More clues for Family History Researchers

Published Wednesday, 06 June, 2018 at 10:35 AM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

The most popular service provided by the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages has now been improved, opening up even more information to family history researchers.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said The Family History Research service on the registry’s website was now faster, easier to navigate, and offered access to notes and other documents accompanying official certificates.

“More than 35,000 visitors per month are accessing the Family History Research home page, prompting the significant upgrade of the site,” Mrs D’Ath said.

“This is clearly a highly valued service to the people of Queensland, and it’s most appropriate that the upgraded service should begin on Queensland Day,” Mrs D’Ath said.

It was June 6 – Queensland Day – five years ago that the digital service for family history research began.

Previously, community members were required to attend the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in person to apply for documents, which were then retrieved from archives, copied and posted to them.

“Being able to search online means that people in the most isolated areas have been able to search their Queensland family origins easily,” Mrs D’Ath said.

From today, researchers and historians are able to apply for Historical Source Images, which are the notes or any other material provided by the informant. Previously they were only able to access the official record of the birth, death or marriage.

“While not every certificate has accompanying notes or documents, there is the potential to access so much more information quickly, which may provide far greater insights into a family’s history,” Mrs D’Ath said.

“Users now also can search a family by name, rather than by event, as was previously the case.”

The registry requested and received expert advice regarding the upgrade, with 100 family historians invited to provide feedback during a six-week trial period, before the improved site went live.

“We have a great relationship with a number of historians and genealogists and sought feedback from many of these people in the refinement of the service,” Queensland’s Registrar-General David John said.

“It made sense to get the views of experts so we could provide the best product possible,” he said.

The registry holds records of births, deaths and marriages that took place in Queensland between 1829 and present day.

While Queensland started compulsory registration of life events in 1856, the registry also holds some church records of life events between 1829 and 1855.

There are now more than 11 million historical images across six million life events for Queenslanders to search.

Due to the registry’s certificate access policy provisions, which protect the identity of individuals, the following records are accessible to anyone through the family history research page records:

  • births up to 1919
  • marriage records up to 1943
  • death certificates up to 1988.

The registry’s historical records can be searched and ordered through the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages website at

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