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Monday, January 27, 2014

Australian Birth Death and Marriage records

This is an article written for the Ballarat and District Genealogical Society

How many times do we get told or tell people to always check original sources. Birth, Death and Marriages indexes are a wonderful source, however it is still very easy to be steered in the wrong direction with indexes. An example of this I found recently where a fellow who settled in the Western District had his parents listed on his death certificate. This was fine and both had rather unusual names so had to be them. This was also reflected on a number of trees on Ancestry and each had followed on from those parents, as they were also in Western District, in fact the same town. However, I was not convinced of this, something was not right, his age did not fit comfortably with these parents. He had married in Victoria so I downloaded his marriage certificate.
The name of his mother was not quite the same, very similar and could have been a spelling mistake, as they happen often, but a search of the English records found his birth in England along with his parents and census records.  The couple who were in the same town as he was in Victoria were different people.
Without the original source people were on the wrong track.

So where do you get these certificates. Australia has these state by state and the information differs as well.

While the Registry began recording births, marriages and deaths occurring in Victoria from 1853, it also holds records of church baptisms, marriages and burials dating back to 1836. These records are available for public access via VicHeritage™, the Registry's historical research unit. - See more at: . While the Registry began recording births, marriages and deaths occurring in Victoria from 1853, it also holds records of church baptisms, marriages and burials dating back to 1836. These records are available for public access via VicHeritage™, the Registry's historical research unit. - See more at:
While the records from 1836 - 1853 are from NSW, these certificates can be obtained from The Ballarat and District Genealogical Society Inc computers at Ballarat Library. The indexes are also available from the Library  or can be searched for online at .99c per page, and once you have your registration details from the index, certificates can be purchased at $20 each. These can be downloaded from BDM website, just go to historical certificates uncertified. Otherwise you are able to write to BDM for a copy of these certificates.

New South Wales  indexes are on line at
Family history certificates are unrestricted, so no identification is required for:
    Registry records from 1856 to ...
                     births over 100 years
                     deaths over 30 years
                     marriages over 50 years.
    Early church records (1788 - 1855 baptism, marriage, burial)
Search over 18 million records for free...
    ‪‪After viewing search results, your option is to purchase a certificate and obtain all the information available. By supplying a registration number, you get a discounted fee of $31.00 (normally $44.00).
    ‪‪We use the latest high security technology to protect your personal and financial details. On-line certificates are posted by standard mail and do not incur postage fees.
‪‪If you don't want to order online, you have the option to complete a Family history application form and mail it in. Again, if you supply the registration number, you receive the discounted fee.
Ask a family history transcription agent
Family history transcription agents provide full and partial transcriptions, or verification of details. A good idea if you only need the facts, and not full certified copies of certificates. For more details and fees, see below.
    Marilyn Rowan | Tel 61 (2) 4658 1206 | Fax 61 (2) 4658 1296
Email | Web
    Joy Murrin | Tel 61 (2) 9585 1187 | Fax 61 (2) 9585 1486
Email | Web
Laurie Turtle | Tel 61 (2) 4573 1559 | Fax 61 (2) 4573 0536
Email | Web

Here you can search the indexes free, and can also download a certificate on line for $20.
Available birth records
    1825 to 1890 images and certificates
    1891 to 1913 certificates
Available death records
    1825 to 1890 images and certificates
    1891 to 1898 certificates only
    1899 to 1915 images or certificates
    1916 to 1964 certificates only
    1965 to 1979 images and certificates
    1980 to 1983 certificates only
Available marriage records
    1825 to 1889 images and certificates
    1890 to 1938 certificates only
Western Australia
The registry offers free online historic index searching of births, deaths and marriages from 1841. At
If you successfully find an entry and would like to order a copy, click on the 'order' link alongside the search result. This will pop up a new window with an order form (PDF) pre-populated with the relevant details.
Birth, death or marriage certificate at least 75 years old, when the registration number and registration district are provided - $31
From here, either:
    enter the applicant's details online, save the application form to your local drive and print
    print the application form and complete the applicant's details offline.
    sign and post the form with a cheque or money order* to the postal address listed on the form; or
    sign, complete credit card details and post the form to the postal address listed on the form.
* Cheques or money orders should be made payable to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Overseas applicants must pay in Australian dollars using an international money order or bank draft.
Note: Orders cannot be submitted by fax, email, telephone or online.
South Australia
What you Can Search
You are about to search the following Genealogy SA databases:
    Newspaper Birth Notices Index from 1960 onwards
    Newspaper Death Notices Index from 1972 onwards
    South Australia Cemeteries Index
    Birth Registration Certificates Index 1842 - 1928
    Death Registration Certificates Index 1842 - 1972
    Marriage Registration Certificates Index 1842 - 1937
 The default name setting is for an exact search. An exact search will give a null result if there are leading or embedded blanks in the name, and also apostrophes or other punctuation symbols.
Potential clients need to be aware that a range of certificate styles have been used over the years, with each different version holding different amounts of information. The cost is $22 per transcription request, Member discounts apply.
Full certificate prices are $44.75 with no discounts for Family History.
To apply for South Australian certificates you can go to

These indexes are available at the Library in the Australiana Room Ballarat. These may also be available at your local Library. The certificates are also attached to these. Search in Tasmania is expensive so asking at your local library is best

Registration of births, deaths and marriages commenced in 1839 in Tasmania, the first Australian colony to take over the function previously conducted by the Churches.
The Registry holds and can produce certificates for:
    church records (burials, baptisms and marriages) from 1803 - 1839
    birth, death and marriage registrations from 1839 to date
Access to birth records is available to anyone after 100 years.  Access to marriage records is available to anyone after 75 years.  Access to death records is available to anyone after 25 years. .
Please Note:  The Tasmanian Registry does not have an online search facility to access birth, death and marriage records.

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