With German speakers being the largest non-British group of migrants to Australia in the nineteenth century, many Australians find a German line that needs researching. Issues such as name changes, language barriers and identifying place of origin, however, hold some researchers back, but more often than not records exist online to help break through. Identifying the records that will help reveal correct forms of names, and places of origins, and analysing the credibility of the various sources and variations is critical. An introduction to a range of sources and source types to help researchers trace their German-Australian families both in Australia and overseas.
Ben Hollister has been a professional genealogist since 2007, and a historical researcher since 1997. He currently owns and operates Roots and Branches Family History, a historical research business focussing on German-Australian research, and as well as offering a variety of support services to historical researchers via the History Helper service. Ben was the co-convenor of the Germanic & Continental European SIG of Genealogy SA from 2014 – 2019 and also founded the German-Australian Genealogy and History Alliance, a network of societies, archives and researchers, and served as Executive Officer. Ben is a Certified Professional with the Australian Library and Information Association and a director of the Association of Professional Genealogists. He holds tertiary qualifications in information management, educational management, and applied history and speaks and teaches regularly about history and genealogy at a state, national and international level.