Need help finding more information about the life of Patrick McGuire in Australia

+3 votes
Patrick McGuire, my great great uncle, was born in 1895 in Elphin, County Roscommon, Ireland to Patrick McGuire and Sarah Nolan. He immigrated to Australia around 1921 and was never seen by his family again. He kept in touch by a few letters over the years. They believe he was never married. I would like to find some records about him in Australia, eg. census, death, anything really. It would be nice to know where he is buried as none of his nieces or nephews alive today have any idea.

I am not sure where he settled in Australia but I know one of his cousins lived in Sydney, New South Wales, and another in Pittsworth, Queensland, so perhaps one of those places. There seem to be not very many Australian records available online but maybe I'm not looking in the right places? I checked Find A Grave but could find no record of his burial.

Any help would be really appreciated. Even if I found one or two records of him in Australia, it would be a start. His profile is linked below if that helps.


WikiTree profile: Patrick McGuire
in Genealogy Help by Alicia McCormack G2G6 (9.8k points)
Hi Alicia, do you have any idea what his occupation was? That will make it easier to locate him in the Electoral rolls. BTW Marion and Mark have given you brilliant suggestions. The only problem with Trove though is that it doesn’t have many newspapers with family notices after about 1955 - at least not in NSW. After that the Ryerson Index for death notices is the best option.
Thanks Gillian! I was not expecting my question to get so many replies, everyone is being very helpful. According to Patrick's few letters home, he was a chauffeur.
Thanks to everyone here I have found Patrick on a passenger list immigrating to Australia and located him on the 1935 electoral roll. I now have the address he lived at which will make research much easier in the future. Thanks to you all, I was running around in circles with Australian records for so long!
Great news! That’s so exciting.

3 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer
by Marion Poole G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
selected by Simon Ross
Thanks Marion!
+4 votes
Hi Alicia

There is no Census information available for Australia - everything from 1901 was destroyed after the Census was taken for privacy reasons.

Voting in Australia is compulsory, so the electoral roll is a valuable place to look. He doesn't exactly have a unique name but you might get lucky and find him living near his cousins.

Unfortunately, the only way to access the electoral roll online for every available year is at

Of course, with all the libraries closed many are allowing you to access Ancestry Library edition from home.

The Queensland registry indexes include parent's details on death records, and if you buy a certificate you will receive it immediately as a pdf. See

Victoria is the same, see

NSW does not provide as much detail, and you cannot receive the certificates immediately, except on rare occasions. See

The Western Australian Indexes provide parents only for people who died after 1945 or so, and the index only goes up to 1971. To get a certificate you have to mail your request in, pay a fortune and have it mailed back to you.

Trove is awesome, particularly with the digitised newspapers, and also links to various state records. See

To be thorough though, you'd need to look up each state archive, especially for will and probate indexes. You'll usually need to pay for these, although Victoria has all wills prior to 1924 or so scanned and available to view for free. Not useful in this instance of course.

For burial records try and billiongraves in addition to findagrave. For Western Australia has excellent coverage but the search function leaves a lot to be desired.
by Mark Dorney G2G6 Mach 3 (39.8k points)
Thanks Mark, this was so helpful. I will try my luck on those sites. If only Patrick had an extremely unusual surname!


I can only add to the very sound advice you've been given through Wikitree community already. so here's what I have for you.

Australia was at first a penal colony with convicts sent initially to Sydney NSW & Port Arthur, Tasmania. So for earliest records these two Australian states are a great place to start. Initially these locations were the final destinations for the ships.

Tasmania search or  Certificates are pricey and a pay per item applies.
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I like a couple of different sites specific to Australian history


These websites look cool. Thanks Ken!
+2 votes

Hi Alicia - there seems to be a duplicate too

McGuire-3993 and

by Steve Berry G2G Crew (480 points)
Hi Steve, that second McGuire profile is Patrick's father, Patrick McGuire Sr (1861-1939). Thanks

Ok thanks and here are the Queensland search details for Queensland Births , Deaths and Marriages.

Thanks, Patrick had a cousin who settled in Queensland so I might find something about him from that.

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