Friday, January 1, 2016

Treasures in TROVE: An A-Z of 24 examples

If you've ever wondered what types of family history information you'll find on TROVE newspapers, here are 24 examples.


As they are today, tragic accidents were often reported in the newspaper preceding an ancestor's death. Sometimes, these are also followed up by coroner's inquiries.

Sydney Morning Herald
Friday 29 March 1929, page 10


Bankruptcy cases were often recorded in the newspapers of the day.

Sydney Morning Herald
Thursday 9 October 1890, page 7

Bicycle rides

Sometimes you may find that your ancestors were involved in some amazing sporting achievements.

The Bourke Banner
18 January 1899

Bourke Banner
4 January 1899


These records can also reveal the child's full name, birthdate and birth location, as well as parents' names and addresses, and other siblings' names.

Sydney Morning Herald
Saturday 7 May 1932, page 12

Company advertisements

An advertisement for an old company my grandfather and great-uncle worked for in the 1930s.

Sydney Morning Herald
Wednesday 8 November 1933, page 4

Controversial coroner cases

Reports of court cases in the newspapers often provide clues about where to follow up other records, who was involved in the case, where it occurred and was tried and the outcomes of the case or inquiry.

Sydney Morning Herald
Tuesday 5 May 1903, page 7


The crime itself, as well as follow up court cases, can be found in newspapers across the country. Often a crime committed in one place was reported in multiple other locations in various other newspapers across the country. Generally, the more scandalous or the more violent crimes were reported in more widely in newspapers across the state and the country.

Bathurst Free Press
Saturday 22 February 1851, page 4

Death notices

Plenty of family history information can be gleaned from death notices including the full name of the deceased, location of death, deceased person's address, family members' names, recent employment and the age of the deceased.

Sydney Morning Herald
Tuesday 21 September 1926, page 10


When divorces are reported, other information can also be included such as marriage date and location, reason for divorce and laywers' names.

Sydney Morning Herald
Saturday 8 May 1937, page 10

Sydney Morning Herald
Wednesday 24 November 1937, page 10

Family reunions

Articles about family reunions are especially valuable as they often contain photographs with captions.

The Sun
Tuesday 7 Mary 1935


Fires and other events that occurred during the time of your ancestors' lives can be researched.

Gilgandra Weekly
Thursday 7 February 1929, page 4

Football games

Often these reports will also include information about spectators, coaches, team members' names and weather.
The Western Herald
Wednesday 29 August 1900, page 2

Funeral notices

Plenty of family history information can be gleaned from funeral notices including names of family members and friends, the address of the deceased, the time of the funeral, location of cemetery and the funeral company.

Sydney Morning Herald
Tuesday 21 October 1913, page 8

Lost and found

Sometimes your ancestors may have found a lost item, and advertised it in the local paper.

Sydney Morning Herald
Friday 30 December 1932, Page 1


Marriage notices can provide information about dates, names of the bride and groom, location of wedding, minister at the wedding, number of siblings of the bride and groom, and parents of the bride and groom and their locations.

Sydney Morning Herald
Saturday 22 May 1937, page 16


In the years following a death of a loved one, family members would sometimes publish memorials to their lost loved ones.

Sydney Morning Herald
Thursday 25 July 1907

Sydney Morning Herald
Thursday 10 May 1928, page 10


This obituary of one of my ancestors gave me a lot of information about his life, including his name, death date, death location, previous residence, age (although his age information was incorrect).

Cootamundra Herald
Friday 9 April 1943, page 2

Parties and family celebrations

Reports of family celebrations, such as anniversaries and major birthday parties, can provide a wealth of information about the person, their family and friends.

Western Herald
Wednesday 12 May 1926, page 2

Photographic studio information

If you have old photographs that have information on them about photographic studios, these studios were often advertised in newspapers of the day.

Sydney Morning Herald,
Saturday 21 Dec 1901

Probate notices

These reports provide death date and location information, as well as details about a will or lack of a will.

Sydney Morning Herald
Saturday 17 August 1929, page 21

Publican licences

This information can help locate your ancestors' residences and places of work, especially if they moved around a lot.

Sydney Morning Herald
Friday 16 June 1922, page 6

Bathurst Free Press
Saturday 17 August 1850, page 1

Shipping information

Looking up the ship that carried your ancestors to Australia can help you to find out a huge amount of contextual information about the ship itself and its passengers.

Sydney Morning Herald
Tuesday 16 March 1880, page 8

Thank you messages

Family members would sometimes publish thank you messages to those who attended family events such as funerals and weddings.

Sydney Morning Herald
Saturday 4 August 1906, page 10


When family members returned to visit towns where they had been born or lived for some time, their return was often published in the local newspaper.

The Western Herald
Friday 27 June 1947 page 1

Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representative
Thursday 8 February 1934, page 2

If you'd like to find out more tips about using TROVE, check our Barbara's Kernos' blogpost Free E book - Getting the most out of Trove from Wednesday, August 5, 2015. On her blogpost, you'll find a link to her great free book called "Getting the most out of TROVE for genealogy" (2015) by Barbara Kernos from the Genealogy Boomerangs blog.

Also, Episode 45 of the Genies Down Under podcast has all sorts of ideas and tips for using TROVE for family history: TROVE stuff for genies: Delving into the treasures of one of our best Australian family history resources (July 2015). Also see the Shownotes for Episode 45.

Have you discovered any family history treasures using TROVE newspapers?

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