Research for Members and the General Public

There are some hints and suggestions on these pages that may help you get started, if you haven't already. However there will come a time when you could use some help with your research.

If you cannot visit our centre, complete the Request Research form

All postal research to be sent to
Benalla Family Research Group Inc., P.O. Box 268, Benalla, Victoria, Australia. 3671.

Please type or print your request as clearly as possible.
Let the researchers know what research sources you have already tried.
State what information you are looking for and where you have taken your information from such as certificates, etc;
Present your request in point form and state what areas you require information from and how many hours of work you would like done.
Please be patient, we will attend to your request as soon as possible.

We have a large collection of local and overseas resources in our library.

How to get started on your search.

Start with yourself and family records such as birth, christenings, marriage, or death certificate. Use family stories as a base for verification of events.

Family school records, photos, awards, and service records, deeds, family bibles. Obituary notices, diaries, letter and cards, etc;

You can obtain information from the Records Office, census returns, military / navy records, probate records, land and property (titles), Church records, naturalization records, court and inquest records, shipping records (overseas and inwards), newspapers (state or local library), history groups.

Visit family history groups and museums to get an understanding of their daily lives and the hardships your family endured. Visiting cemeteries and the reading the headstones can give you lots of information.

Our group exchanges newsletters with other groups and can share the pitfalls of sending for information and that feeling of hitting the brick wall.

Information that may be found on Certificates.

Birth Certificates: name of person; name of father, his age, birthplace, and previous issue; name of mother her age, maiden name birthplace; place and date; married, place and date; occupation.

Marriage Certificates: date and place of marriage; ages and birthplace; parents of the bride; parents of the groom.

Death Certificates: name and date of death; place of death; occupation; sex and age; place of birth, time in Australia; father's name, his occupation; mother's name, place of marriage; ages at marriage; name of spouse; children of marriage, informants name, ages of children; cause of death; length of illness, medical attendant, minister and religion, undertaker; witnesses; where registered.

Compare this information against other records you may have.

Writing your story

Ancestor Profile

You may wish to write a story of your ancestor. These guidelines may be of assistance to you.

Include basic information, example. Name, date, and place of birth, parent's names and dates of birth.
What schooling did they have?
If born elsewhere, when and how did they get to Australia?
Where did they live at various stages throughout their life?
What job / occupation did they have?
Who, when and where did they marry?
Names and birth dates of issues.
Were they known for anything (for example, first white child born in the area, won the school spelling bee three years running, played lead in role in school pageant, politician, actor, most children or noted for lots of marriages.
When did they die?
Is there anything you want / need to know about them, that maybe someone that could help you.

Members Profile

Use these guidelines to begin writing about your own family.

How did you get into researching your family's history?
How far back have you gone?
In what counties are you searching?
What is the most interesting fact you have uncovered?
Do you plan to put a book together with all your research?
Have you already written a book? Do we have a copy in our library?
If you have already had a book published, how did you go about doing this (briefly)?
How are you storing your information? What filing system are you using?
What sort of family tree/pedigree chart do you use?
Who is in the oldest photo you have? What is the occasion?
What sort of unusual certificates / documents have come into your possession?
Apart form the usual BDM, IGI, CSV, etc. records, where have you researched.
Have you organized a reunion? Have you attended any reunions? How did they go?
Have you been able to solve a puzzle using a process that might be of interest to others? if so, what?
Have you hit the proverbial brick wall? Do you need help with something? (Is it something you would like include under Can You Help? that could go in our Up Date sent out to members.)