Archiver > DPS-SYDNEY > 2002-06 > 1024371956

From: "Rhonda Houston" <>
Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2002 22:45:56 -0500

Just some information I found and wanted to pass on. Rhonda Houston


The first settlement in Australia was in 1788 - Sidney Cove. This was also
the year that New South Wales was established as a penal colony. This was a
result of the loss of the American colonies in 1783, after the end of the
American Revolution, as a place to send convicts. It was not until 1792 that
the first free settlers arrived in New South Wales. These early convicts
were shipped for what we would consider minor offenses now. And in 1798,
after the Irish Revolution, many of the political prisoners were shipped
from Ireland to Australia. Of particular interest to those who had these
early immigrants, once the sentence was served or they had earned a
remission of the sentence, these individuals could never return to England.
Settlement of Australia was primarily from the British Isles, however, there
were other countries whose citizens began to emigrate. Those of particular
notice are Germany, China and other Asian countries.
Of importance when beginning your research into Australian ancestry is to
understand the government organization and the various local powers. Prior
to 1901, each of the states acted as an independent colony. Below is a
listing of the units of local government, as found in The Library (p. 680):

*New South Wales -- cities, municipalities, and shires
*Northern Territory -- cities and municipalities
*Queensland -- cities, towns, and shires
*South Australia -- cities, corporate towns, and district council areas
*Tasmania -- cities and municipalities
*Victoria -- cities, towns, and boroughs
*Western Australia -- cities, towns, and shires

However, one important note. With the exception of Western Australia, every
other state was under the jurisdiction of New South Wales at one time. It is
important to know the establishment of the state, because prior to that date
you will need to turn your attention to New South Wales. Keep in mind that
when requesting vital records from the various states you will need to
include payment in Australian dollars. And now a look at each of the states,
their holdings, and record availability.
New South Wales
Records from 1 Mar 1856 can be ordered through the Registry. The costs
change, so we are not including them here. You can contact the Registry as
Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
191 Thomas Street
PO Box 30 G.P.O.
Sydney, New South Wales 2001

(011) (61) (2) 228-8511
While the Registry has records from 1856, there are early records, many of
them available on fiche and CD and available for sale to the general public,
including a Pioneer Index 1788-1888. Some of the earlier vital records are
also available on microfilm, including indexes to baptisms (pre-1856),
marriages (pre-1856) and burials (pre-1856).

Northern Territory
Birth records from 24 Aug 1870, marriages records from 1871, and death
records from 1872 can be ordered from the Office of the Registrar. You can
contact them at:

Office of the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages
Department of Law
Nichols Place
G.P.O. Box 3021
Darwin, Northern Territory 0801
(011) (61) (89) 6119, Fax (011) (61) (89) 6239

Additionally, some of these records may be available through your local
Family History Center. And the index to births, marriages and deaths from
1870-1902 may be purchased through the Registrar's office.

Records from 1 Mar 1856 can be ordered through the Office of the Registrar
General. You can contact the Registrar at the below address:
Office of the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages
Old Treasury Building
PO Box 188
Brisbane, North Quay
Queensland 4002
(011) (61) (7) 224-6222, Fax (011) (61) (7) 224-5415

For records prior to 1890, you will want to contact:
The Queensland State Archives
PO Box 1397
Sunnybank Hills, Queensland 4109

In addition the Registrar has indexes for sale, including a consolidated
pioneer index of births, marriages and deaths to 1889, a birth index to
1914, and a marriage and death index to 1934.

South Australia
Records from 1 Jul 1842 are available from the Registrar. They have an
additional charge for airmailing vital record certificates, so you will want
to keep this in mind. You can contact the Registrar at the following

Principal Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages
Department of Public and Consumer Affairs
Edmund Wright House
59 King William Street
G.P.O. Box 1351
Adelaide, South Australia 5001
(011) (61) (8) 226-8561

For those who might want to see what is available on fiche and/or CD for
sale, they have consolidated indexes of births, marriages and deaths to
1922. The Registrar also has marriages to 1937, deaths to 1970. The Family
History Library also has vital records on microfilm.

The Registrar's office has some unique records in their holdings. They have
church registers from 1803 to 1838, and thereafter, civil registration. You
can contact them at:
Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages
15 Murray Street
G.P.O. Box 198
Hobart, Tasmania 7001
(011) (61) (2) 30-3793

For records prior to 1900, contact:
Tasmanian State Archives
77 Murray Street
Hobart, Tasmania 7001

In addition, the Registrar's office has the following indexes for purchase:
a Pioneer index 1803-1899 and marriages and deaths to 1914. The Family
History Library has indexes and records for Tasmania up to 1899 available on

Like Tasmania, the Registry office have some early church records. Because
of these church records, their holdings begin in 1837. You can reach them
Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
295 Queen Street
PO Box 4332
Melbourne, Victoria 3001
(011) (61) (3) 603-5800

The Registry also has the following records available for sale: a
consolidated index of births, marriages and deaths to 1920. They also have a
marriage index 1914-1930 and a death index 1914-1980. The Family History
Library has indexes to records from 1853 through 1895.
Western Australia

Records from 9 Sep 1841 can be ordered from the Registrar General's office.
They do have some limitations in their record availability. Birth records
must be more than 80 years old. Marriage records must be more than 40 years
old. And death records must be before 1980. You can contact their office at:

Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages
Westralia Square, Level 10
38 Mounts Bay Road
PO Box 7720, Cloisters Square
Perth, Western Australia 6850
(011) (61) (9) 264-1555, Fax (011) (61) (9) 264-1599

The Registrar General's office also offers a pioneer index covering the
years 1841-1905, and deaths to 1980 and marriages to 1965 for sale. Indexes
to births, marriages and deaths can be found on microfilm from the Family
History Library covering the years 1840 to 1896.
The above mentioned indexes include the following information:
*Births: name of child, parents' names, date of birth (sometimes year),
place of birth (or registration) and the reference number.
*Marriages: names of both the bride and the groom, ages (not available for
all states), marriage date (sometimes just the year), and reference number.
*Deaths: name of the deceased, the place of death, age, date of death
(sometimes just the year), reference number and many of the states also
include the names of the parents.

For more information about Australia and it's vital records holdings, check
out some of the Internet links here
<http://www.uftree.com/UFT/Nav/internetresourceslinksby.html>; on the
Ultimate Family Tree site.

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