Exactly. For easy instancing you should use groups, not parent-childs. Select desired objects, Ctrl+G. This will add a group. You can change the name of this group in the F6 popup, or by going to Object tab of one of your objects and renaming it there. Having this group will allow you to instance it inside the blend (Shift+A -> Group), and easily link/append it to another file by browsing the ‘Groups’ in the blend that’s being linked/appended.