My Ancestor was in an Asylum: Brief Guide to Asylum Records in Australia and New Zealand

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 56 pages
Author: S. Hicks
Year: 2014
ISBN: 9781921956348
Other: b&w & colour photos, bibliog, index
Publisher: Unlock the Past

If you have "lost" an ancestor, or simply misplaced them for a few years, then asylum records may be worth investigating. This guide book is an excellent introduction to resources available for Australia and New Zealand, as well as advising you how to use these resources effectively.

The author's interest in asylum records was sparked when she found some of her own ancestors had spent time in asylums, or had died in an asylum. Asylums were not only used to house the poor, the aged, the frail and those who had no one to care for them.

Surviving archival records provide a wealth of genealogical information not usually found in government records including information on patients' physical description, personal family details, health information and sometimes even a photograph. As well as archival records, information can also be found in newspapers, published histories, government publications and enquiries. Libraries often have photographs of asylum buildings, grounds, wards, patients and staff.

Do asylums hold the key to bringing down your brick wall? Why not find out now!

- Why look for an ancestor in an asylum?
- Before you begin
Archival resources
- Access to the records
- Commonwealth archival records
Other resources
Overview of resources
Queensland (QLD)
- Brief list of major asylums
- Queensland State Archives (QSA)
- Judy Webster's Website
- Dunwich Museum, Stradbroke Island
- Dunwich Cemetery, Stradbroke Island
- Goodna Cemetery
- Further reading
New South Wales (NSW)
- Brief list of major asylums
- State Records New South Wales (SRNSW)
- Further reading
Victoria (VIC)
- Brief list of major asylums
- Public Record Office Victoria (PROV)
- State Library of Victoria (SLV)
- Melbourne Benevolent Asylum
- Bendigo Benevolent Asylum
- Aradale Asylum
- Further reading
Tasmania (TAS)
- Brief list of major asylums
- Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO)
- New Norfolk Insane Asylum
- Cascades Female Factory Historic Site
- Further reading
South Australia (SA)
- Brief list of major asylums
- State Records South Australia (SRSA)
- Published indexes
- The Home for Incurables
- Further reading
Western Australia (WA)
- Brief list of major asylums
- State Records of Western Australia (SROWA)
- State Library of Western Australia
- Newspapers
- Fremantle Arts Centre
- Further reading
Northern Territory (NT)
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
New Zealand
- Brief list of major asylums
- Archives New Zealand
- National Library of New Zealand
- Further reading
Select bibliography
- Websites
- General




2 Reviews
  • My ancestor was in an asylum

    Posted by Lesley ABRAHAMS on 31st Aug 2022

    I have learnt a lot from this overview of the topic - trying to locate someone who spent time in an institution for the earliest days of colonial New South Wales.

  • My Ancestor was in a asylum

    Posted by Leonie Hosking on 12th May 2021

    It is excellent, everything I thought it would be.
    Very helpful. Thank you so very much.

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My Ancestor was in an Asylum: Brief Guide to Asylum Records in Australia and New Zealand

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