West Australian Records on Ancestry

By Ms Christine Christine Harris

Electoral Rolls 1903-1980

The Electoral rolls were compiled by each state during election years to determine the number and names of individuals eligible to vote. Information listed in electoral rolls usually includes Number, Name of voter, Gender, Address, Occupation.

Electoral rolls began being compiled for some areas of Australia in the 1840s. At that time only property owners were eligible to vote. In most of the colonies all men were granted voting rights by the 1850s. Half a century later, women were granted voting rights as well.

Non-British subjects were not allowed to vote until the 1940s and aborigines until 1949. Therefore, individuals falling into these two categories are not presently included in this database.

Within each state voters were organized into electoral districts and subdistricts according to where they lived. Electoral rolls were compiled according to these geographical divisions. The boundaries of districts and subdistricts could change throughout the years

Western Australian Crew and Passenger Lists 1852-1930

This is a collection of passenger records compiled from records contained at the State Records Office of Western Australia, the records are of arriving immigrants and emigrants to Western Australian port cities from 1852 to 1930. The majority of records involve arrivals from the Eastern States, but immigrants from overseas are also included.

The earliest passenger lists in Western Australia were held by the Colonial Secretary’s Office and in newspapers. These are contained in the Fremantle Passenger Arrivals record. In 1885, the Western Australia gold rush started and by the first decade of the 1900s the gold mining industry was at its peak in the eastern goldfields of Western Australia. The gold rush brought many more settlers and prospectors to Western Australia, much like earlier rushes had done around Melbourne.

Before Fremantle Harbour was deepened and the limestone bar and sand shoals removed in 1898, Albany was the major port of call for ships arriving from overseas and the Eastern States. During the gold rush, many people arrived in Albany before heading to the goldfields or Perth by train. The two records from Fremantle cover mostly travel from the Eastern States with a few listings of overseas arrivals. Other port cities included in this collection are Albany, Geraldton, Carnarvon, Bunbury, Esperance, and Eucla. The collection also contains overland arrivals at Eucla. Some records list the crew as well as passengers, but most do not.

The records vary, but most contain Port of departure, Port of arrival, Vessel name, Passenger name, Rank, Nationality or origin, Arrival date, Departure date, Destination port.

Rockingham School Records 1830-1970

This collection includes details about students and photographs of student classes and teams from schools around Rockingham, Western Australia.

Rockingham takes its name from the British ship Rockingham, which was driven aground near the present town in a storm in 1830. Farmers began settling in the area in the mid-19th century, while others worked in the timber industry. The township of Rockingham was officially recognized in 1897.

Members of the Family History Society of Rockingham and Districts, Inc., extracted the names in this database from school admission and attendance registers, Education Department files, journals, and other sources. Names include both children and teachers from more than forty schools in the areas of Rockingham, Kwinana, and Serpentine-Jarrahdale.

In addition to the index, this database also includes 163 class and team photographs of children and teachers from the area. Where possible, these photos have been linked to names in the index.

Details extracted for each individual vary but may include the following name, gender, birth date and place, parent or guardian names and occupations, pupil or teacher, dates in school, date left school, position, year.


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