It goes without saying that genealogists are after BDM (Birth, Death and Marriage) records, and why wouldn’t we be? They give us all sorts of interesting clues: parents’ names, place of birth, what someone died of, family members as witnesses or informants. Seriously they are truly genealogy gold!
One thing everyone who is new to researching Australian records needs to know is that each state has it’s own records, so there is no one-place to search for all Australian BDM records, though there are some partial ones. So while it seems a little annoying that we have to check each states records one-by-one, be thankful that Australia only has six states as opposed to the 48 counties of England, or the 50 US states.
Anyway back Australian records. We are fortunate enough to have access to some indexes and images of Birth, Death, and Marriage records online.
BDM RECORDS ONLINE
But before getting to them, there’s something else to note, and that is that Australia has privacy rules (I know surprise, surprise!), so you will not find recent records online as they are still covered by the privacy period. Each state has their own rules as to how long, but it tends to be 100 years for births, 50-70 for marriages, and 10-30 years for deaths. So don’t expect to find births or marriages that occurred in the 1970s or later listed yet, and the end date on the links below is when the deaths go until.
So first up here’s the records that you can find online, and even better, all of these are FREE:
New South Wales 1788-1982
South Australia 1842-1972
Tasmania 1803-1933 (note, this one is images only, and is not indexed)
Victoria 1836-1985 (note, the search for these USED to be free, but you had to pay $0.99/entry to view the results). Now you can’t even search now without putting c/c details in up front ..)
Western Australia 1841-1971
and while these are only partial indexes on FamilySearch, you may just find the record/s you’re after:
Australia, Births and Baptisms, 1792-1981
Australia, Marriages, 1810-1980
Australia, Deaths and Burials, 1816-1980
Now there are alternatives to them, one being Ancestry.com.au which is a subscription site. The records they list are ‘partial’ indexes only, so don’t be surprised if you can’t find someone who ‘should’ be there. But if you have a subscription to Ancestry.com.au (or the World one), or can use Ancestry.com.au at your local library or society, check it out, as you ‘just never know’.
Australia Birth Index, 1788-1922
Australia Marriage Index, 1788-1950
Australia Death Index, 1787-1985
Findmypast.com.au, the other subscription site have what they call ‘Life events’ as their BDM records. These aren’t necessarily ‘BDMs’, but more like confirmations and cremations, but still worth a look if you have access to it.
Life events (BDMs)
BDM CERTIFICATE EXCHANGE
Now there is another alternative yet again. This can be used for searching, but is also of use for those that have certificates who with to help out others, and that is using Certificate Exchange places. The idea is to submit info on the certificates you have to potentially save someone having to purchase it themselves – as we all know that Australian certificates are ridiculously expensive. Anyway if someone looks on the certificate exchange and finds your record they can then get in touch with you, and you have another family connection.
Australian BDM Certificate
Australiasia Births, Deaths and Marriages Exchange
So while this is a brief post, I do hope it’ll be useful if giving you suggestions of places to look for Australian Birth, Death and Marriage records. Now I do wish to give you one more link, and that is to a detailed list of just what information you can find on an Australian birth, death or marriage certificate (see it was worth reading till the end wasn’t it).