GUIDE TO RESOURCES FOR TASMANIAN GENEALOGY

by Malcolm Ward

© Malcolm Ward 2005-2011. All rights reserved


 2.  BIRTHS, MARRIAGES (DIVORCES) & DEATHS (B, M & D)

 

2.1  

WHAT'S ON EARLY B, M & D RECORDS?

An outline is given on the AOT web site here http://www.archives.tas.gov.au/guides/list/bg015


 

2.2

START HERE! TASMANIAN PIONEERS INDEX 1803-1900

Births, marriages and deaths have been reasonably well recorded in Tasmania since the earliest days of settlement. The most convenient resource for these up to 1899 is the Tasmanian Pioneers Index (TPI) which records b, m & d registrations from 1803 to 1899 (in the earlier years, "births" are baptisms and "deaths" are burials; there are some events dated after 1899 as well). The TPI is on a searchable CD and this is widely available in Tasmanian libraries and genealogical centres and larger such facilities interstate.

Although the TPI is a very useful resource, comparisons between church parish registers and the TPI for certain districts has shown a sometimes significant deficiency in the numbers of birth, marriage and death registrations compared to the equivalent church records. That is, the TPI should not be the "last word" if a certain event is being sought but not found on the TPI.

Importantly, the TPI gives a reference for each entry (in the form RGD33 987/1856), which corresponds to the original registration, which may contain additional information (eg the names of witnesses for marriages). These registrations have been microfilmed and the microfilms are kept at many locations in Australia and overseas. For locations, see: http://www.rootsweb.com/~austashs/resource/bdms.htm

Thus for pre 1900, there is no need to obtain an expensive "birth/marriage/death certificate" from Justice Tasmania, as the same information is obtained from the microfilms for the cost of a printer copy.

The TPI gives registration district, not the town of the event, although the names are sometimes the same. A discussion of the evolution of the registration districts can be found here: http://www.rootsweb.com/~austashs/resource/regdist.htm


 

2.3

TASMANIAN FEDERATION INDEX

This CD, released in 2006 is an index of births 1900 - 1919, and deaths and marriages 1900 - 1930. Unlike the Pioneers Index, ages of people at marriage and death is not recorded (even though the information was on the source documents) but the 'Place' field does include more detail, such as the church of a marriage or the actual address of a birth location. Like almost every digital index, there are mis-transcriptions and spelling errors, so liberal use of the wildcard * is advised. If searching by place, be prepared to search for many variations of spelling, including missed letters. Even simple places may be entered under a variety of spellings.

Unlike the Pioneers Index, certificates for the federation Index events have not been microfilmed and certificates must be obtained from Justice Tasmania : http://www.justice.tas.gov.au/bdm


 

2.4

JUSTICE TASMANIA

Birth, marriage & death certificates are obtainable from Justice Tasmania but there are restrictions on who can obtain those later than certain years. See http://www.justice.tas.gov.au/bdm Remember, the information on certificates pre 1900 is no greater than the registrations on microfilm which are available at many centres around Australia for the price of a copy.


 

2.5

TASMANIAN FAMILY LINK DATABASE

The AOT web site hosts the searchable "Family Link" database at http://portal.archives.tas.gov.au/menu.aspx?search=8 Note this is NOT the same as the Tasmanian Pioneers Index and great caution is advised in relying on the results of this database. Read the legend (eg some events or dates are assumed ) and be aware it is possible that wrong families may be assigned to parents and wrong spouses assigned to each other. Always check the results if possible by cross checking against the TPI and then viewing the b, m & d microfilms.


 

2.6

NEWSPAPER INDEXES

Birth, marriage and death notices published in the major newspapers in Tasmania have been indexed by the TFHS branches and these have been published to varying recent dates. Death notices in particular often give spouse, children, and grandchildren's names that enable descendants to be traced. Published coverages are:

"The Mercury" (Southern Tasmania) 1854 - 1930 #
"The Examiner" (Launceston area) 1842 - 1960
"The Advocate" (NW Coast area) 1900 - 1944
"Zeehan and Dundas Herald" (West Coast Area) 1890 - 1922
"Early Coastal Newspapers" (North West Coast Area) 1877 - 1912
"The Circular Head Chronicle" 1906 - 1998

# Available also as searchable PDFs on CD from the TFHS Hobart Branch.

Others are available; check http://www.tasfhs.org/ and follow the "publications" links of the various branches for a complete description.

Note that local TFHS branches have newspaper indexes on cards more recent than those published.

The State Library of Tasmania has comprehensively indexed Tasmanian newspapers since 1966 and these can be found here: http://www.statelibrary.tas.gov.au/tasmemory (see under 'Online Indexes').


 

2.7

INFANT DEATHS IN NURSERIES (FEMALE FACTORIES ETC)

The Female Factory Research group has compiled lists of infants who died at various nurseries and other institutions where female convicts were housed. These can be searched here (check lists down right-hand side): http://www.femaleconvicts.org.au/.


 

2.8

INQUESTS

The Archive Office of Tasmania's web site has an on-line index of inquests at http://portal.archives.tas.gov.au/menu.aspx?search=93. Clicking on the name in the search results will bring up the reference number for the inquest and also that of any related police report. Keep clicking on links to bring up a scanned image of the original inquest report.

The inquests are also on microfilm at the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office.

The Archive Office's series SC499 'Index to Coroner's Inquests' has been digitised and can be accessed here: http://search.archives.tas.gov.au/default.aspx?detail=1&type=I&id=SC499/1/1.

The inquest document may be no more than a simple certificate stating the findings of a jury on an accidental or unexplained death but may also include statements from witnesses, details of the life of the deceased etc with much interest to the family historian.

There are other inquest resources and records at the Archives Office; see: http://www.archives.tas.gov.au/guides/list/bg027.


 

2.9

DIVORCE

An on-line index of divorces (and things like petitions for separation etc) can be found at the AOT web site http://portal.archives.tas.gov.au/menu.aspx?search=3. The records are on microfilm at the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office, State Library, Hobart.



© Malcolm Ward 2005-2011. All rights reserved
Submitted by Malcolm Ward 28-Jul-2005
Updated 30-Nov-2011