Finding Family

One woman's obsession with family history.

With my boss knowing that he’d be away for over a week, he suggested that I also have a few days off from work.  Normally the one to shy away from annual leave (unless it’s for a designated holiday), my reluctance soon evaporated as I thought to myself “I could visit the State Records Office”.  I have holidays…and I’m choosing to search for historical records.  It was then that I wondered whether my obsession was going too far…..naaah.

For first time visitors the location of the State Records Office (SRO) may seem like a great mystery (well, it seemed that way to me).  During my first visit I had no clue where it was and so assumed it was in the State Library.  It was there that the lovely staff advised me that I had come to the wrong place.  If you’re heading from the Perth Train Station towards the Library, before walking into the library, head left and you’ll see another set of doors and these doors are the entrance to the SRO.

The SRO is responsible for holding, maintaining and preserving the records relating to Western Australia.  They also provide public access to these records which can first be searched via their online database.  A record may be viewed by either visiting the SRO during their opening hours or, for after hours, arranging for a particular document to be sent to the State Library.  Examples of the records held include:

  • Aboriginal Records
  • Births, Deaths & Marriages
  • Court Records
  • Convict Records
  • Police Records
  • Passenger Lists & Immigration Records
  • Prison & Gaol Records

All you have to do is search!  My last visit mainly involved searching through Probate and Administrative records and it was in these records that I found death certificates, wills and other court related documents.  Thanks to documents such as these I was finally able to solve the mystery surrounding Hugh James Theakston‘s death.

Soon I will once again pay a visit to the SRO and my fingers (and toes!) are crossed that my earlier success will be repeated.

Happy searching!

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