Many of us have forebears who worked for the Victorian Government in some capacity. This may not always be obvious though, as records like electoral rolls, directories and birth, death and marriage certificates often list an occupation but don’t always include the employer. Have a think about the type of work your ancestor did – do you think they could have been attached to a Government department?

If so, the public servants lists may be just the thing you need to help document the working life of your ancestor. The information in these lists do vary, but you will often find name, age, date of birth (for later lists) office duties, date of first appointment, number of years in service, classification, salary and allowances.

For many years (between 1863-1975), these lists were published in the Victorian Government Gazette, which is available for free online. Our Victorian Government publications research guide explains how to find these lists in the Gazette. We also hold some public servants lists (including some earlier listings) on microfilm in our Genealogy Centre.

While browsing through the lists, I found a variety of occupations, such as magistrates, clerks, messengers, caretakers, inspectors, surveyors, architects, draughtsman, gardeners, secretaries, lighthouse keepers, printers, and of course plenty of librarians.

The prize for the most interesting job goes to Baron von Mueller, Government Botanist
Source: Victorian Government Gazette 30th January 1892, p446

Von mueller 30 Jan 1892 p446

Click to enlarge

Although I’m personally envious of  Mr B. Blundell, Government tea expert – and possibly my dream occupation (after librarian of course). Source: Victorian Government Gazette Sept 3rd 1884 ,p 2541

Tea Taster 1883

Click to enlarge

As always, happy hunting!

This article has 4 comments

  1. Thanks Carmen. I have a relative I have found in the Victorian Government Gazette who was a Dairy Inspector.

  2. Nice post Carmen. Some of my favourites public service jobs include the Keeper of the Steam Dredge (1851), the Chief Inspector of Sheep (1856), the Taxidermist at the National Museum (1856), and those of the Chinese interpreters working on the goldfields (1856). These early jobs can be found in the civil establishment records included in the ‘Colonial statistics’ set of microfiche, found near the La Trobe Reading Room information desk at LTMF 53.

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