The British Empire & Commonwealth

The British Empire and Commonwealth was a huge geographical area encompassing much of the world and spreading over most continents. Links are requested and can be submitted by email.

National Library of Australia: Find and get over 348,470,596 Australian and online resources: books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music, archives and more.
Founders and Survivors: is a partnership between historians, genealogists, demographers and population health researchers. It seeks to record and study the founding population of 73,000 men women and children who were transported to Tasmania. Many survived their convict experience and went on to help build a new society. [thanks to John for this]
In 1891 a group of women went around Melbourne and Victoria getting signatures for a petition to present to the Parliament of Victoria saying women should have the vote. Names and addresses can be researched on line for free and copies of signatures downloaded for free. The site is here. [thanks to Keira for this]
National Archives of Australia:  includes scans of documents and if the catalogue items are not yet accessible you can ask them to be released.
NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages. This covers Sydney and the state of New South Wales and is an excellent site for research.
NSW State Records includes indexes of immigration/assisted immigration, probate, convicts, divorce, insolvency and heaps more.
Queensland State Records includes Birth, Marriage and Death records from 1829-1914 for the state of Queensland.
Australian War Memorial, includes a biographical online database of Australian Service personnel which often includes dates and places of birth, next of kin etc.
A comprehensive list of Australian Cemeteries, a substantial number of which have online databases and/or lookups (though some require a fee).
"The Ryerson Index" is an index of death and funeral notices with free lookups available for some of the papers indexed.
Details of headstones from a number of cemeteries in regional NSW, many including photographs.


The 1881 census of Canada is available through the LDS at family search.
Canadian soldiers of the First World War.
Montreal street directories 1842-1999.
Among the newer databases at the Canadian Genealogy Centre it the following. The Likacheff-Ragosine-Mathers collection (LI-RA-MA) contains documents created between 1898 and 1922 by the consular offices of the Russian Empire in Canada. The series on passports and identity papers is comprised of about 11,400 files on Jewish, Ukrainian and Finnish immigrants who came to Canada from the Russian Empire. The series includes passport applications and questionnaires containing general information. Nearly half the database is now available online, with the rest to be added shortly. It might prove useful if you have any relatives who went directly to Canada as information was provided to Russian officials.  This includes the original spelling of family and place names that could help those trying to find their ancestors point of origin.

The Caribbean:

India Office Family History Search Use the India Office website to search:
300,000 births, baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials in the India Office Records;
Biographical notes for a variety of sources;
For mainly British and European people in India c.1600-1949;
For people in other countries connected with the history of the British in India.

New Zealand:
Papers Past: Papers Past contains more than two million pages of digitised New Zealand newspapers and periodicals. The collection covers the years 1839 to 1945 and includes 80 publications from all regions of New Zealand.
Shipping lists are held at Archives New Zealand if you do a search on their finding aid, Archway, you find the information about them. Unfortunately however, they're not digitised. You can ask for the information via their remote reference service. [thanks to Gillian for letting us know about this]

South Africa:
National Archives of South Africa.
Jewishgen hosts an excellent SIG or discussion group: Email [Thanks Miriam for reminding me about this]

Copyright by Sherry Landa & British-Jewry. All rights reserved.
This document last modified Wednesday, 11-Apr-2018 14:35:12 BST

See More:

Prisoners of the First World War A searchable archive of prisoners who were British (including the Commonwealth).