Australian Birth, Death and Marriage Records

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.


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 1788-1987
Queensland 1829-1987
South Australia 1842-1972
Tasmania 1803-1933
Victoria 1836-1988
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 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 (or and Ancestry World subscription), or can use 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, 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)



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

And there’s also similar places for UK certificates
Certificate 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).

Happy researching!

12 Responses to “Australian Birth, Death and Marriage Records”

  1. I believe your link for the Australasia Birth Deaths and Marriage Exchange has a typo – possibly you meant it to be
    not this

    btw – thanks for the info !

    very much appreciated

    Kerrie Anne Christian

  2. Judy Webster says:

    It is also worth noting that in some cases you can find certificates in files at the Archives, as explained on

  3. Jan Osbourne says:

    Thanks for the extremely useful information. I couldn’t find how to get free searches from Victoria.
    Can you help?

    • Alona says:

      Oh no … thanks for this Jan. It looks the the Vic Registry have changed their format. Previously you used to be able to search for free, then have to pay $0.99 to view each record. Sadly, now I see they won’t even let you search without putting a credit card in up front. They really should take a leaf out of the other states and make them more accessible. Apologies for my misinformation – I have now added in a note about this in the post.

  4. Bob Devenish says:

    I have traced my family back 8 generations on my fathers side to a birth in England who moved to Australia in 1830, along with his father’s name, now I have come to a screeching halt.
    What do I do now?

  5. Tom C. says:

    The Victorian BDM indexes are available for free at the “mooseroots” site (used to be called FindTheBest).

    The raw data in the form of CSV text files is also available from:
    but be warned that each of the three files is over 100MB.

    The only limitation with these indexes is that deaths are only to 1985 whereas the official indexes at are up to 1988.

  6. Tom C. says:

    The “Tasmanian Names Index” at has Birth, Deaths and Marriages (1803-1899) along with digital copies of the certificates, all for free.
    There is also a “Colonial Tasmanian Family Links database” at which includes birth, death and marriage info.
    We should all be putting pressure on our own state governments to follow the Tasmanian lead.

  7. vicki says:

    I have tried to find any info on my grandmothers side. even though i am putting in the correct dates and names it tells me “no matching records” very frustrating.

    • Alona says:

      Vicki, it depends on where you are searching (what website, what state and what era). All of these are a factor as to if you’ll find your grandma’s family info online. Have you got your parents birth certificate? If so that will have your grandparents names, then you can go from there … But remember NOT ALL BDM records are online.

  8. Cathleen mcinerney says:

    My dad died in 2017 Paul Michael O’Neill born June 16th address 40 annie street Brisbane I am his daughter from his first marriage and I live in the UK he had a daughter called Suzie from his second wife she was born in 1979 can you help I sent a letter to that address twice and got no reply if anyone can help thankyou

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