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DNA & Genealogy

Researching your Italian Family in Australia

Due to the political and economic turmoil in Italy after WWII, thousands of Italians migrated to Australia to find work and a new home for their families. In Australia’s 2011 census, over 916,000 persons identified themselves as having Italian ancestry. Some families may have lost touch during and after migration, as siblings and other relatives ended up in different parts of different countries.

Mary Tedesco of ORIGINS ITALY kindly invited me to write a guest article on researching Italian immigrants who came to Australia, as a guide for her Italian-American readers in researching their extended families. It is also an ideal starting point for Australians wanting to research their Italian ancestry.

Header from Il Giornale Italiano newspaper


National genealogy resources

Italian Genealogy Research in Australia – Part 1, my guest article on ORIGINS ITALY, focuses on two key national resources – the National Archives of Australia’s RecordSearch and the National Library of Australia’s Trove – and includes links and some handy tips for optimising your use of their sites.


The snippets below were found using the above resources:


Some general resources on Italian-Australian immigration include:


State-based genealogy resources

Italian Genealogy Research in Australia – Part 2, the second part of my guest article on ORIGINS ITALY, provides suggested strategies for further research of your Italian relatives or their descendants in Australia, and includes links to the major state-based information resources and indexes online, including state BDM registries, archives and libraries.

The range and coverage of indexes and available documents varies considerably by state, but may include BDM indexes and certificates, wills and probate, immigration indexes and passenger lists, electoral rolls, land records, educational and occupational indexes, cemetery indexes and monumental inscriptions, photo collections, criminal and convict records, and hospital records.


Search Tips

Giulio del BalzoDon't forget that your search terms are important and can be repeatedly varied to produce different results (eg. surnames, including variations in spelling; maiden names; firstnames; childrens names; place names and variations, including 'Italy', 'Italian', village/town/city/region of birth or residence; occupations; ship name; arrival year; arrival port or state; birth year; immigration scheme names). 

Refer to NAA Search Tips, NLA Trove Search Tips and the help pages for each state site for help on Advanced Searches, wildcards, Boolean searches etc. 

Australia's national and state-based information resources may surprise you and reveal something interesting about your family, help you reconnect with lost family members, or might simply expand your knowledge of available resources for your genealogical pursuits in Australia.

I'd love to hear from you below if you find these resources useful, find something remarkable about your family and would like to share it, or if you would like to add another good source for tracing your Italian relatives in Australia!

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