Soldiers records can contain all kinds of information
including personal family letters, telegrams, as well as
records of the soldiers conduct, details of medals
received, and their record sheet detailing their
This is the airman's initial application to the
Citizen Air Force at the recruiting centre.
a lot of personal details.
This document shows where the soldier was posted giving
places, dates and the various units to where he was
It also includes family history information such as his
Occupation in Civil Life, his Religion and his special
qualifications (this was stated he was knowledgeable in
your ancestor serve in World War 1?
Records of Australian servicemen and women who served
in World War I in the first Australian Imperial Force
(AIF) are preserved in the National Archives. The
collection of first AIF personnel dossiers includes
records of service in the:
- First Australian Imperial Force
- Australian Flying Corps (AFC) –
the predecessor of the RAAF
- Australian Naval and Military
Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF) – the combined force
despatched in August 1914 to neutralise German New
- Royal Australian Naval Bridging
Train (RANBT) – formed to assist the landing of men
and equipment from RAN vessels
- Australian Army Nursing Service
- Home or Depot units for
personnel who served within Australia
- non-combatants such as artists,
photographers, chaplains and historians
How did your
ancestors arrive in Australia?
If your ancestor arrived as a passenger through
one of the Australian sea ports, we may be able to find
them on the passenger lists, such as this one.
ancestor leave a will?
Some of our ancestors left behind a will which can
contain a lot of family information, often with
surprising clauses and interesting facts. This will of a
gunmaker in London in 1832 mentions all his worldly
goods - from the tools of his trade, to individual
things in his household.
were your ancestors buried?
Perhaps we can find them in a church burial register.
Many of Australia and English churchs kept a burial
register. This one in 1832 gives the name of the person,
their address, and their age. Sometimes their occupation
and parents names are given too.
your ancestors on the night of the census?
In England Census records were taken every 10 years from
1841 to 1911. The later ones give a wonderful amount of
information, even telling us how many rooms each house
had. In this case - four. Also we are told their
address, names, position in the household, age, if
married, how many children living & dead, their
occupation, and where they were born.
did your ancestor for a living?
Perhaps they were mentioned in a newspaper
advertisement? This man, Thomas Dennis, a carpenter in
Yorkshire, went bankrupt and appeared in the insolvency
court of 1821.
ancestors arrive voluntarily? Do you have a convict in
This is a record of the convict trial held in the Old
Bailey London for Mr James Toft. James embezzled some of
his bosses money, was tried, and found guilty, and
sentenced to transportation to Australia for 14 years.
This is a convict indent giving wonderful details about
the convicts. It is called a List of Convicts on
Transport. As well as giving us their name, their court
dates, their sentence, and where they where from, it
also tells us their occupation, height, hair color, eye
color and age.
This is a convict's Ticket of Leave. When prisoners were
transported from the
United Kingdom to
colonies, those who had
served a period of
probation—and shown by
their good behaviour that they could be allowed certain
the ticket of leave. Once granted, a convict was
permitted to seek
employment within a
specified district, but could not leave the district
without the permission of the government or the
Each change of employer or district was recorded on the
ancestor come from a European country such as Germany?
If so, there may be a naturalisation record available
for him. Heinrich Bolle, on his immigration into
Australia gave his birthplace as Burgdorf, Hanover,
Germany. He gives his present residence as Reids Creek
near Beechworth, Vic, stating that he is a gold miner.
He also tells us how long he has been in Australia, and
the name of the ship he came out on.