Special GuestPosts

The Golden Quest Discovery Trail guidebook provides travellers with an historical account of life in the goldfields. We are delighted to provide the following excerpt for your enjoyment.

Genealogy and the Goldfields – A family history Mecca

Published 15th September 2020 Author: Category: Special Guest Posts

Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the wider Goldfields region is Wongatha Country and home to many Aboriginal family groups with a sacred connection to the land. Since the discovery of Gold in Coolgardie in 1892, the region became a beacon for prospectors and pastoralists from across Australia and the world. Can you trace your family history back to our ancient land?

The Jenkins family and dog, Kalgoorlie Mackay, T. F. (Thomas Faulkner), 1884-1981. Photograph | 1923-1924. Available at Online (Call number: 033251PD)

The Jenkins family and dog, Kalgoorlie
Mackay, T. F. (Thomas Faulkner), 1884-1981.
Photograph | 1923-1924.
Available at Online (Call number: 033251PD)

The rich mining industry has drawn attention of many a fortune hunter from afar and our population today is made up of over 30% of people who, according to Census statistics, were not born in Australia. Our itinerant population means you’ll often meet people anywhere in the world who have a connection to Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the Golden Quest towns of Coolgardie, Menzies, Leonora and Laverton.

“Oh, my uncle lived out there once” or “We spent some time there in the 90’s” are common statements and surprisingly, Kalgoorlie’s first Mayor was a New Zealander called John Wilson.

John Wilson - First Mayor of Kalgoorlie

John Wilson – First Mayor of Kalgoorlie


Family connections and mapping your family tree are popular past times for amateur genealogists and we would like to share with you some resources for efficient searching when placing your ancestors on your family tree.

Outback Family History

Local history enthusiast Moya Sharp runs the Outback Family History website and has spent many hours collating records from our region which can be searched for on her website. From marriages and births notices, electoral rolls to outback cemetery maps, Moya’s collection of information is vast but she’s not done yet! Moya accepts photographs and queries about people’s family history so please have a look through her collection and get in touch if there’s something you need assistance with. There is also a selection of books and guides available for purchase and if you follow the Outback Family History Facebook page she sometimes runs a book giveaway!

Eastern Goldfields Historical Society

Formed in 1946, the Eastern Goldfields Historical Society is mostly run by passionate volunteers and is committed to “ensuring that our shared heritage and ghost town memories live on.”

In partnership with our regional tourism organisation Australia’s Golden Outback, the team put the call out for someone who was interested in tracing their family history back to the Goldfields resulting in this lovely story of Toni Barnett’s connection to the town of Norseman and the famous horse the town was named after.

The Eastern Goldfields Historical Society are available to assist with family history inquiries via phone and email or you can pop in yourself during the week between 9:00am and 2:00pm. There is a small fee for research time and copies of digitized records.

State Library of Western Australia

insert images from State library

As the largest collector of printed material in the state of Western Australia, the State library has a innovative resource to guide you through your family history search. The ‘Dead Reckoning’ booklet was first published in 1997 and is now available as an interactive digital version with information on how to efficiently access the libraries catalogue of maps, books, and DVDs and also useful links to state agencies and international research organisations, particularly New Zealand and the British Isles.

Aboriginal Family History

Throughout our history there have been misguided moments of others feeling like they are doing “the right thing” in the best interest of First Nations people.  This means that some children grew up away from their ancestral lands and culture and may not be aware of their family history and connection to the Goldfields. If you or someone you know needs assistance with tracing their Aboriginality please see the below resources.

The Australia Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

Wangka – Goldfields Aboriginal Language Centre



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