Research Assistance

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Researching Your Family History

Hobsons Bay Libraries provides access to the popular Ancestry and Find My Past resources, both invaluable tools where you can search billions of records.

Access to these resources is available on site at any library branch.
Start your family tree by accessing billions of genealogy records from Australia, US, UK and more.


Find my past
Research your family’s heritage from the UK, Ireland and Australia. Records include migration, cemetery, electoral rolls and much more.


Newspapers, voter rolls, rate books and more

Located in the Heritage Room of the Williamstown branch are a large collection of records related to family and local history research within Hobsons Bay. The Heritage collection includes photographs, newspapers, voter rolls, books and more.

Search the Heritage Collection

Located in the Heritage room of the Williamstown Library, the Paton cabinet contains microform and CDs of local newspapers, electoral rolls and more. View contents of the Paton cabinet here(PDF, 234KB).

To search archived newspapers online use Trove, from the National Library of Australia.

Additional resources we recommend


First Steps

Curious about your ancestors?  Our Heritage Librarian has the following tips if you are just getting started:

  • Start by entering everything you know about the people in your family line into your family tree.  Work from the known to the unknown.
  • Databases such as Ancestry are not the only resources available.
  • Family trees which seem to include your relatives may not be correct. Remember to check spelling variations of the name you are researching.
  • Verify verbal information with supporting evidence.
  • Search in your family records, books, bibles, shoeboxes and keepsakes for clues and ask your family to fill in any gaps that they might know.