Adjust Font Size [ + ] [ – ] [ o ]

Victorian Archives Centre public opening hours

Monday to Friday: 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
(excl. public holidays)
The second and last Saturday of every month

Print Friendly

Family History Research

There are many rich sources for family or local history that you can find through Public Record Office Victoria.

You can discover more about the places and people of Victoria through maps, plans, correspondence, photographs, registers, files, rate books, and lots of other types of State archives.

The most commonly used records for family history research are listed below:


  • Indexes to births, deaths and marriages -These database indexes are available on the public access computers in PROV’s reading rooms.
  • Passenger lists: arrivals at Victorian ports – PROV holds passenger lists for voyages to and from Victoria from 1839 to 1923.  Copies of the lists are available on microfiche and microfilm in PROV reading rooms at the Victorian Archives Centre and the Ballarat Archives Centre and do not have to be ordered.
  • Wills and probate – PROV holds wills and probate records created from 1841.
  • Inquests and reports of Coronial investigations – PROV holds records for inquests and other coronial investigations held in Victoria from 1840 – 1985.
  • Land and properties – records that document the administration of Crown lands in Victoria, such as land selection and occupation, crown reserves, pastoral runs and survey records.
  • Civil and criminal justice records created by courts, prisons and other agencies of the justice system.
  • Education and teacher records – PROV holds a wealth of records created by the Victorian Education Department and by individual schools.
  • Mental health -PROV holds extensive records from many of the institutions which have provided some form of care or control over people with a mental illness and people with an intellectual disability.

Read Lucy’s story to understand how you can use public records to build your family tree.

Start your research by using one of our guides below.

PROVguide 51: Family History Research

PROVguide 65: Aboriginal Records


Connect with us:
Follow us @PRO_Vic

Like us @PublicRecordOfficeVictoria




 Family Research Guide


This exhibition is intended as an educational tool for new family researchers.
This exhibition is intended as an educational tool for new family researchers.