Toowoomba Local History Library

If you're interested in the history of our region or tracing your family tree, visit the local history section at your local library, or at the Toowoomba City Library.

The Local History Library in Toowoomba has a valuable archival collection and is of local, state and national significance. The impressive collection holds records from local identities, businesses and many community organisations. The Robinson Collection holds over 5000 items and has more than 3000 photographs relating to the history of Toowoomba and the Darling Downs. The Toowoomba Chronicle and the Darling Downs Gazette are held on microfilm dating from the 1860s onwards.

The Oakey and Pittsworth local history collections focus on the history of the area and include books, maps, photographs, personal letters, business records, pamphlets and clippings.

Open the Local History catalogue.

familyhistorymissonfamilyThe Local History Library holds a range of material for family historians. The collection concentrates on the Toowoomba and the Darling Downs area with some Queensland and Australian resources available. The information is held in a variety of different formats such as CD's, microfiche and microfilm.  The Local History Library has also compiled a list of useful online genealogy resources and weblinks (below) to assist with your search to trace your family history.

Additionally the library edition of Ancestry.com is available at your local library.

Online genealogy resources and weblinks

Choose from links to International and Australian websites plus links to Cemeteries and Obituary websites.

International

Australian

Cemeteries and Obituaries

Information available on CD

  • Births, Deaths, Marriages and Accidents from the Border Post and Stannum Miner 1873-Dec 1876
  • Qld Electoral Rolls 1880-1884
  • Garden of Remembrance Toowoomba: Burial & Cremation Index 20 May 1966 – 30 Jan 2004
  • Dern Index QLD Monumental Inscriptions 250 Cemeteries
  • Qld Telephone Directory 1936
  • Qld Public Service Index 1864-1948
  • Qld Electoral Roll 1913
  • Qld Intestacies, Insolvencies & Wills 1859-1900
  • Aldine History of Queensland (1888)

Genealogy CDs

QLD

  • Pioneers index 1829-1889
  • Federation index 1890-1914

N.S.W.

  • Pioneers series 1788-1888
  • Federation series 1889-1918
  • Between the wars 1919-1945

VIC

  • Pioneers Index 1837-1888
  • Federation index 1889-1901
  • Edwardian index 1902-1913
  • Great War index 1914-1920
  • Death index 1921-1985
  • Inquest Index 1840-1985
  • Marriage Index 1921-1942

W.A.

  • Pioneers index 1841-1905

TAS

  • Pioneers Index 1803-1899

S.A.

  • Birth registrations 1842-1906
  • Marriage registrations 1842-1937
  • Death registrations 1842-1906

GREAT BRITAIN

  • Soldiers died in the Great War 1914-19

 Microfilm

  • Toowoomba Chronicle from 4 July, 1861 -May 2010
  • Darling Downs Gazette 2 August, 1860-30 June, 1922
  • Register of Migrants arriving on immigrant ships entering Queensland (+card index on microfiche)
  • The Citizen 1 June, 1907 – 14 August, 1909
  • The Bulletin Jan.6 1987-29 June 1999
  • Allora Guardian & Clifton Advocate Oct 1888-1934
  • Moreton Bay/Brisbane Courier Jan 3 1852- July 27 1901
  • Clifton Courier 1907-1980
  • Dalby Herald 1866-1879 (Incomplete)

 Microfiche

  • Qld Births 1860-1919
  • Qld Marriages 1856-1939
  • Qld Deaths 1850-1964
  • Qld Baptisms: Prior to 1856
  • Qld Burials: Prior to 1856
  • Qld Marriages: Prior to 1856 Qld Marriage Index
  • Country Death Index 1885-1889. (Incomplete)
  • Qld and Brisbane Death Index 1856-1899
  • Country Deaths
  • Brisbane Marriage index
  • Brisbane Death Index 1885-1889
  • Queensland Obituaries Index
  • Pre-separation Population Index

Queensland - South

  • Coleyville, Engelsburg (Kalbar), Boonah and Highfields Baptist Cemeteries (Qld.)
  • Wide Bay and Burnett Directory 1887
  • A Guide to the Pre-Separation Population Index of the Moreton Bay Region 1824-1859
  • Croydon, Queensland. Index to Hospital Admissions 1888-1919
  • Index to Laidley R.C. Marriages 1892-1994
  • Index to Laidley R.C. Baptisms 1891-1993
  • Index to St. Mary’s Gatton Marriages 1897-1963
  • Index R.C. Baptisms St. Mary’s, Gatton 1886-1986

Queensland - General

  • Qld Electoral Rolls 1860-1900
  • Qld Post Office Directories 1868-1949
  • M.J. Fox History of QLD (1919-1923)
  • Qld School Pupils Index
  • Qld Public Service Index 1900
  • Qld Wills Index 1859-1900
  • Qld Passports Index 1915-1921
  • Qld Hotels and Publicans Index 1843-1900
  • Index to Mining Leases 1871- 1940

Parish and Vital Records List (1994)

  • Persons employed in Railway Service in Qld: 1889,1892,1901,1910,1919
  • Baillieres Qld Gazetteer and Road Guide 1876
  • Card Index to immigrants (QLD)
  • War and other Memorials
  • Slaters Qld Almanac 1868-1918
  • Consolidated Index to the Qld Government Gazettes 1859-1869
  • Qld State Archives – Index to Record Holdings – accessioned prior to Oct 1996
  • An Index to Early Office Keepers of Qld Post Offices and Receiving Offices

Queensland – Central and North

  • Index to records of Inspectors of Pacific Islanders and related records 1865-1938
  • Bourke District Directory 1893
  • Hopkins Rockhampton Almanac 1878
  • Inghams Almanac 1887
  • Eadies Illustrated Bundaberg Almanac 1911
  • Foreman’s Rockhampton Almanac 1906
  • Blake’s Central Qld Almanac 1891
  • Cowrie and Cowland’s Central Qld Almanac 1900
  • Port Denison Times Almanac 1868
  • Maryborough Almanac 1874-1875
  • Verney’s Almanac 1899
  • Port Curtis Almanac 1866,1880,1894-1896,1899
  • Willmett’s North Qld Almanac 1876-1879,1883,1885,1888,1891-1892,1898
  • Western Champion Almanac 1891

Toowoomba

  • Groom’s Darling Downs Book Almanac 1885-1887,1892-1893,1898,1900-1903,1905,1909-1910

Darling Downs

  • Index to Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries Darling Downs Gazette 1860-1922
  • Darling Downs Cemeteries
  • Ipswich, Toowoomba and Drayton Directory and Gazetteer 1885-86
  • St. George Cemetery

Other States

  • Vic Deserters from Ships Index 1853-1880
  • Immigration to Victoria: Index to Inward Passenger Lists Foreign Ports 1860-1869 VPRS8669/P2
  • Biographical Index of South Australians 1836-1885

Australian 

  • Emigrants from Hamburg to Australia: 1873
  • Who’s Who in Australia 1906,1908,1912-1914,1922,1927-28,1933-34,1935,1938,1941,1944
  • Australian Historic Records Register – 1989 National Library of Australia

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The local history library holds the rates and valuation registers for Toowoomba City from 1861 - 1977. Useful information to know that will assist you with your search is:

  • The property's address
  • The house name
  • The approximate era it was built in
  • Previous owners' names
  • The suburb/estate it is located in

Steps to find the history of your house

1. Search the Toowoomba Regional Library online catalogue for items relating to the house by using keywords such as:Colville House

  • The house name
  • The previous owner's name
  • The architect/builder's name, if known
  • The suburb/estate name

Staff can assist with retrieving pertinent material from the Local History Library collection.

2. Consult "The Toowoomba House : styles and history" 1999 Robinson Reference by Ballard and Roessler, to determine which era the house originates from, if not already known. Free chapters of this book are available from the Local History section.

3. Browse through old Chronicle newspaper clippings using the pamphlet files located at the Local History Library. Consult the following files:

  • Houses and homesteads
  • House names
  • Bicentennial walks (the history of certain houses are mentioned therein)
  • Historical walks—Toowoomba
  • The surname of the previous owner—if held (if not, search the Biographies file under the previous owner's surname)
  • Architecture—Toowoomba and Darling Downs
  • Builders—Toowoomba and Darling Downs

4. Check the Chronicle and Darling Downs Gazette indexes (located within the Local History Library) for the house name if known (please note that they are not comprehensive in coverage or subject area). Any articles referred to from the indexes may be located using the old Chronicle and Darling Downs Gazette microfilms.

5. Consult the Local History Library's historical maps for information about Toowoomba subdivisions and the 1950s sewerage maps for house or residents' names. 

6. Consult the Local History Library's Post Office Directory records using the country towns microfiche (labelled in yellow).

  • Choose a year that reflects approximately when you believe the house may have been built
  • Scroll through until you find Toowoomba
  • Continue to scroll through until you find your street
  • House numbers were not used before the 1930s, hence entries are in right side/left side order and then by the resident's surname

If former residents' names are not known, it is helpful to start after the 1930s using the house number and then trace the resident's name back through the older microfilms

7. Search the Toowoomba City Council's Historic Rates and Valuation register held on microfilm at the Local History Library. Beware that these films are time consuming to search and a result is not necessarily guaranteed. It is recommended that you phone ahead by contacting us to book a microfilm reader.

Refer to the Local History Library's brochure "Dating your house" for instructions on how to search these registers. We offer a staff search of the Rates and Valuation registers for a fee of $60 for the first hour or part thereof and $40 for every hour thereafter. Please note that a result is not guaranteed and the search may require up to several weeks to be completed.

8. Finally, the Department of Natural Resources & Mines offers title deed searches that may locate beneficial information. Information from a recent rates notice is required.

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