Welcome to History Services



Most of the information in the databases of History Services NSW is not available from any other Internet source. Your research is not complete until you have consulted History Services NSW.

NSW Convict Records  convicts

  • Do you have a CONVICT ANCESTOR?
  • Is it time to UPDATE your RESEARCH?


History Services NSW is a one-stop research boutique that can provide you with the most comprehensive information on your convict ancestor.

This information comes from a specialised Convicts database which has been built up from various historical records, indexes and publications.

It contains well over half a million items of indexed information on the 85,000 convicts who arrived in New South Wales between 1788 and 1849.

History Services NSW can provide you with a unique summary of all the information available  on your convict ancestor referenced to the original source. Click here for more information.


  • Did your ancestor hold a NSW Hotel Licence?

  • Did they win a NSW Government Contract?

  • Invent something really useful?

History Services NSW has also built several other specialised databases reflecting the history and heritage of New South Wales and its inhabitants prior to Federation. 

These will assist people undertaking family history or local history research.

Currently available are:

Hotel and Liquor Licensees  hotels

This database is a complete index of over 52,000 persons who were licensed in the New South Wales liquor industry from 1856 to 1900.

Gold Mining Companies and Investors  mining

Over the period 1861 to 1879, over 23,000 persons took up initial share holdings in 450 gold mining companies. This database is a full index of the names and residences of the initial shareholders and the number of shares held by each.

Local Government Petitioners  local government

This database records over 47,000 persons who signed one of the 315 petitions or counter petitions during the period 1858 to 1883 for or against the formation of specific Local Government Municipalities.

Government Contracts and Contractors  contracts

This database consists of 49,164 entries on successful applicants for contracts (excluding mail deliveries) awarded by the New South Wales Government over the period 1832 to 1900.

Mail Delivery Contracts and Contractors  mail

This database covers over 12,000 contracts awarded to persons to provide specific postal services awarded by the New South Wales Government over the period 1835 to 1901.

Inventions and Inventors  inventions

The Inventions and Inventors database consists of over 20,000 entries covering persons and companies that registered inventions in NSW from 1855 to 1884 and Patents and Certificates of Provisional Protection from 1887 to 1902. A total of 1,559 inventions are indexed.

Auctioneers  auctioneers

This database contains the names of over 9,300 persons who held a New South Wales Auctioneers licence at some stage over the period 1848 to 1900.

For a low cost fee, History Services NSW will do a search of a particular database for a 'person of interest' to you and provide you with a 'Result of Search'. This contains a summary of the information available to your nominated person and is referenced to the original source.

You will receive the 'Result of Search' by email. You are guaranteed a quick response.

Historical Photographs historical photos
These photos of some early NSW historical sites illustrate our rich heritage.


NSW Colonial Chronology Chronology
What was happening in NSW in your ancestor’s lifetime?


Resource Materials resource materials

History Services NSW is compiling summaries of significant issues in the early administration and government of NSW. Do you know what was Governor Macquarie’s policy for our indigenous population? Are you familiar with his public works programs? Would you like to know more about the Clergymen in the Colony? Or, the History of the Catholic Church in the Colony?


History Services Blog History Services Blog
History Services NSW maintains a blog to keep a focus on historical issues in our contemporary world.  


History Services NSW will consider undertaking further searches of its databases to accommodate any special research requests. Please email your request.

Also if you have any further queries please send an email.

Kevin McGuinness