Family History

Researching your family history can be a very rewarding experience. The Local History Centre offers beginners courses, general guidance plus assistance from experienced researchers.
We host talks, tutorials and workshops throughout the year to inspire your research. Check the latest Local History Newsletter or Library and Local History Centre events page for upcoming events.

Useful websites to guide you on your journey


Ancestry Library edition

This very popular subscription database has comprehensive coverage of UK, USA and Australian records. Includes: censuses, parish records, births, deaths, marriages, probate, electoral rolls, immigration and military records. City of Perth rate books to 1946 are a recent addition. Free access is provided in the library.

Family Search                         

A free website belonging to the Church of Latter Day Saints which contains over 12 million records, with emphasis on the UK and USA. Includes: censuses, parish records, births, deaths, marriages, probate, land and military records.

WA Genealogical Society links to websites
Comprehensive list of over 1,500 links specific to the needs of Family History Research throughout the world. New links are updated monthly.


National Archives of Australia
This is the place to come if your family members served in the Australian armed forces or if they migrated to Australia during the 20th century. The family history page provides guidance in using the website.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The casualty database lists the names and place of commemoration of the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars. It also records details of the 67,000 Commonwealth civilians who died "as a result of enemy action" in the Second World War.

Australian War Memorial           
Family history page provides guidance to researching an individual’s service records and wartime experiences.

East Perth Cemeteries             
Burials of early settlers. Sections of the cemetery include: Church of England, Roman Catholic, Wesleyan, Congregational, Hebrew, Presbyterian and Chinese. Search by name via the Burial Register.

Trove Newspapers                    
Digitised Australian newspapers from all States with coverage of 19th and 20th century publications up to the mid 1950s. Good for birth, death and marriage notices.

WA Registers for Births, Deaths and Marriages 
Records from 1841 to 1932 (births), 1971 (deaths) and 1936 (marriages)

State Library of Western Australia: Family History    
 Includes guides, useful websites and access to e-resources.

United Kingdom

Genuki: UK and Ireland
A virtual reference guide to genealogical information for the UK and Ireland, accessed by county.  It is a non-commercial service, maintained by a charitable trust and volunteers.

Free BMD
A free index of civil registrations of births marriages and deaths in the UK from 1837, listed by the year and quarter of registration. Births from 1911 also include the mother’s maiden name. Deaths include age at death.