You can now access Ancestry (library edition) from home at anytime.

You must login to the library website now, and the Ancestry link will appear in our eLibrary

Login now

Important: the Link directly to Ancestry will only appear in the eLibrary if you are logged in.

Note: At-home access for Ancestry is only available for a limited time, during this temporary shutdown of all our libraries due to COVID-19.


Ancestry is the largest family history site online, with over 4 billion names in worldwide historical records, family tree services and genealogy learning materials.  is only available on the computers within our libraries.

Visit any branch of Cockburn Libraries to access Library Edition. Come on in and check it out! See our other eResources.

Tips for getting started with your family history

  • Look for items at home e.g. birth certificates, family photos, family bible
  • Talk to elderly relatives and ask them what they know about their parents and relatives. If you can’t talk to them in person write to them
  • Work from the known (yourself) to the unknown, one generation at a time
  • Keep a copy of the information and record where you found the information.

How to Search Ancestry

  1. Select the Search tab and select Search All Records
  2. From the Search tab you can search a particular type of record. Look for a death by selecting Birth, Marriage & Death
  3. Narrow your search by location or date
  4. From the Search tab you can find a specific record set by selecting the ‘Card Catalogue’
  5. Card Catalogue – Filter by category and location.

Start building your tree

  • When building a family tree always record females using their maiden name
  • Don’t be pedantic about the spelling of your name. Sometimes names are misspelt in records and in newspaper articles. Some handwriting can be difficult to decipher
  • Don’t believe everything you read. Errors occur even on birth, marriage and death certificates
  • Don’t make assumptions – provide evidence and accurate source citations
  • Oral history can become embellished or distorted over time – verify the story with facts
  • Provide at least two records for each event.

The key forms to record your family tree are free to download and print.

Information kindly provided by Family History WA.