Civil registration of births, deaths and marriages in the Colony of New South Wales commenced in 1856. Prior to this date, baptisms, marriages and burials were recorded in Church registers.
The New South Wales civil registration system also included the following areas and periods when under New South Wales administration:
- Northern Territory 1856-1863
The NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages provides free, searchable, online indexes to the following:
- births/baptisms 1788-1915 (ie. up to 100 years ago)
- marriages 1788-1965 (ie. up to 50 years ago)
- deaths/burials 1788-1985 (ie., up to 30 years ago)
Networked resources in the Library
Within the Library you may access the following searchable indexes via eResources:
- New South Wales Pioneers Index, 1788-1888
Includes church baptisms, marriage and burial records 1788-1856 (incomplete), and
official birth, death and marriage records 1856-1888
- New South Wales Pioneers Index 1889-1918
Includes birth, marriage and death records
- New South Wales Between the Wars Index 1919-1945
includes marriage and death records only
Microfilmed and other published material
Within the Library you may access the following indexes in the Newspapers and Family History zone:
- The New South Wales Between the Wars 1919-1945 [microform] resource includes the following indexes:
Marriage index 1919-1945, and
Death index 1919-1945
mc N 1369
- Registers of births, deaths and marriages from NSW churches prior to Civil Registration in 1856.
The records form part of the Archives Authority of New South Wales' Genealogical Research Kit - Stage 1.
These records can be identified by having volume reference numbers beginning with V in the above indexes.
Eg. V183214 26 (year = 1832, entry no = 14., volume no. = 26)
The Library holds microfilmed copies of Volumes 1-123 out of a total of 158 volumes and are contained in the Microfilm drawer labelled 'NEW SOUTH WALES 1'. Each microfilm box is labelled with both the Library Call Number 'mfm N 229' and the respective State Records Reel number (AO 5001 to AO 5048).
Copies of entries in volumes not held by the Library may be purchased directly from the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
NB: There are occasional Errors in the Place of Registration on the indexes.
For further information on the records of New South Wales, see the following:
NSW State Records - Research topics - Births, deaths and marriages
NSW State Records - Short Guide 2 - Birth, death and marriage records
NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages - Registry's Records