About Us

Our family and local history business interests began as a part time hobby business by Alan and Anthea Phillips from their home in the Adelaide Hills in September 1976. Alan’s local and family history interests had started five years earlier in 1971. This led to contact in 1974 with Don Grant and Eveline Brown, partners in History House Bookshop in Melbourne, who subsequently supported us from our 1976 beginnings.

Alan left his former employment as Chief Draftsman with a Consulting Civil Engineering company in February 1982 to develop the business full time. This coincided with the remarkable expansion of interest in family and local history in Australia and worldwide in the 1980s. During the 1980s Alan & Anthea’s son, Stephen, and daughter, Alona, joined the business. A number of others, including several of Stephen’s children have also worked in the business at times.

A number of sister brands have been established since 1990 - see below.


 Phillips family 1992



Gould Genealogy & History  has been a supplier of products for family and local historians since 1976.  We offer one of the widest ranges of worldwide genealogy products anywhere. Gould is also a publisher of important resources, initially under the Gould Books imprint. This expanded considerably in three further areas:

  • Archive Digital Books Australasia - 2003
  • Unlock the Past - 2009
  • Genealogy ebooks - 2013

Gould Genealogy is the retail outlet for all these publications.



Archive Digital Book Australasiaestablished in 2003, has digitised approximately 2 million pages of old and rare books with approximately 150 million names. We are a significant supplier of Australian and New Zealand content to Ancestry, Findmypast, World Vital Records and MyHeritage.

In 2014 we developed a range of value special collections (our entire range) offered on high-capacity USB drives at a fraction of the cost of buying the included products separately. Each collection is fully searchable. And now many of the books scanned are being offered as digital downloads.



Unlock the Past commenced in 2009 as a collaborative venture involving a team of expert speakers, writers, organisations and commercial partners to promote history and genealogy through:

  • major events – supporting and attending events by others and running innovative major events of our own. These have included expos, roadshows, regional seminars, history and genealogy cruises – and even Australia’s first ever battlefield tour. More recent events have been run under the name Family History Down Under (FHDU).
  • a publishing brand – guide books for researchers – we have published 120 titles since 2010, all available in both print and ebook editions. In 2016 we started a new miscellaneous series – specialised books with too limited a market to interest most other publishers. In 2017 we introduced 4, 8 and 12 page handy guides.
  • general and events directories online (no longer maintained).



Genealogy-ebooks is the ebooks division of Gould Genealogy & History – established June 2013. Initially this offered all Unlock the Past print publications in parallel ebook editions; and hundreds of Archive Digital Books Australasia data CDs as digital downloads – in time over 1500 titles.



Unlock the Past Cruises organised 17 international history & genealogy cruise-conferences at sea from 2011 to 2020. Our cruises have ranged from 2-18 days, all but one featuring significant conferences with leading Australian and international presenters. They have ranged over all major Australian and New Zealand cities, the British Isles, Europe, North America, the Baltic and the Rhine River. One final Ocean cruise is planned for December 2024. Two Murray River cruises are under consideration for 2025 and 2026.


logo.jpgFamily History Down Under (FHDU) world class online and in-person events from 2020 to 2023. No further events are planned.



 Discontinued brands

  • Gould Publishing Services (1990-1996) – book set up and print brokering for private publishers
  • Family Photo Book (2009-2015). A fun easy way to present photos and stories – family history, special events, holidays and more.



  • Gould Digital, established in 2003. Headed by Stephen Phillips to provide digital printing and production services to our own businesses. In recent years this has been expanded to offer a wider range of business services.

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