Tracing ancestors in the National Archives – Fact sheet 201

The National Archives holds records that might be useful in your family history research. By identifying the ways in which the people you are researching may have had contact with the Australian Government, you might be able to locate records relevant to your search. This fact sheet lists subject areas for which records are likely to be held and identifies fact sheets and/or research guides that will lead to the records.

You should also refer to the National Archives’ publication Finding Families: The Guide to the National Archives of Australia for Genealogists.

Defence force and defence service

Boer War

Civilian service

Coastal fortifications

Courts martial

Defence force personnel records

HMAS Sydney



National service

Pay and administrative records

Prisoners of war

RMC Duntroon

War veterans

The Archives also holds records on employment in wartime armaments factories.


Aircraft arrivals

Child migration

Chinese migration

Displaced persons and refugees

Dutch migration

Italian migration

Japanese migration

Jewish migration

Migrant accommodation

Migrant selection documents

Naturalisation and citizenship

Passenger records


The Archives also holds records on emigration and passports.

Points to remember when using the National Archives

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019