Family Historians will be delighted to hear that Ancestry Library Edition and Findmypast Australasia have recently added some important Victorian collections to their websites. Here are just a few of the highlights.

Australia, City Directories, 1845-1948
On Ancestry Library Edition you can search or browse through the following Victorian directories –

  • Melbourne Directory (Sands & McDougall) 1860-82, 1884, 1892-93, 1896-1901, 1903-1907, 1910 and 1911
  • Victorian Directory (Sands & McDougall) 1904,1912-1931, 1933, 1938, 1942
  • Victorian Post Office Directory (Wise’s) 1888, 1904, 1914.

Directories are particularly good for confirming when and where a person operated a business or resided at a particular address, or to identify the names of people who once lived at a specific address.


Police life in Victoria. [picture]
Melbourne : Alfred May and Alfred Martin Ebsworth 1881

Victoria, Australia, Police Gazettes, 1914-1924
Digitised copies of the Victorian police gazettes are now available for the following years.

  • Victoria Police Gazette, 1855–1900 – available on Findmypast Australasia
  • Victoria, Australia, Police Gazettes, 1893-1924 – available on Ancestry Library Edition

Police gazettes provided information and instructions to members of the police force. You can use gazettes to find the names of police officers, victims of crime, missing persons, and wanted or released criminals.

Victoria, Australia, Rate Books, 1855-1963
On Ancestry you can find digitised rate books for several cities and boroughs in Victoria. The following places are included however the dates covered may vary for each location – Sebastopol, Stawell, Brighton, Caulfield, Coburg, Collingwood, Creswick, Fitzroy, Hawthorn, Kew, Malvern, Moorabbin, Northcote, Prahran, South Melbourne, St Kilda, Williamstown, Creswick and Stawell. A separate collection is also available for Camberwell and Waverley, 1857-1927.
Rate books usually include the occupant’s name, owner’s name, residence date and place, description, rate assessed, and sometimes occupation.

Victoria, Australia, Lunatic Estates and Register, 1867-1906
Also available on Ancestry, this collection contains a register of patients in mental health facilities in Victoria as well as inventory book of estates belonging to the patients. Information includes names, asylum, admission, discharge, and death dates. Case notes for individual patients can be found in the asylum records, listed by location and admission date at Public Record Office Victoria.


Emigrants landing at the Queen’s Wharf, Melbourne. [picture]
Melbourne: Ebenezer and David Syme 1863

Victoria, Australia, Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists, 1839–1923
Now available on Ancestry Library Edition, this is one of the most popular resources for anyone researching people who immigrated to Victoria. It’s made up of the following lists – which are held at the Public Record Office of Victoria. (PROV).

  • Inwards overseas passenger lists from UK ports to Victoria, 1852-1889, 1900-1923
  • Inwards overseas passenger lists from foreign ports to Victoria, 1852-1879, 1900-1923
  • Inwards overseas passenger lists from New Zealand to Victoria, 1852-1923
  • Index to Assisted British Immigration, 1839-1871

Unassisted passenger lists often only include the name, age, date of arrival and name of ship. Assisted passenger lists include name, age, occupation, religion, native place, whether they could read or write, intended employers, length of work assignment, wages and rations and whether the migrant went to work for their employers or left `on their own account’.

Victoria Coastal Passenger Lists 1852-1924
Available on Find my past Australasia this collection includes transcripts and images of the original coastal passenger lists, which are held at PROV. This collection include the records of people travelling both from overseas and from elsewhere in Australia.
Records include name, age, estimated birth year, nationality, native place, arrival date, ship’s name, destination port and departure port.

Victoria, Australia, Deserter, Discharged, and Prisoner Crew Lists, 1852-1925
Available on Ancestry Library Edition, this collection is a compilation of the following lists – which are held at PROV.

  • The Registers of Seamen Prisoners 1853–1885. Includes details about seamen who were imprisoned on the hulks. Registers included a personal description, name of ship, offence, sentence, date of conviction, the name of the hulk and discharge date. Records are primarily from the 1850s.
  • Register of Deserters and Discharged Seamen 1852–1922. Recorded the date of desertion, the name of the ship and its origin, the name of the seaman and his place of birth, age, height and colour of eyes and hair. Includes Film 3, Ships’ crew leaving the service at Geelong 1856–1888.

Victoria, Australia, Index to Naturalisation Certificates, 1851-1928
Available on Ancestry Library Edition, this collection includes images of a card index to naturalisation certificates issued to non-British subjects in Victoria. Details on the cards include the name of the person, occupation, place of residence, age, native place, the date and number of the certificate, and the reference to the record book and page. Full certificates can be ordered from the National Archives of Australia.

If you’d like to know more about the many resources you can use to research Victorian people please see our Researching your Victorian ancestors research guide.

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