Each week, I focus on either a new (or updated) record collection at ancestry.com.au, FamilySearch or Findmypast, or one of the other resources that I have used when researching my family history. This week none of the new or updated collections appealed to me (I couldn’t think of any of my ancestors or relations who would be on one of these collections), so I decided to focus on the first resource I looked at when I started my research – the birth, death and marriage indexes for Victoria, Australia.
When I first started researching, these indexes were on microfiche at my local library (in Coburg). Later, I accessed the indexes at State Library of Victoria, and in the late 90s these indexes became available on CD. The CDs made it easier to find information quickly, as these included a search feature, which meant you could search not just by surname, but, for births and deaths, you search by parents’ names as well.
These indexes are now also available online at
Ancestry.com.au – a subscription is required
- Australia, Marriage Index, 1788-1950
- Australia, Death Index, 1787-1985
- Australia, Birth Index, 1788-1922
Findmypast – a subscription is required
- Australia, Births & Baptisms, 1792 – 1981
- Australia, Marriages, 1788-1935
- Australia Deaths & Burials, 1816 – 1980
There is a charge of 99c (Australian) to view each page of search results (each page has 30 entries).
It would depend on how many records you are wanting to look up, and what other record collections you would also use the subscription site for, as to whether to use the subscription sites, or the Births Deaths Marriages site.
Once you have the details of a birth, death or marriage event from the index, you would then apply for the certificate. If you use the Historical index, you can apply for the certificate(s) directly from the index.
The birth certificates for Victoria currently cost $30.20, or $21 for an uncertified image. The uncertified images have the same information as the Historical Certificates, so for family history, I find the uncertified images are a much cheaper option.
For more details, you can visit the Births Deaths Marriages Victoria Online Shop Index.
It can become quite costly if you have a number of certificates you need, so other options to find dates of events, and confirm relationships, are cemetery registers (useful for finding the date of burial, to help narrow down your search in newspapers not available online), family notices in newspapers, online family trees and war records. Although these may not be as accurate as the certificates, you can use these until you can afford to get the certificates.