The Victorian Archives consist of millions of records created by the Victorian Government since the early days of the Colony. The records relate to all functions of government including the sale and lease of state owned land, education, criminal justice and records created by municipalities - this list is by no means exhaustive.
In case you are wondering how all these records can be used in your own family research, we've put together some information that will help you find get the most out of what the Archives has to offer.
If your ancestors occupied or purchased Crown Land in Victoria, there will be a record of it. The information contained in the various land records can add a lot to your research. The following information can be found in the Archives:
Ever wondered where your ancestors went to school or what there school would have looked like? The answers may lie in the wide variety of school records available at the Archives. Before faster and cheaper modes of transportation existed, the young scholars of Victoria did not travel far for their schooling. This meant that most townships and settlements would have had their own school. For each school that was approved, and even some that weren't, there are records that may contain the following information:
Were your ancestors well behaved? The answer may lie in the archived records of over 250 courts from around Victoria - some dating back to 1836. Details of cases heard in a Court of Petty Sessions are the most common record to be found amongst the various court documents. These details include the date, location and description of an offence, who brought the charges and what the judgement was.
Other types of records that can be found include Exemption Registers for service in the First World War and Licensing Court documents - detailing applications for liquor licenses and gaming licenses.
What street did your ancestor live on? Archived municipal record may hold the answer. Rates Books are a common document found in the archived records of over 350 municipal bodies. These records can be used to locate the residence of an individual or to determine the extent of their land or real estate holdings in the local area.
Other municipal records can include council minutes, ledger books and correspondence.