All libraries are closed until further notice due to COVID-19. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 Updates site. Read more.

Family History

We have plenty of resources to help you research your family history.

Our family history room is on level 1 of Wollongong Library. This is where you'll find our family history resources, including microfilm scanners.

Family history research material held by the library includes:

  • Births, deaths and marriage records
  • Cemetery records
  • Convict records
  • Immigration and shipping records
  • Land and property records
  • Professional records
  • Orphan school records
  • Military records
  • Census records and musters
  • Electoral rolls
  • Directories
  • Naturalisation records
  • Colonial Secretary Papers
  • Miscellaneous indexes.

Most of the items above can only be used while you're in the library.

As well as items from the library collection, the family history room has resources that belong to the Illawarra Family History Group (IFHG). Some of these materials can only be used by IFHG members, or by library visitors when an IFHG member is present. See the next section of this page for details of regular times when IFHG volunteers are in the library.

Make sure you also check the 'Family history databases' section of this page for resources you can use at any of our library locations.

Volunteers from the Illawarra Family History Group are available on level one of Wollongong Library each Wednesday and Friday morning from 9.30am to 12 noon.

They're happy to share their extensive knowledge, and can help you find resources and use the equipment in the family history room.

You can also ask our library staff for help with your family research at any time during library hours.

Please note: the databases below can only be accessed using computers within our libraries.

Ancestry library edition

Discover your ancestors with the world's largest family history website.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, library members can temporarily access the library edition of Ancestry.com from home via our catalogue. Use the link below and have your login details handy.

Go to Ancestry library edition

If you're not a library member yet, you can join online for free.

Findmypast.com.au

A worldwide family history research platform, with birth, marriage and death indexes, census information and other resources from more than 120 countries.

No more than two users can log in to this platform at any time.

Go to Findmypast.com.au

Please note: While our libraries are closed to the public, we can provide remote login details so you can access Find My Past from home. To request access, please call Wollongong Library on (02) 4227 7414 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday (except public holidays).

British Newspaper Archive

Up to 40 million newspaper pages from the British Library's collection have been digitised in partnership with Findmypast.

You will need to register to use this service. See the free access guide for more information.

Go to the British Newspaper Archive

Below is a list of useful websites if you're researching family history and genealogy.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family history
Archives
Births, deaths and marriages
Cemetery records
Convicts
Immigration and shipping
Research guides
Other
  • CoraWeb: helping you trace your family history in Australia and elsewhere
  • Trove: access digitised newspapers from the National Library of Australia

Illawarra Remembers 1914-1918 is a tribute to local service men and women from the Illawarra during World War I.

This website includes stories, images and helpful links if you're researching the history of people who served in the first world war.

You can also set up a free account and share the stories of your family members.

Visit Illawarra Remembers to find out more.

Top image: Unknown soldiers with family, World War I, image number P25393.