Finding birth, death and marriage records

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family history research

The Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages is a major repository of family history including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family history. The compulsory registration of births, deaths and marriages was introduced in 1856 before Queensland separated from the colony of New South Wales. It is important to check the Registry indexes as entries for the registration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births, deaths and marriages can be found from the earliest European settlement. However, researchers need to be aware that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births, deaths and marriages were not consistently registered in Queensland until the 1940s.

The Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages has a free online historical index search of all registered births, deaths and marriages that occurred in Queensland from 1829 to 1914 (births), 1939 (marriages) and 1984 (deaths). This search will then provide you with the registration number which you can use to request a copy of the certificate.

How to apply

Access to certificates may be restricted to immediate family members. To avoid disappointment first check who can apply to receive a copy of the certificate.

* Fees and charges apply

Registry offices outside Queensland

To apply for a birth, death or marriage certificate outside of Queensland please visit the appropriate registry office for more details.

State Library of Queensland has copies of indexes to births, deaths and marriages. See Info Guide 3.2 : Births, deaths and marriages for more information.

Papua New Guinea

Enquiries about births, deaths and marriages that occurred in Papua New Guinea can be made by writing to:

Papua New Guinea
Registrar General
Office of Civil Registry
Department for Community Development
PO Box 7354
BOROKO, NCD
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Telephone: 0011 675 323 6154
Facsimile: 0011 675 232 1056

What if I can't find a registered certificate of a birth, death or marriage?

If you have not been able to find a registered certificate of birth, death or marriage, alternative and complementary sources of information may be available.

  • Community and Personal Histories team, Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, may be able to help you to locate and access other types of records which provide similar information.
  • Church records may also provide additional information as the churches compiled and maintained their own registers of baptisms, marriages, burials and confirmation. These registers are often held by the church or their archives. See Church contacts for more information.
  • Genealogies compiled as a result of anthropological fieldwork, such as those in the Norman Tindale Collection and the Margaret Lawrie Collection, may also be a valuable source.

See also

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