New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages

Following from my post last week summarising the information available from the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, this week I’m going to take a look at the New South Wales Registry.

While my research hasn’t been as involved in NSW as it has in Victoria, to date I have 7 resources in my family tree from the NSW Registry spanning all three event types giving me some experience using this registry.

What information is available?

The NSW registry makes the following records available:

  • Births over 100 years ago: 1787-1915
  • Marriages over 50 years ago: 1787-1965
  • Deaths over 30 years ago: 1787-1985

It’s worth noting that for the period 1788 to 1856 the only records kept were in registers maintained by the Churches.  As such, not all events will be documented as this required people to attend a Church in person in order to have the event recorded.  There’s an interesting page on the registry website which provides a summary of the history of the records and the subtleties to be considered when researching within each period.

For births and deaths, the following information is presented in the search results:

  • Registration Number
  • Family Name
  • Given Name(s)
  • Father’s Given Name(s)
  • Mother’s Given Name(s)
  • District
  • PDF Availability

The fields are slightly different for marriages which show:

  • Registration Number
  • Groom’s Family Name
  • Groom’s Given Name(s)
  • Bride’s Family Name
  • Bride’s Given Name(s)
  • District
  • PDF Availability

Unlike the Victorian registry, it’s not possible to drill down deeper into the record.  If you want to view more information you need to order the certificate.

A sample of results from the NSW registry
A sample of results from the NSW registry

Ordering certificates

Certificates from the NSW Registry cost $31 each, for either email or postal delivery. Alternatively, there are several contacts on the registry website who offer a transcription service.  For a reduced fee, these people can either provide a full or partial transcription, or verify specific facts.  This can be a cheaper option if you’re not concerned about citing the certificate yourself.

Pros and Cons

Overall the NSW registry is quite easy to use.  Some of its benefits include:

  • A broad range of searchable dates
  • Advanced wildcard support for broader searching
  • No apparent limit to the number of search results returned which, when combined with sorting of results, allows you to browse a large set of results if you’re not sure of all the specific details (eg a long range of years)

While not major drawbacks, a couple of features lacking which are available for Victoria are:

  • Can only search one event type at a time
  • Unable to drill down to more detail

Overall, I haven’t had any major issues using the NSW registry for my research.

Your research

Have you used the NSW Registry when searching your family tree? Share your tips for using the registry in the comments below!

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