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Occupations in Australia

CoraWeb - helping you trace your family history 

                                    Need help with your Occupational Research? See my book Occupational Records in Australia. 
Colonial Occupations An alphabetical index from the Old Farmer's Almanac.

Genealogy Quest - Alphabetical List of Occupations .  

Old Occupation Names This collection is on the Hall Genealogy website.

Scottish Occupations This site lists and describes 500+ unusual occupations, jobs and work found on 17th, 18th, 19th and early 20th century records, census returns, and gravestone inscriptions in Scotland.

The Luyken Collection This Collection contains engravings from Dutch artist Jan Luyken and illustrates trades from the late 17th century. Each picture has a moralistic verse with it (in Dutch).

Australian Dictionary of Biography Online This site features 12,000+ biographies of significant Australians who died before 1980. This site offers an Advanced Search by occupation.

Professions and Occupations: A select list of records This can be found on State Records New South Wales - Short Guide No 10.

Society of Australian Genealogists - Research Guides  The Occupations, trades and apprenticeships guide offers an overview plus information on trade and professional directories, old occupations and terms plus details of records in Britain. Updated

Design & Art Australia Online This ongoing site currently has 7370+ biographies online plus contextual information, commentary and images.

LINC Tasmania The online indexes include:

• Artists index cards (1845-1992). This is a digitised version of the card index (handwritten and typed) of Tasmanian visual artists (not including craftspeople) represented in one-person and group exhibitions of which catalogues (some of which remain uncatalogued) are held in the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office collection.

Brass Bands
Name Index to some members of Brass Bands in Victoria from 1890 This index is on the Family Treasures site. Lists surname, given name, year, date, band name, position and notes. Also details the musical history of Hilda Tansey (1901-1975) Australia's first lady brass band conductor in Sydney and the Trocadero's All Girls Band.

State Records New South Wales - Index to Registers of Firms 1903-1922  This index, compiled from the Registers of Firms under the Registration of Firms Act of 1902, 1903-1922, lists name of firm, nature of business, place of business, date of registration and persons carrying on business. In some cases only the name of individuals operating the firm and the firm's name may be located. This is an ongoing project with more material to be added. 

Australian Society of Archivists - Guide to Australian Business Records This gateway to Australian Business Heritage can be browsed alphabetically.

The University of Melbourne Archives  This business collection consists of records of businesses and the personal papers of businessmen and women covering 150 years of Victorian history. The collections are particularly strong in mining and metals treatment and in manufacturing but cover a rich diversity f other businesses such as architecture and building, law, primary industry, publishing and transport. This site has an online list of over 220 companies with details of the company records.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission This site offers searches of the National Names Index which is an index of Australian corporate and registered business names. A search returns the company registration number (ABN, ACN, ARBN); current status (registered or deregistered); the town or suburb of the registered office and a complete list of documents lodged by the company since 1 January 1991.

Queensland State Archives - Companies Index 1863-1959 This index relates to company files for companies which are no longer in existence. The documents held in these files include Memorandum and Articles of Association; lists of shareholders; share capital and office holders; and other documents related to the striking off of the company.

Circus-Folk Genealogy Resource Page This US gateway site offers links to a variety of sites.

Australian Travelling Entertainers This emerging site by Mark St Leon is dedicated to Australia's circus history and to travelling entertainers.

Civil Servants
Commonwealth Public Service Seniority List 1956 This list can be found on ACT Records by Ann Gugler. Also includes a list of house construction for Public Servants and the allocation of these houses 1927. Other occupational lists are also available.

Queensland State Archives - Index to Civil Servants, Queensland 1865-1867  This index lists name, position and birth date.

Victorian Public Service Board Return for 1884 A site by the Dead Persons'Society Melbourne.   

AustraliaDancing This site is a directory of resources to current and historical information about dance in Australia. The directory is arranged by People, Companies, Performances and Oral Histories. This site is now part of Trove. 

Queensland State Archives - Dental Board 1903-1932 These three indexes are compiled from records created by the Home Secretary’s Office which recorded the activities of the dental profession in Queensland. There are indexes to Dentists, 1903-1932; to the Dental Board, 1910-1932 and to Dentist’s Apprentices, 1903-1925.

Australian Medical Pioneers Index This site features a database of over 3,000 pioneer doctors 1700s-1875. It lists doctors who were registered or qualified in Australia, were resident in Australia, or visited here in a professional capacity, before 1875. Ships' surgeons, convict doctors, general practitioners and medical specialists are included. The amount of information given varies but all historical references are listed.

Photographs of Doctors (1889-1927) This set of records list those who applied for registration as medical practitioners in New South Wales. A sample selection is available on State Records New South Wales - Photo Investigator. 

History of Australian Theatre This site has articles about theatre history, short biographies from newspapers, autographs , historic pictures of theatres and performers and links to other websites. The online database includes 18,500+ performers, managers, musicians, behind the scenes personnel, and others associated with the Australian theatre covering the years 1850-1960. There is also information about Houdini's Tour of Australia and Australian Magic History.

The Australian Variety Theatre Archive: Popular Culture Entertainment 1850-1930. This site is devoted to the period of theatrical activity in Australia that might be considered the “golden years” of minstrelsy and vaudeville. There are two indexes available to facilitate searching:
• Index 1: People - Practitioners, Entrepreneurs, Stage Characters, Troupes/Companies etc.
• Index 2: Miscellaneous - Theatres/Venues, Organisations, Genres and Industry/Media etc.
These then link to any online biographies or other material. The following genres are covered: Burlesque, Minstrelsy (including minstrels farces), Vaudeville, Revue
 Revusical (one act musical comedies) and Pantomime. New

Gold Diggers
Hill End & Tambaroora Gathering Group. Hill End & Tambaroora were important gold mining towns in the Central West of New South Wales, closely associated with the Turon and Macquarie Rivers. The site has maps to find out where Hill End & Tambaroora are in relation to Bathurst, Orange, Mudgee and Sofala. Other gold mining towns within the region are Hargraves (Louisa Creek), Avisford, Chambers Creek, Pyramul, Palmers Oakey, Sallys Flat, Wattle Flat, Burrendong and Stuart Town. The online databases include 1891 NSW Census, Electoral Rolls, Mines and Claims on Hawkins Hill (to come), Petitions, Book indexes and Hill End WW1 Honour Roll. New

Family History South Australia - Gold Diggers from South Australia 1852-1853 . A searchable database of gold diggers who brought or sent their gold home from the Victorian goldfields. It includes those who deposited gold at the SA Gold Assay Office in February 1852, the consignors and consignees associated with the first three mounted police escorts, and those who lost their receipts or failed to claim their gold by 29 October 1853.

Goldminers of New Zealand 1861-1868 This site, by Kae Lewis, has a searchable database to 20,000+ gold-miners. Many of these gold miners came for a short time from Australia.

Horse Racing
Champions - Australian Racing Museum and Hall of Fame A great site for information about the horse racing industry in Australia. The Hall of Fame offers access to biographies for jockeys, horses, associates and trainers.

Queensland State Archives - Index to Justices of the Peace 1857-1910 Justices of the Peace are required to sign an oath of allegiance prior to carrying out any duties as Justices. The oaths have been numbered and bound into volumes and this index will allow easy access to the documents. The index lists name, date and QSA references. Copies of the documents are available from QSA for a fee.

New South Wales Law Almanacs 1886 to 2008 Online There is a site search engine which searches across the collection or individual Almanacs can be downloaded as PDF files. Note that the Almanac was not published in 2002.

State Library of Victoria - Research Guides - Magic & Magicians This guide is designed to help you find out about magic, magicians and conjuring using magic resources from the W G Alma Conjuring Collection held by the State Library of Victoria and other sources.

Victorian Mining Accident Index This index by Dave Evans lists the names and some details of over 5600 Victorian miners who were killed or injured in mining accidents in Victoria early 1850s to 1940s.

State Library of Queensland - Index of Miners involved in Queensland Mining Accidents 1882 to 1900  This index is compiled from mining accidents that were listed annually in the Queensland Legislative Assembly Votes & Proceedings. It is arranged alphabetically by surname and lists name, date, district, name of mine, remarks (details of accident or death) and source. For access use OneSearch - the Library catalogue and search for Index of Miners .

Queensland State Archives - Online Index to Mineral Leases, Queensland 1871-1940 This alphabetical index lists name and references to the source documents. The source documents relate mainly to the printed lease documents which have identifying information filled in by hand. Samples of these documents are available on this site.

Australian Mining History Association This site contains an extensive Bibliography of the Mining History of Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea compiled by Mel Davies, University of Western Australia, 2002 with additional material to 2010. This bibliography is arranged geographically. There is also a useful links page.

The Coal Mining History Resource Centre This comprehensive site covers the history of coalmining in the UK. It includes a glossary of mining terms, photographs, maps and much more. The searchable National Database of Mining Deaths in Great Britain by Ian Winstanley contains over 164,000 names. 

Mining History Network This site includes Mining History Bibliographies for Britain, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Japan plus others. There is also an extensive list of mining links.

The Mundus Gateway This is a web-based guide to more than four hundred collections of overseas missionary materials held in the United Kingdom. These materials, comprising the archives of British missionary societies, collections of personal papers, printed matter, photographs, other visual materials and artefacts, are held in a large number of libraries, record offices and other institutions in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. 

Religious Orders of Australia This site contains information on Nuns within Australia and New Zealand. Information given varies and can include burial details, biographical details and photographs if available.  Information is arranged by state and then by religious order.  A site search engine is available.

Women of Vision. An Index and History of Nuns and Sisters of the Catholic Church in Australia (1838-1918). This site has a database of over 14,000 entries contributed by more than fifty religious orders or congregations. There is also histories of these orders and congregations. Updated

Nurses who Died During or as a Result of War Service since the Boer War This list compiled by Phyllis Wilson.

Brave Women This web site is dedicated to the nurses who served in the South Pacific area. It features personal narratives of nurses (both military and civilian) imprisoned by the Japanese forces of occupation during WW2, as well as information on Australian nurses' involvement in the Vietnam conflict. 

Midwives Database This database is on Noeline Kyle's Writing Family History site. This database covers New South Wales North Coast Midwives and their Hospitals 1890s - 1940. It covers Armidale/Uralla, Ballina, Alstonville,Broadwater, Bangalow, Byron Bay, Nimbin, Bellingen, Dorrigo/Guy Fawkes, Brunswick Heads, Mullumbimby, Casino and surrounding areas, Coffs Harbour/Urunga, Kempsey, Smithtown, South West Rocks, Port Macquarie, Kyogle and surrounding areas, Lismore and surrounding areas, Macksville, Maclean, Ulmarra, and Murwillumbah/Tweed.

Marcel Safier's Homepage. This site includes details of early photographers of southern Queensland; 19th century photographers of Victoria including 19th century photographers of Geelong. There are details of 19th century card photographs in Australia & New Zealand and gem and carte de visite tintypes plus other relevant information.

Photohistory SA  A site dedicated to the history of South Australian photography from 1845 to around 1915 by R J Noye. Includes information on all aspects of photography including photographers, camera clubs, magic lantern, hand colouring, daguerreotypes and much more.

Finding Photographers This site offers a worldwide index of books and websites, including Australian, that list photographers and when they worked.

Geelong & District Photographers This alphabetical list, by Susie Zada, records photographer, studio, location, dates, notes and links where available.

Photographers of Great Britain & Ireland 1840-1940  This site records the names and addresses of tens of thousands of photographers. There are pictures of over 5,000 named sitters who could be your ancestors plus information on census and other internet based research into photographers.  

Physics in Australia to 1945 A bibliography and biographical register of over 400 Australian physicists.

Indexes for researching Police History in Australia on the Genseek Genealogy site by Jenny Fawcett. 

State Records New South Wales - Police Service Registers 1857-1913  A search of this index returns service number, names, date of birth, native of, date appointed, references and remarks. The registers, held by SRNSW on reel 3043, include registered number; name; mounted or foot; age; height; colour eyes/hair; native place; marital status; calling; religion; general appearance; district; date of appointment to each rank; date of leaving force and cause. 

South Australian Police by 1838 to 1920 by Maureen M Leadbeater The Province of South Australia's Police Force was founded in April 1838. This searchable database of more than 2,800 police who had left the force by 1920 includes Northern Territory police until taken over by the Commonwealth Government in 1911, and gold escort troopers. The search results may include brief biographical notes and dates of joining and departing. Source details are given.

South Australian District Constables 1853 to 1920 by Maureen M Leadbeater District Constables were special constables appointed by South Australian District Councils and sworn in for a 12 month term to maintain the law and protect life and property in rural districts where there were insufficient officers of the Police Force. In 1861 the Municipal Corporations Act authorized District Constables in city districts. District Constables were not members of the Police Force. This database contains more than 9,000 district constables appointed 1853-1920.

South Australia Police Historical Society This site has information on the Foot Police, Mounted Police, Gold Escorts and Women Police. There is a list of Commissioners of Police (1838-1997) which includes a brief biography and photograph. A selection of photographs, including the various uniforms, is available online.

State Records of South Australia Offers online name searching of selected records using the collection search engine, ArchivesSearch. Records available for police officers include the defaulter and good conduct book (Mounted Police) 1838-1858.

History of the Victorian Police Force from 1836  This includes a Victoria Police Timeline (1859-1987) and relevant links on theTall Trees Family History site by Carolyn Harris. 

State Library of Western Australia - Police Gazette of Western Australia 1876-1900 Information can be found under various headings and includes police appointments, dismissals, discharges, promotions, resignations and transfers.

Parliament of Australia   The current parliamentary handbook, part 6 contains Historical information on the Australian Parliament. This includes information dating from 1901 with detailed lists of senators, members and other personnel.

Parliament of New South Wales This site lists the Parliamentary service history and biographical details of all current and former Members of the Parliament since the first Legislative Council was constituted in 1824. There are over 2000 former members listed.

Parliament of Tasmania This site includes a list of Parliamentary Historical Resources which includes lists of and often photographs of House of Assembly Clerks 1856 to date; Leaders of the Government - Upper House; Legislative Council Clerks 1826 to date; Photographs of Parliament 1856 to date Premiers 1856 to date; Presidents 1856 to date; Tasmanian Labor Party Leaders 1901 to date; Tasmanian Liberal Party Leaders 1945 to date; Tasmanian Green Leaders and Women Parliamentarians.

Re-member A database of all Victorian MPs since 1851. This site is fully searchable or can be browsed alphabetically. Details such as when and where born and died, parents, marriage, occupation, religion, education, career and party are given plus details of political career. Photographs are also included.

State Records New South Wales - Index to Publicans' Licences 1830-1861  This ongoing index contains 20,000 entries with a further four volumes to index. A search returns surname, first name, hotel, locality, year day month, license number, SRNSW references and remarks.

Hotels and Publicans Licences (Western NSW) This index 1865-1900, by Rusheen Craig, includes Balranald, Bourke, Brewarrina, Broken Hill, Cobar, Hay, Nyngan, Walgett, Wentworth and Wilcannia. Part of Central NSW 1865-1870 has been indexed and includes Albury, Carcoar, Corowa, Cowra, Deniliquin, Dubbo, Forbes, Molong, Wagga Wagga, Warren and Wellington. Information is arranged alphabetically by hotel name and includes details of licensees some entries include further information and photographs. 

History of Mackay Hotels (QLD) A site by the Mackay Historical Society and Museum. There is also a biographical register of publicans/hotel keepers from the Mackay area. 

Public Record Office Victoria - Index to Treasurer's Correspondence Regarding to Publicans (1838-1855)  This details publicans' names, hotel names, hotel addresses, and the names of persons to whom hotels were transferred (if applicable).

State Library of Victoria - Cole-Tetlow Index An index to 21,000+ names of hotel licencees taken from the Melbourne city and metropolitan volumes of the Robert K Cole collection of hotel records held at the State Library of Victoria.

Quarry Workers
Stone Quarries and Beyond This international site, by Peggy B Perazzo, has a massive amount of information focusing on quarries, quarry workers, stone cutters, stone carvers, historical dealers of stone, stone dealers and stone products. Includes an extensive A-Z online bibliography which includes publications relating to quarries in Australia.

Railway Workers
International Railway Link by  This links site lists over 10,320+ railway related sites. 

The Commissioner's Office is a Gateway to Australian Railway sites It includes the Link and Pin with access to lists of NSW Government Railway employees for 1872, 1887 1892,and 1902 plus other employee related records. There are also lists of employees who served in the Boer and First World Wars.

New South Wales Railways' Salaried Officers as at 31 December 1887 This alphabetical list shows surname, given name, date of birth, section, position/location, classification/grade, date of first appointment, date of current appointment and present salary.

New South Wales Railway & Tramway Institute List of Members as at 30th November 1897 This list was published in the December 1897 issue of The Railway Budget.

An alphabetical list of NSW Government Railways Staff as at 31 Dec 1902. New South Wales Government Railways Staff Appointments, Transfers & Resignations. These lists are compiled from The Railway Budget which was published from September 1892 to November 1917. This ongoing project currently has September 1892 to December 1899 available for searching.

State Records New South Wales - Online Indexes for Railway Employees Includes an Index to Railway Employment Records which lists entries from the register of salaried officers working for the NSW Government Railways and Tramways 1856-1890 and the personnel register for Darling Harbour 1909-1932. Index to the Railway Supply Detachment lists 65 names from a single photo (No 1331) now held by SRNSW. A search of the Index to the Nominal Roll of the First Railway Section, (AIF) 1917-1920  returns surname, other names, age, address, date of joining and references. Index to NSW Government Railways and Tramways Roll of Honour 1914-1919 lists those employees (1214) who lost their lives as a result of their service in the First World War. 

Encyclopedia of Australian Science This gateway to the history of Australian science, technology, engineering & medicine brings together Bright Sparcs and Australian Science at Work to form a register of the people and the many industries, corporations, research institutions, scientific societies and other organisations that have contributed to Australia's scientific, technological and medical heritage, with references to their archival materials and a bibliography of their historical published literature. You can search the site or browse by people, organisations, archives or publications. Updated  

Soft Drink Manufacturers
List of all known Aerated water/cordial/softdrink manufacturers.  This list, by the Mackay Historical Society and Museum, covers the Mackay and districts since first settlement  The history, photographs of bottles and labels and caps for each manufacturer are also included.

State Records New South Wales – Index to Teachers' rolls, 1869-1908. The Teachers' rolls provide a service record for each teacher and include date of birth, examination results, appointments, promotions and date of resignation.  A photocopy service  is available from this index for a fee. New

Queensland State Archives -Index to Teachers, Queensland, 1860-1904 This index lists name and references.

Service histories of SA State Teachers 1852-1960 This online database, by Brian Condon, is searchable by name or can be browsed alphabetically. Teachers can also be listed by school or service year. The search results can include date of birth, date appointed school, inspector's comments and other details.

Public Record Office Victoria - Online Resources These include indexes to Teacher Examination Papers (1863-1872) and Teacher Record Books (1863-1959). Digitised records include Inward and Outward Correspondence, Board of Education (1849-1851); Index to Special Case Files, Education Department (1862-1977) and Register of Special Case Files, Education Department, (1852-1977).

Murwillumbah Area School Photograph Collection. This site features a collection of school photographs from the Murwillumbah area of Northern New South Wales. The names of students and teachers are shown if known.The photos date from 1890s to 1962. Each year more photographs will be added as copyright expires. Schools (many now closed) include public schools at: Blunobia, Bray's Creek, Byangum, Byrrill Creek, Carool, Chillingham, Doon Doon, Dum Dum, Dungay, Eungella, Fingal, Kunghur, Limpinwood, Midginbil, Mt. Burrell, Murwillumbah South (infants school), Nobby's Creek, Numinbah, Pumpenbil, Rowland's Creek, Terragon, Tumbulgum, Tyalgum Creek, Tyalgum, Uki and Uki convent school. New

Queensland State Archives - Index to Coloured Labour and Asiatic Aliens in Queensland 1913 This index contains the names of non-British subjects who lived in various Queensland Police Districts including Townsville, Normanton, Roma, Rockhampton and Toowoomba. The index lists family name, given names, birthplace, naturalized, age, occupation, year of arrival in Qld, residence, police district and police subdistrict.

Pylon Lookout - Sydney Harbour Bridge. If you have any family who were involved with the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge this site offers a PDF download of the Sydney Harbour Bridge Workers Honour Roll 1922-1932. The 4th edn, 2012 runs to 74 pages and celebrates the ambition and vision of the bridge builders and their teams of workers including engineers, surveyors, architects, blacksmiths, boilermakers, carpenters, concreters, stonemasons, riggers, crane drivers, painters and day labourers. There are three alphabetical lists of workers with brief biographical details. These lists record those who worked on the bridge in Sydney, the Moruya workers and workers from Kandos, 87 km north of Lithgow where the concrete was made. New

A Celebration of Women Writers This site recognises the contributions of women writers throughout history and aims to promote awareness of the breadth and variety of women's writing. Searches can be made by several categories including name or country. There is a comprehensive listing of Australian authors. 

© Cora Num 1997-2013. Last updated 19 November 2013