical articles in our online databases, and discover how to find specific newspapers in hard copy, online and on microfilm.

Date: 10am-11am Tuesday 9 August.