Guidelines for Authors

Guidelines and Referencing for Authors

When writing an article for Ancestor, please refer to this Style Guide for preparation of your publication

Guidelines for Authors

Language and spelling

Generally Australian English, as per the Macquarie Dictionary.

Please noter:

Great grandfather etc. (no hyphen)



Use these for:

Names of commercial databases

Names of ships

Names of books, newspapers, magazines and journals

     Foreign language words
     Do not use for:
     Text quotations



Use this for:
Website addresses

Email addresses

Surnames of genealogical interest (in lower case)



Use single quotation marks for short quotations (under 30 – 35 words), which are included in the text.
Use double quotation marks for a quote within a quote.

Longer quotations should be indented as a block quotation. The font size of the quotation should be one unit less than main text (e.g., 11 font v 12 font). No quotation marks are required. Introduce indented text with a colon.
Always reference your block quotation by inserting an end-note immediately after the end of the block quotation. Use Arabic numerals for end-notes.
Insert a one line space before and after the block quotation. 



Leave a space between paragraphs but don’t indent them.
Use a single space after commas, colons, semicolons and at the end of sentences..


Write dates as 3 September 1803 etc. i.e. simple number, not 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc.

Give the month and year in full. Except for direct quotes when original must be maintained.

1800s, not 1800’s etc.

Write the numbers one to twenty as words unless part of a measurement.
If at the start of a sentence, write in full or recast the sentence.

Weights and measures

Use those appropriate to the time and place with an equivalent in brackets if required.


Titles of articles 

Use maximum capitalisation (title case).

As a general guide, all words except the following should be capitalised
- The conjunctions ‘and’, ‘but’, ‘or’, ‘nor’.

- Short prepositions such as ‘with’, ‘to’, ‘for’, ‘at’, ‘by’ etc. 

- The articles ‘a’, ‘an’, ‘the’, ‘some’

Example: Shame in the Family

Titles of references in endnotes
- Minimum capitalisation, i.e., capitalise only the first word and proper nouns.


Download as PDF to print



P De Serville, Port Phillip Gentlemen, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1980
K Cook & D Garvey, The Glint of Gold, Genlin Investments, Pymble, NSW, 1999


D Richardson, '1864- one of Brisbane's forgotten floods', Queensland History Journal, vol 23, no 3, 2016, pp 175-84


C Miller, 'Game Plan', Royal Auto, 17 April 2017, pp 22-26


         The Argus, Tue 16 Jul 1878, p 6
         The Times (London), 21 June 1853, p 1

Unpublished material

KA Herbet, ‘Parallel knowledge: farmers and scientists and land classification’, BappSc thesis, University of Canberra, 1995.

Personal communications

A Smith, interview with the author, 20 April 2010.


Genealogical Society of Victoria, Melbourne,, viewed 1 April 2017


Will of William George Jennings of 1854, The National Archives, PROB 11/ 2194

Blog sites

          Marty Playne Publishing - Non Fiction, Social History, Using Genealogical Techniques,
, viewed 10 April 2017

Second and subsequent citations

One author, two or multiple references to same source

M Cannon, Old Melbourne Town: before the gold rush, Loch Haven Books, Mainridge, Victoria, 1991, p 37



M Cannon, p 62

One author, multiple references

M Cannon, Perilous voyages to the new land. Mornington, Victoria, Today’s Australia Publishing Company, 1997, p 80

M Cannon, Old Melbourne Town: before the gold rush, Loch Haven Books, Mainridge, Victoria, 1991, p 37

M Cannon (editor), Aborigines and Protectors 1838-1839, Historical Records of Victoria,
           Volume 2B, Vic Govt Printing Office, Melbourne, 1983, p 110

Latin terms

Avoid ‘ibid’, ‘loc. cit’, ‘op. cit’ etc. for ease of understanding and replace with above referencing techniques.

Images and captions for images

To make it clear what each image is, give it a number and title.
         In the text of your article, indicate, as in the following example,
         where you would prefer the image to appear:

          Image 1 - The grave of Mary Smith, courtesy of Joe Blow

          If you are a user of the Pictures Collection of the State Library of Victoria
          (or any other picture source),
          then acknowledge your use of that Collection as follows:
          CAPTION: Image 1: The grave of Mary Smith, artist Jack Richards, State Library of Victoria,
          Pictures Collection, Acc. No. H1234/45

          If the images are not the property of the author they must be out of copyright,
          or have a statement from the owner, allowing Ancestor to publish the image.

Refer for further information to:

Dept of Finance and Administration, Commonwealth of Australia, Style manual for authors, editors and printers, 6th edition, John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd., 2002, 550pp.

            N Kyle, Citing historical sources - a manual for family historians,
            Unlock the Past, St Agnes, South Australia, 2013, 41pp.           

Printed copies:

If you want a printed copy of these Guidelines and Referencing for Authors, please click on this link to download a pdf file.