Website Hints

Here is a summary of key websites out there on various topics relating to researching your family history.  This month it’s all about births, deaths and marriages.

Each jurisdiction publishes different information in their indexes so some will be more useful than others in narrowing down your ancestors. Victoria for example often includes the mother’s maiden name where known as does the UK GRO (births only).  Some jurisdictions such as New South Wales and Victoria make new records available each day according to their restriction period – for example if your ancestor was born on 28 January 1920, their index record will become available on 29 January 2020.

All of the indexes shown below are free to search unless otherwise specified although some sites may require you to register.


New South Wales – early church records from 1788 to 1855 are available and civil registrations from 1856 to the end of the restriction period – births 100 years, marriages 50 years, deaths 30 years.

Queensland – recently updated their site to make searching more flexible and you can also download a file with your search results. Contains records from 1829 to 1920 (births), 1945 (marriages) and 1990 (deaths).

Victoria – the indexes contain church records from 1836 to 1853 and government registrations from 1853 to the end of the restriction period – births 100 years, marriages 60 years and deaths 30 years.

South Australia – not an official government site but Genealogy SA provides indexes for records from 1842 to 1928 (births), 1937 (marriages) and 1972 (deaths).

Western Australia – records from 1841 to 1932 (births), 1936 (marriages) and 1971 (deaths).

Tasmania – the registry does not have an online index however Libraries Tasmania’s Names Index contains a wide variety of records including many births, deaths and marriages (including images). CD-ROM indexes are also available in major reference libraries.

Northern Territory – the Territory does not have an online index. Searches of historical records can be requested from the Births, Deaths and Marriage office for a fee.

England & Wales

General Register Office – free registration allows you to search the birth (1837-2004) and death (1837-2019) indexes. Certificates can also be ordered online.

FreeBMD – as the GRO index does not contain marriages you can access these, as well as births and deaths, on the FreeBMD website.


Scotlands People – contains various Scottish records including statutory registers of births, marriages and deaths from 1855 onwards, with a restriction period of 100 years for births, marriages 75 years and deaths 50 years. Older parish registers are also available. Registration is required to view search results and you can purchase credits to view the actual records.

USA & Canada

There is no single site for location North American records as births, deaths and marriages are registered at state/province level. A good starting point is FamilySearch which has some indexes and records available. To see what’s available start at the FamilySearch Wiki for the United States.

Other sites

A number of other sites contain baptism, birth, death, burial and marriage records for a variety of locations. Most of these require a paid subscription to access however you can access AncestryFindMyPast and The Genealogist when visiting 2/379 Kent Street.  SAG members can now also access MyHeritage online via the SAG website members’ area.