Australia Civil Registration- Vital Records

From FamilySearch Wiki

(Difference between revisions)
m (fixed link)
(41 intermediate revisions by 15 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
Civil registration (vital) records were created by the government and include births, marriages, and deaths. They are commonly referred to as vital records because they pertain to critical events in a person’s life. They are an excellent source of information for names, dates, birthplaces, marriages, and deaths. These records may also include divorce records.
+
''[[Australia|Australia]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Australia Civil Registration- Vital Records |Civil Registration]]''
  
For birth, death, and marriage records before civil registration, see the "[[Australia Church Records|Church Records]]" section of this article.
+
''View the ''[https://www.familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/australia-bdm-civil-registration-index/5 ''Australia BDM Civil Registration Index online tutorial'']''from FamilySearch.''
  
=== General Historical Background ===
+
Civil registration (vital) records were created by the government and include births, marriages, and deaths. They are commonly referred to as vital records because they pertain to critical events in a person’s life. They are an excellent source of information for names, dates, birthplaces, marriages, and deaths. These records may also include divorce records.
 
+
The government of each colony or state began keeping civil registration records as follows:
+
 
+
* Tasmania 1838
+
* South Australia 1842
+
* Western Australia 1842
+
* Victoria 1854
+
* Queensland 1856
+
* New South Wales 1856
+
* Northern Territory 1870
+
* Australian Capital Territory 1911 <br />
+
 
+
At first, civil registration required the clergy to make copies of marriage, baptism, and burial records. These records are known as civil transcripts of church records. Because churches were involved in early civil registration, it is difficult to clearly distinguish between civil registration and church records. Later, about 1856, the responsibility for civil registration was placed in the hands of government employees independent of the church. Civil registration then required people to report all births, marriages, and deaths to a civil registrar.
+
 
+
=== Information Recorded in Civil Registers ===
+
  
When civil registration first began, there was no common standard of recording information, so the information listed may vary from state to state. Later records generally give more complete information than earlier ones.
+
For birth, death, and marriage records before civil registration, read the [[Australia Church Records|church records]] article.  
  
Birth records may provide the following information:
+
=== General Historical Background  ===
  
* Surname and forenames of child
+
The government of each colony or state began keeping civil registration records as follows:  
* Date and place of birth of child
+
* Sex of the child
+
* Multiple births
+
* Surname and forenames of father
+
* Age, birthplace, and occupation or rank of father
+
* Maiden surname and forenames of mother
+
* Place and year of marriage of parents
+
* Age and birthplace of mother
+
* Number and sex of previous issue, if deceased
+
* Name, relationship, description, and residence of informant
+
* Marriage records may provide the following information:
+
* Surname and forenames of parties
+
* Occupations and places of residence of parties
+
  
* Ages and places of birth of parties
+
*[[Tasmania BMDs|Tasmania]] 1838
* Marital status prior to the marriage
+
*[[South Australia BMDs|South Australia]] 1842
* Date and place of marriage
+
*[[Western Australia BMDs|Western Australia]] 1842
* Name of celebrant and denomination
+
*[[Victoria BMDs|Victoria]] 1854
* Names of witnesses
+
*[[Queensland BDMs|Queensland]] 1856
* Surnames and forenames of parents
+
*[[New South Wales BMDs|New South Wales]] 1856
* Death records may provide the following information:
+
*[[Northern Territory BMDs|Northern Territory]] 1870
* Surname and forenames of deceased
+
*Australian Capital Territory 1911
* Date and place of death
+
  
* Occupation, age, and sex of deceased
+
State Registrars' Details and Costs of Certificates:
* Place of birth and place and date of marriage of deceased
+
* Length of residence in Australia and in what colonies, states, and territories
+
* Name of spouse and names and ages of living children of deceased
+
* Number and sex of issue, if deceased
+
* Name and occupation of father
+
* Maiden surname of mother
+
* Cause of death and duration of last illness
+
* Name of medical practitioner
+
* Date and place of burial
+
* Religion and name of minister or witness
+
  
* Names of undertaker and informant
+
*http://www.coraweb.com.au/bdmaut.htm
* Residence and relationship or description of informant
+
* Date and place of civil registration
+
  
=== Indexes to Civil Registration Records ===
+
The table in the site lists the names and addresses of the Registrars of Birth, Deaths and Marriages in each state and territory of Australia and indicates the current cost of certificates. Please check the identification requirements before ordering certificates. Costs current as of 1 May 2010.
  
Each of the several states in Australia have created indexes to their civil registration records. These indexes are on microfilm or microfiche and cover births, deaths, and marriages from the beginning of civil registration in the state to the present day. Where available, indexes can help you find your ancestor more easily.
+
Indexes or transcripts of the original birth, marriage or death records may be online. Check there before ordering a certificate.  
  
There are also Pioneer Indexes on compact discs which index civil registration records and some church records. These indexes include the following:
+
At first, civil registration required the clergy to make copies of marriage, baptism, and burial records. These records are known as civil transcripts of church records. Because churches were involved in early civil registration, it is difficult to clearly distinguish between civil registration and church records. Later, about 1856, the responsibility for civil registration was placed in the hands of government employees independent of the church. Civil registration then required people to report all births, marriages, and deaths to a civil registrar.
  
* New South Wales Pioneers Index, 1788–1918
+
=== Information Recorded in Civil Registers  ===
* The Federation Series:1899–1918] (part 2 of New South Wales Pioneer Index)
+
* The Tasmanian Pioneers Index, 1803–1899
+
* The Victoria Pioneers Index, 1837–1888
+
* The Western Australian Pioneers Index, 1841–1905
+
  
These indexes are available in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; genealogical societies throughout Australia; and many local public libraries all over Australia. These indexes may or may not available at Family History Centers.
+
When civil registration first began, there was no common standard of recording information, so the information listed may vary from state to state. Later records generally give more complete information than earlier ones.  
  
A compilation of most of these Pioneer Indexes was produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a set of four compact discs entitled ''Australian Vital Records Index 1788–1905''. It is available for purchase, except in Australia, through the Salt Lake Distribution Center, 1999 West 1700 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84104-4233, USA and online http://www.ldscatalog.com,[http://www.ldscatalog.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?catalogId=10151&storeId=10151&categoryId=13703&langId=-1&cg1=13669&cg2=13701&cg3=&cg4=&cg5= Vital Records Indexes].
+
'''Birth records''' may provide the following information:  
  
=== Locating Civil Registration Records ===
+
*Surname and forenames of child
 +
*Date and place of birth of child
 +
*Sex of the child
 +
*Multiple births
 +
*Surname and forenames of father
 +
*Age, birthplace, and occupation or rank of father
 +
*Maiden surname and forenames of mother
 +
*Place and year of marriage of parents
 +
*Age and birthplace of mother
 +
*Number and sex of previous issue, if deceased
 +
*Name, relationship, description, and residence of informant
  
Birth, marriage, and death records may be obtained from the state civil registration offices or archives in Australia.
+
'''Marriage records''' may provide the following information:
  
Pre-civil registration records from many towns are in the various state archives and registrar general’s office. Many of these records have been microfilmed and are available at the Family History Library. However, for more recent records, and for those not yet microfilmed, contact the appropriate state archives.
+
*Surname and forenames of parties
 +
*Occupations and places of residence of parties
 +
*Ages and places of birth of parties
 +
*Marital status prior to the marriage
 +
*Date and place of marriage
 +
*Name of celebrant and denomination
 +
*Names of witnesses
 +
*Surnames and forenames of parents
  
If your request is unsuccessful, search for duplicate records such as church registers. For more information on church registers, see the "[[Australia Archives and Libraries|Archives and Libraries]]" and the "[[Australia Church Records|Church Records]]" sections of this outline.
+
'''Death records''' may provide the following information:
  
The following are the addresses of civil registration offices where requests may be made:
+
*Surname and forenames of deceased
 +
*Date and place of death
 +
*Occupation, age, and sex of deceased
 +
*Place of birth and place and date of marriage of deceased
 +
*Length of residence in Australia and in what colonies, states, and territories
 +
*Name of spouse and names and ages of living children of deceased
 +
*Number and sex of issue, if deceased
 +
*Name and occupation of father
 +
*Maiden surname of mother
 +
*Cause of death and duration of last illness
 +
*Name of medical practitioner
 +
*Date and place of burial
 +
*Religion and name of minister or witness
 +
*Names of undertaker and informant
 +
*Residence and relationship or description of informant
 +
*Date and place of civil registration<br>
  
'''Australian Capital Territory'''<br />Office of the Registrar General of Births, Deaths, and Marriages<br />National Mutual Centre, 4th Floor<br />Darwin Place<br />P.O. Box 788<br />Canberra City<br />Australian Capital Territory 2601<br />AUSTRALIA <br />Internet: http://www.rgo.act.gov.au/bdm.shtml
+
=== Indexes to Civil Registration Records  ===
 +
Indexes to Australian births, marriages and deaths may be found at at local, state, national and genealogical society libraries on microfiche and CD. Some Registrars' websites include free or fee-based index search facilities. Certificates may be ordered from the Registrar of the appropriate state or territory. Online ordering and delivery of certificates is available on some Registrars' web sites. Death information may also be obtained from inquests, wills, newspaper and other indexes.  
  
'''New South Wales'''<br />Office of the Registrar General of Births, Deaths, and Marriages<br />G.P.O. Box 30<br />Sydney<br />New South Wales 2001<br />AUSTRALIA <br />Internet: [http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/subjects/government/austhist.html#WPTOHTML11 http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/subjects/government/austhist.html]
+
Each of the several states in Australia have created indexes to their civil registration records. These indexes are on microfilm or microfiche and cover births, deaths, and marriages from the beginning of civil registration in the state to the present day. Where available, indexes can help you find your ancestor more easily.  
  
Statistics on births, marriage and deaths are published by the Registrar General as follows:
+
New South Wales has an index to births 1788-1910, deaths 1788-1980, and marriages 1788-1960 available online at&nbsp;[http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/familyHistory/searchHistoricalRecords.htm www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/familyHistory/searchHistoricalRecords.htm]&nbsp;.
  
* ''Registration. Annual report from the Registrar General.'' 1856-1866
+
Western Australia has online indexes of their civil registration beginning in 1841 at http://www.bdm.dotag.wa.gov.au/_apps/pioneersindex/default.aspx
* ''Vital statistics.'' 1867-1894
+
* ''Annual report on vital statistics.'' 1895
+
* ''Vital statistics'' 1896-1898
+
* ''Statistician's report on the vital statistics on NSW.'' 1899-1900
+
  
These reports are found in section N.6 of the ''Colonial Statistics''[http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/subjects/government/austhist.html#WPTOHTML1 Introduction] above. They can also be found in the ''Journals of the Legislative Council'' at G.NSW/J.
+
Queensland indexes of birth to 1914 and marriages and deaths to 1929 are available online at https://www.bdm.qld.gov.au/IndexSearch/BirIndexQry.m.  
  
microfiche at MIC319.4/70 described in the
+
There are also Pioneer Indexes on compact discs which index civil registration records and some church records. These indexes include the following:
  
Fisher MIC      ARCHIVES Authority of New South Wales<br />929.394          The genealogical research kit<br />  8            Sydney 1984 +
+
*[http://tinyurl.com/7getak8 New South Wales Pioneers Index, 1788–1918]
 +
*The Federation Series:1899–1918] (part 2 of New South Wales Pioneer Index)
 +
*The Tasmanian Pioneers Index, 1803–1899
 +
*The Victoria Pioneers Index, 1837–1888
 +
*The Western Australian Pioneers Index, 1841–1905
  
The research kit is a microform reproduction of selected NSW colonial archives, including Register of baptisms, burials and marriages, list of convicts 1788-1823.
+
These indexes are available in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; genealogical societies throughout Australia; and many local public libraries all over Australia. These indexes may or may not be available at Family History Centers.  
  
Fisher MIC      NEW South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and<br />929.394          Marriages<br />    1            NSW Registry of births, deaths and marriages<br />                pre 1956 to 1905.<br />                Sydney:  W and F Pascoe  1982-
+
A compilation of most of these Pioneer Indexes was produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a set of four compact discs entitled ''Australian Vital Records Index 1788–1905''. It is available for purchase, except in Australia, through the Salt Lake Distribution Center, 1999 West 1700 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84104-4233, USA and online http://www.ldscatalog.com,[http://www.ldscatalog.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?catalogId=10151&storeId=10151&categoryId=13703&langId=-1&cg1=13669&cg2=13701&cg3=&cg4=&cg5= Vital Records Indexes].
  
'''Northern Territory'''<br />Office of the Registrar General of Births, Deaths, and Marriages<br />G.P.O. Box 3094<br />Darwin<br />Northern Territory 5794<br />AUSTRALIA <br />Internet: http://www.bdm.nt.gov.au/
+
=== Locating Civil Registration Records  ===
  
'''Queensland'''<br />Office of the Registrar General of Births, Deaths, and Marriages<br />P.O. Box 188<br />Brisbane, North Quay<br />Queensland 4000<br />AUSTRALIA <br />Internet:http://www.liswa.wa.gov.au/qldguide.html#Births[http://www.liswa.wa.gov.au/qldguide.html#Births ]
+
Birth, marriage, and death records may be obtained from the state civil registration offices or archives in Australia.  
  
'''South Australia'''<br />Principal Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages<br />Department of Public and Consumer Affairs<br />G.P.O. Box 1351<br />Adelaide<br />South Australia 5001<br />AUSTRALIA <br />Internet: http://www.ocba.sa.gov.au/bdm/history/index.html
+
Pre-civil registration records from many towns are in the various state archives and registrar general’s office. Many of these records have been microfilmed and are available at the Family History Library. However, for more recent records, and for those not yet microfilmed, contact the appropriate state archives.  
  
'''Tasmania'''<br />Registrar General of Births, Deaths, and Marriages<br />G.P.O. Box 875 J<br />Hobart<br />Tasmania 7001<br />AUSTRALIA <br />Internet: http://www.caslon.com.au/registersnote1.htm
+
If your request is unsuccessful, search for duplicate records such as church registers. For more information on church registers, see the [[Australia Church Records|Church Records]] article.  
  
'''Victoria'''<br />The Government Statist Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages<br />295 Queen Street<br />P.O. Box 4332<br />Melbourne<br />Victoria 3001<br />AUSTRALIA <br />Internet: http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/collections/genealogy/index.html
+
To order a copy of a birth, marriage or death certificate, contact the registrar general for the state and territory where the event occurred. Click on a link to learn more.  
  
'''Western Australia'''<br />Registrar General of Births, Deaths, and Marriages<br />Oakleigh Building<br />22 St. George’s Terrace<br />Perth<br />Western Australia 6000<br />AUSTRALIA <br />Internet: http://www.liswa.wa.gov.au/fhistwaind.html
+
*Australian Capital Territory
 +
*New South Wales
 +
*Northern Territory
 +
*Queensland
 +
*South Australia  
 +
*Tasmania
 +
*Victoria
 +
*Western Australia
  
=== Records at the Family History Library ===
+
The following are the addresses of civil registration offices where requests may be made:
  
The Family History Library has microfilmed very few Australian civil registration records because the government has placed restrictions on public access to these records. By law, personal application must be made to the various state archives for copies of the certificates.
+
:'''New South Wales'''<br>Office of the Registrar General of Births, Deaths, and Marriages<br>G.P.O. Box 30<br>Sydney<br>New South Wales 2001<br>AUSTRALIA <br>Internet: [http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/subjects/government/austhist.html#WPTOHTML11 http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/subjects/government/austhist.html]
  
To find civil registration records in the Family History Library, look in the Place Search of the Family History Library’s catalog at http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library/FHLC/frameset_fhlc.asp under:
+
Statistics on births, marriage and deaths are published by the Registrar General as follows:  
  
AUSTRALIA, [STATE]- CIVIL REGISTRATION
+
*''Registration. Annual report from the Registrar General.'' 1856-1866
 +
*''Vital statistics.'' 1867-1894
 +
*''Annual report on vital statistics.'' 1895
 +
*''Vital statistics'' 1896-1898
 +
*''Statistician's report on the vital statistics on NSW.'' 1899-1900
  
There may also be information under:
+
These reports are found in section N.6 of the ''Colonial Statistics ''[http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/subjects/government/austhist.html#WPTOHTML1 Introduction] above. They can also be found in the ''Journals of the Legislative Council'' at G.NSW/J.
  
AUSTRALIA - CIVIL REGISTRATION INDEXES
+
microfiche at MIC319.4/70 described in the
  
Archive offices may have inventories and guides that describe the record keeping systems and available civil registration records in Australia.
+
Fisher MIC ARCHIVES Authority of New South Wales<br>929.394 The genealogical research kit<br>8 Sydney 1984 +<br>
  
See [[Australia Archives and Libraries|AUSTRALIA - ARCHIVES AND LIBRARIES&nbsp;&nbsp; section of this article.]]
+
The research kit is a microform reproduction of selected NSW colonial archives, including Register of baptisms, burials and marriages, list of convicts 1788-1823.  
  
=== Medical Records ===
+
Fisher MIC NEW South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and<br>929.394 Marriages<br>1 NSW Registry of births, deaths and marriages<br>pre 1956 to 1905.<br>Sydney: W and F Pascoe 1982-<br><br>Internet: http://www.caslon.com.au/registersnote1.htm
 +
=== Ryerson Index  ===
  
Medical records for Australia include hospital and asylum records, infectious disease registers, and annual alphabetical lists of invalids. Of particular genealogical value are the registers of hospitals and asylums. These registers usually include the patient’s name, sex, age, marital condition, residence, occupation, and religion. Other details may be listed, such as the patient’s admission and discharge dates, cause for admission, death date (if the patient died while in the hospital or asylum), place of origin, ship and port of arrival, and miscellaneous remarks. Some medical records have been indexed.
+
*http://www.ryersonindex.org
 +
*http://www.rootsweb.com/~nswsdps/dpsindex.htm (same website, alternate address)
  
The following source provides information about hospital and asylum records in Australia and where they are deposited:
+
"The Ryerson Index is an index to death notices appearing in current Australian newspapers. It also includes some funeral notices, probate notices and obituaries.
  
Vine Hall, Nick. ''Tracing Your Family History in Australia: a guide to sources''''''. Second Edition. Albert Park, Victoria, Australia: North Vine Hall, 1994. (Family History Library Call Number 994 D23v.)
+
"Because the Index was originally created by the Sydney Dead Persons Society, it concentrates on notices from NSW papers. However, the representation from papers from other states continues to grow, with additional papers being regularly added, so that the Index can now truly be considered an Australian index....  
  
The Family History Library has collected some medical records and indexes to medical records, including those for hospitals and asylums. These records are listed in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
+
"The index itself cannot by definition be considered a primary source of data, but is purely a research aid to direct the researcher to the original source of a notice."
  
 +
=== Colonial Tasmanian Family Links Database  ===
  
AUSTRALIA- MEDICAL RECORDS
+
The Colonial Tasmanian Family Links database is designed to provide an '''initial''' online genealogical research resource. It links individuals with other members of their families living in Tasmania in the 19th Century. The information about individuals is based primarily on records of births, deaths, and marriages and similar events, held in the Archives Office and the linkages have been developed by family historians associated with the former National Heritage Foundation in the late 1990s. The database contains approximately five hundred thousand entries.
  
AUSTRALIA, [STATE]- MEDICAL RECORDS
+
*[http://portal.archives.tas.gov.au/menu.aspx?search=8 Colonial Tasmanian Family Links Database]
 +
  
AUSTRALIA, [STATE], [TOWN]- MEDICAL RECORDS
+
=== Records at the Family History Library  ===
  
Indexes, where available, are listed by Place Search in the Family History Library Catalog under:
+
The Family History Library has microfilmed very few Australian civil registration records because the government has placed restrictions on public access to these records. By law, personal application must be made to the various state archives for copies of the certificates.
  
AUSTRALIA, [STATE]- MEDICAL RECORDS - INDEXES
+
<span>To find civil registration records in the Family History Library, look in the Place Search of the Family History Library’s catalog at [http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library/FHLC/frameset_fhlc.asp http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library/FHLC/frameset_fhlc.asp] under: </span>
  
AUSTRALIA, [STATE], [TOWN]- MEDICAL RECORDS - INDEXES
+
AUSTRALIA, [STATE]- CIVIL REGISTRATION
  
=== Orphans and Orphanages ===
+
There may also be information under:
  
Orphans are children who were either parentless or homeless because the parent(s) could not care for the child. Hundreds of orphans were sent to Australia from the British Isles. Details about these orphan immigrants can be found in ship passenger lists. For further information on ship passenger lists, see the "[[Australia Emigration and Immigration|Emigration and Immigration]]" section of this outline.
+
AUSTRALIA - CIVIL REGISTRATION INDEXES
  
There are several types of Australian records about orphans including orphanage registers, school records, apprenticeship records, and charitable relief office reports. For more information about orphanage school records, see the "[[Australia Schools|Schools]]" section of this outline.
+
Archive offices may have inventories and guides that describe the record keeping systems and available civil registration records in Australia.  
  
Orphanage registers give detailed information about each orphan, including name, age, parent(s), ship of arrival, religion, and remarks (such as death date, discharge information, and whether apprenticed). Many of these records are indexed.
+
Related articles:
  
Orphanages in Australia date back to almost the beginning of the British settlement. Orphanage records in Australia can be found in national archives, state archives, and other local repositories and libraries. See the following for a list of orphan and orphanage records in Australia and where they are deposited:
+
*[[Australia Orphans and Orphanages|Australia Orphans and Orphanages]]
 +
*[[Australia Medical Records|Australia Medical Records]]<br>
  
Vine Hall, Nick. ''Tracing Your Family History in Australia: a guide to sources''. Second Edition. Albert Park, Victoria, Australia: North Vine Hall, 1994. (Family History Library Call Number Call Number 994 D23v.)
+
'''Wiki articles describing these collections are found at:'''
  
The Family History Library has collected some records relating to orphans and orphanages. These records are listed in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
+
*[[Australia Births and Baptisms (FamilySearch Historical Records)|Australia Births and Baptisms (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
 +
*[[Australia Deaths and Burials (FamilySearch Historical Records)|Australia Deaths and Burials (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
 +
*[[Australia Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)|Austrailia Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)]][[Australia, Miscellaneous Genealogical Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
 +
*[[Miscellaneous Australian Genealogical Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
  
AUSTRALIA - ORPHANS AND ORPHANAGES
+
{{Template:Pros-AU}}
  
AUSTRALIA, [STATE] - ORPHANS AND ORPHANAGES
+
{{Place|Australia}}
  
AUSTRALIA, [STATE], [TOWN] - ORPHANS AND ORPHANAGES
+
[[Category:Australia]]

Revision as of 15:25, 18 February 2013

Australia Gotoarrow.png Civil Registration

View the Australia BDM Civil Registration Index online tutorialfrom FamilySearch.

Civil registration (vital) records were created by the government and include births, marriages, and deaths. They are commonly referred to as vital records because they pertain to critical events in a person’s life. They are an excellent source of information for names, dates, birthplaces, marriages, and deaths. These records may also include divorce records.

For birth, death, and marriage records before civil registration, read the church records article.

Contents

General Historical Background

The government of each colony or state began keeping civil registration records as follows:

State Registrars' Details and Costs of Certificates:

The table in the site lists the names and addresses of the Registrars of Birth, Deaths and Marriages in each state and territory of Australia and indicates the current cost of certificates. Please check the identification requirements before ordering certificates. Costs current as of 1 May 2010.

Indexes or transcripts of the original birth, marriage or death records may be online. Check there before ordering a certificate.

At first, civil registration required the clergy to make copies of marriage, baptism, and burial records. These records are known as civil transcripts of church records. Because churches were involved in early civil registration, it is difficult to clearly distinguish between civil registration and church records. Later, about 1856, the responsibility for civil registration was placed in the hands of government employees independent of the church. Civil registration then required people to report all births, marriages, and deaths to a civil registrar.

Information Recorded in Civil Registers

When civil registration first began, there was no common standard of recording information, so the information listed may vary from state to state. Later records generally give more complete information than earlier ones.

Birth records may provide the following information:

  • Surname and forenames of child
  • Date and place of birth of child
  • Sex of the child
  • Multiple births
  • Surname and forenames of father
  • Age, birthplace, and occupation or rank of father
  • Maiden surname and forenames of mother
  • Place and year of marriage of parents
  • Age and birthplace of mother
  • Number and sex of previous issue, if deceased
  • Name, relationship, description, and residence of informant

Marriage records may provide the following information:

  • Surname and forenames of parties
  • Occupations and places of residence of parties
  • Ages and places of birth of parties
  • Marital status prior to the marriage
  • Date and place of marriage
  • Name of celebrant and denomination
  • Names of witnesses
  • Surnames and forenames of parents

Death records may provide the following information:

  • Surname and forenames of deceased
  • Date and place of death
  • Occupation, age, and sex of deceased
  • Place of birth and place and date of marriage of deceased
  • Length of residence in Australia and in what colonies, states, and territories
  • Name of spouse and names and ages of living children of deceased
  • Number and sex of issue, if deceased
  • Name and occupation of father
  • Maiden surname of mother
  • Cause of death and duration of last illness
  • Name of medical practitioner
  • Date and place of burial
  • Religion and name of minister or witness
  • Names of undertaker and informant
  • Residence and relationship or description of informant
  • Date and place of civil registration

Indexes to Civil Registration Records

Indexes to Australian births, marriages and deaths may be found at at local, state, national and genealogical society libraries on microfiche and CD. Some Registrars' websites include free or fee-based index search facilities. Certificates may be ordered from the Registrar of the appropriate state or territory. Online ordering and delivery of certificates is available on some Registrars' web sites. Death information may also be obtained from inquests, wills, newspaper and other indexes.

Each of the several states in Australia have created indexes to their civil registration records. These indexes are on microfilm or microfiche and cover births, deaths, and marriages from the beginning of civil registration in the state to the present day. Where available, indexes can help you find your ancestor more easily.

New South Wales has an index to births 1788-1910, deaths 1788-1980, and marriages 1788-1960 available online at www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/familyHistory/searchHistoricalRecords.htm .

Western Australia has online indexes of their civil registration beginning in 1841 at http://www.bdm.dotag.wa.gov.au/_apps/pioneersindex/default.aspx

Queensland indexes of birth to 1914 and marriages and deaths to 1929 are available online at https://www.bdm.qld.gov.au/IndexSearch/BirIndexQry.m.

There are also Pioneer Indexes on compact discs which index civil registration records and some church records. These indexes include the following:

  • New South Wales Pioneers Index, 1788–1918
  • The Federation Series:1899–1918] (part 2 of New South Wales Pioneer Index)
  • The Tasmanian Pioneers Index, 1803–1899
  • The Victoria Pioneers Index, 1837–1888
  • The Western Australian Pioneers Index, 1841–1905

These indexes are available in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; genealogical societies throughout Australia; and many local public libraries all over Australia. These indexes may or may not be available at Family History Centers.

A compilation of most of these Pioneer Indexes was produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a set of four compact discs entitled Australian Vital Records Index 1788–1905. It is available for purchase, except in Australia, through the Salt Lake Distribution Center, 1999 West 1700 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84104-4233, USA and online http://www.ldscatalog.com,Vital Records Indexes.

Locating Civil Registration Records

Birth, marriage, and death records may be obtained from the state civil registration offices or archives in Australia.

Pre-civil registration records from many towns are in the various state archives and registrar general’s office. Many of these records have been microfilmed and are available at the Family History Library. However, for more recent records, and for those not yet microfilmed, contact the appropriate state archives.

If your request is unsuccessful, search for duplicate records such as church registers. For more information on church registers, see the Church Records article.

To order a copy of a birth, marriage or death certificate, contact the registrar general for the state and territory where the event occurred. Click on a link to learn more.

  • Australian Capital Territory
  • New South Wales
  • Northern Territory
  • Queensland
  • South Australia
  • Tasmania
  • Victoria
  • Western Australia

The following are the addresses of civil registration offices where requests may be made:

New South Wales
Office of the Registrar General of Births, Deaths, and Marriages
G.P.O. Box 30
Sydney
New South Wales 2001
AUSTRALIA
Internet: http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/subjects/government/austhist.html

Statistics on births, marriage and deaths are published by the Registrar General as follows:

  • Registration. Annual report from the Registrar General. 1856-1866
  • Vital statistics. 1867-1894
  • Annual report on vital statistics. 1895
  • Vital statistics 1896-1898
  • Statistician's report on the vital statistics on NSW. 1899-1900

These reports are found in section N.6 of the Colonial Statistics Introduction above. They can also be found in the Journals of the Legislative Council at G.NSW/J.

microfiche at MIC319.4/70 described in the

Fisher MIC ARCHIVES Authority of New South Wales
929.394 The genealogical research kit
8 Sydney 1984 +

The research kit is a microform reproduction of selected NSW colonial archives, including Register of baptisms, burials and marriages, list of convicts 1788-1823.

Fisher MIC NEW South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and
929.394 Marriages
1 NSW Registry of births, deaths and marriages
pre 1956 to 1905.
Sydney: W and F Pascoe 1982-

Internet: http://www.caslon.com.au/registersnote1.htm

Ryerson Index

"The Ryerson Index is an index to death notices appearing in current Australian newspapers. It also includes some funeral notices, probate notices and obituaries.

"Because the Index was originally created by the Sydney Dead Persons Society, it concentrates on notices from NSW papers. However, the representation from papers from other states continues to grow, with additional papers being regularly added, so that the Index can now truly be considered an Australian index....

"The index itself cannot by definition be considered a primary source of data, but is purely a research aid to direct the researcher to the original source of a notice."

Colonial Tasmanian Family Links Database

The Colonial Tasmanian Family Links database is designed to provide an initial online genealogical research resource. It links individuals with other members of their families living in Tasmania in the 19th Century. The information about individuals is based primarily on records of births, deaths, and marriages and similar events, held in the Archives Office and the linkages have been developed by family historians associated with the former National Heritage Foundation in the late 1990s. The database contains approximately five hundred thousand entries.


Records at the Family History Library

The Family History Library has microfilmed very few Australian civil registration records because the government has placed restrictions on public access to these records. By law, personal application must be made to the various state archives for copies of the certificates.

To find civil registration records in the Family History Library, look in the Place Search of the Family History Library’s catalog at http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library/FHLC/frameset_fhlc.asp under:

AUSTRALIA, [STATE]- CIVIL REGISTRATION

There may also be information under:

AUSTRALIA - CIVIL REGISTRATION INDEXES

Archive offices may have inventories and guides that describe the record keeping systems and available civil registration records in Australia.

Related articles:

Wiki articles describing these collections are found at: