Finding Family

One woman's obsession with family history. 

I love, love, love this website!  Since starting this blog it has always been a part of my Holy Grail links (see right) however my relationship with it originally started out as indifference.  I found some articles but there was not a lot to get excited about. 

Recently this has all changed.  I’m not sure whether the National Library of Australia (NLA) has been continually adding more newspaper editions or whether I’ve somehow changed my previous searching techniques (perhaps it’s both) but this website (and the newspapers within) are continually yielding more and more results.  

A letter from my Grandma’s sister with a hint of a memory and the smallest of clues led me to search the NLA Australian Newspapers website and, voila!,  I found the following eulogy on George Mather (my Great x 3 Grandfather) almost immediately (The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA: 1889-1931); Wednesday, 17 February 1904; Page 6)

George Mather - The Oldest Publican in the State

Some of these articles give me information about the person and how they lived while others such as the one below show the grief of a family and highlight how much a loved one is missed (The West Australian (Perth, WA: 1879-1954); Monday, 6 November 1922; Page 1). 

In memoriam pieces placed in The West Australian by the children of Emily Theakston.

They report on the happy times in a family’s life (The West Australian (Perth, WA: 1879-1954); Thursday, 21 April 1910, Page 6)… 

Description of the wedding between Ivy Theakston and Herbert Liverton.

…as well as the sad times that occur as a result of great world events.  The following pieces were placed in The West Australian by the family of Jack Cochrane and Ted Neale who were both killed in France during World War I (The West Australian (Perth, WA: 1879-1954); Friday, 5 July 1918; Page 1). 

In memoriam pieces placed in The West Australian by the family of Jack Cochrane and Ted Neale.

The online newspapers are a fantastic resource not only for family history researchers but for anyone who is interested in finding historic information.  Not all the editions are online however if you can’t find what you’re after (and are desperate for some clues) please visit your State Library as they should have copies of various newspapers. 

Just as a final note, despite hating today’s ads, I find the ones in historic newspapers to be absolutely fascinating!  I had a quick search and have managed to gather a few interesting ads from a time when things were done a little differently. 

"Please your guests with Arnott's Scotch Shortbread Fingers"

"Citroen - Runs at a fraction of one penny per mile"

Fancy a new bike?

Before they knew any better - build your home out of asbestos.

2 thoughts on “National Library of Australia – Australian Newspapers

  1. Hi jessb3
    I’m thrilled to hear that the Australian Newspapers Service is proving to be a great resource for you. We here at the National Library are working hard to ensure new content is being added daily. Currently we have just over 2 million pages consisting of 22 million articles available in the Service. Our objective is to double this amount over the next 12 months and we have a target of 4 million pages (40 million articles) by end of June 2011. As we have now completed the selected capital city dailies you will start to see some smaller regional titles coming on line – for example – Australian Town and Country Journal; Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal; The Sydney Monitor. The full list of just over 100 titles we are working on is available from

    Kind regards

    Cathy Pilgrim
    Director, Digitisation and Photography Branch
    National Library of Australia

    1. jessb3 says:

      Hi Cathy,

      Thanks for reading and for commenting! As I said I love this website and it’s fantastic to hear that more newspapers will be added to the collection. With new editions constantly being added, I’m going to have to make sure I continually search for my relatives. 🙂

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