This guide was last updated in 2009

Unlike England and Wales, Australia is a federation of six states and two territories.

The states are New South Wales (NSW), Victoria (VIC), Queensland (QLD), South Australia (SA), Tasmania (TAS) and Western Australia (WA).

The territories are the Northern Territory (NT) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Consequently, each state or territory has different regulations concerning its record-keeping, and while most areas may have similar records, there are few national records available to the researcher.

It is therefore very important to have some idea of whereabouts in Australia your family were based so that the appropriate state’s records can be consulted. Each state will have an archive office and a state library that form, between them, the major repositories of family history information.

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