Australia Research Guide | Civil Registration
Prior to civil registration in Australia, baptisms, weddings and burials were recorded by the churches. After civil registration began, many church records were kept in local custody. Others are found in state repositories and church archives.
Civil registration of births, deaths and marriages was introduced at different times in each colony/state and territory:
* Note 1: Civil registration commenced in Queensland when it was still part of the Colony of New South Wales. The relevant records were transferred to the control of the new Colony of Queensland at its formation in 1859.
** Note 2: Civil registration began in the Northern Territory when it was administered from Adelaide. Responsibility was taken over by the Commonwealth from South Australia in 1911. The function was transferred to the Northern Territory Government in 1978 when internal self-government was granted.
*** Note 3: Civil registration began in the Australian Capital Territory from the creation of the Territory. At first, the function was carried out by New South Wales until 1930 when the Commonwealth took over. In 1988, the function was transferred to the Government of the Australian Capital Territory when internal self-government was granted.
There was no common standard for recording information when civil registration initially began, consequently content may differ from state to state. More information is generally recorded in later records.
Birth records may provide the following information:
Marriage records may provide the following information:
Death records may provide the following information:
Each of the States in Australia has created indexes to their civil registration records, most of which can be found online:
Online Australia Death Notice Index – The Ryerson Index
The Ryerson Index is a free index to death notices appearing in Australian newspapers. The date range covered extends from the Sydney Gazette of 1803 up to newspapers published within the last week or so. The Index also includes many funeral notices, and some probate notices and obituaries.
Pictured: Post Office, Melbourne, Victoria, James Charles Armytage (1802-1897)