At the moment, one thing I am enthusiastic about researching is Australian online family registers, especially those relating to Australian women’s registers. These women’s registers will allow you to gain access to thousands of published and online records, photographs, and newspapers/journals.
Access the women’s register provides access to:
- Official records relating to women
- Photographs depicting, or of Australian women
- Bodies related to Australian women
- Archives of newspapers, journals, and magazines featuring Australian women
How to search through the women’s register
Searching through the women’s register is generally straightforward to do. For instance, you can search by name, occupation, or anybody that a woman was a member of. Sometimes searching by surnames can a large number of matches, so it may be better to cross-reference, for example, by trading doctors, teachers, or nurses. It would help if you varied now the search is carried out depending on whether the aim is to find out about individual women, the women that worked in specific professions, or women that were part of the same group.
Search via the A to A
As there less than 25,000 items in the women’s register it can be just as useful to search via the A to Z index. For example, searching under C could show you how many women’s cricket clubs there were, and provide information about who played for their teams. Or look under F and find out how many females emigrated to the country and when they arrived in Australia. There is also the ability to search for specific groups like the total of female orphans in Australia during the first 50 years of the 19th century.
Another interesting way of looking through the women’s register is to conduct a search based on themes such as:
- The kind of professions that women worked in / currently work in
- What different Australian women’s groups did, and who were members
- The events that Australian women were involved in, or affected by
- Cultural exhibits and events involving women
- Births and deaths of women in Australian states and territories
- Women in leadership roles
Although the database of the women’s register is relatively small, there is a surprising variety of occupations that Australian women have been involved in. Sometimes these occupations have obscure titles, and at other times the same role had several different titles across the country. As well as been employed in paid work, Australian women were frequently members of the community and voluntarily bodies. Women were part of protest groups, for instance, in the women’s suffrage movement. During both world wars, women were part of the war effort, too, especially when men were fighting overseas.
Another way of finding out what women used to do using the register is to search under religion. Women that did not work were sometimes heavily involved in what local churches were doing within their communities. So searching for different religions is definitely worth the effort. As the register is sometimes added to, it will be worth searching for non-Christian religions as the population continues to become increasingly diverse.
For those studying the movements, women have been part of the cultural exhibits are certain topics to be searched through, for example, the women’s suffrage movement and how women assisted the war effort.
Women’s cultural exhibits available online
You will be able to access a variety of online exhibits including:
- Women’s rights/suffrage movement
- Australian women at war
- Successful Australian sports women/athletes
- Women in law careers
- Women in Australian science
Overall then the Australian Women’s Register is invaluable for anybody researching the roles that women have and currently perform in Australia.