Family History

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.



Start your family tree by accessing billions of genealogy records from Australia, US, UK and more.


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.

View the full list of records held. 

You can also search archived newspapers online via Trove, from the National Library of Australia.

Additional resources we recommend


First Steps

Curious about your ancestors?  Our Local History 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.


Recalling the Journey

Recalling the Journey is an ebook that contains accounts by people who migrated to Australia and embarked at Station Pier in Port Melbourne. Their stories resemble those of thousands of others who settled and started families throughout Melbourne. this may be a vaulable resource to those who are searching for family stories. The ebook is curated by Multicultural Arts Victoria and is only available online.