Over the past few weeks, I have looked at three types of records that can be used to find birth, death and marriage information for an ancestor/relative in Victoria, Australia. This week, I will be giving a practical example of how the three records can be used together, to save on the cost of ordering vital certificates.
My grandfather’s birth certificate had shown that he had four older siblings, Jane, Alfred, Joseph and Walter.
The first thing to do would be to search the birth indexes for Victoria to find the birth entries for Jane, Alfred, Joseph and Walter, and to check for any younger siblings of John. The next thing to do would be to check the death indexes. At the time I first researched this family, I accessed the birth, death and marriage indexes that were held on microfiche at my local library. Since my maiden name is a fairly uncommon name, I decided to make a note of all the Whimpeys I could find on the BDM indexes for Victoria. Now, the birth, death and marriages indexes can be found in a number of places – for more details refer to my post Wednesday’s resources – Birth death marriage indexes for Victoria, Australia
My search found the following children for Joseph Whimpey and Sarah Jane Sharp:
- 1873 Whimpey Jane Eliz 6151 Joseph Sharp Sarah Jane Tarnagulla
- 1874 Whimpey Alfd Hy 12594 Jos Sharp Sarah Jane T’gulla
- 1876 Whimpey Joseph 05755 Joseph Sharp Sarah Jane Tarn
- 1879 Whimpey Walter 19766 Joseph Sharp Sarah Jane Tarn
- 1884 Whimpey John Ernest 13277 Joseph Sharp Sarah Jane Tarn
- 1887 Whimpey Emily 24382 Joseph Sharp Sarah Jane Tarn
- 1889 Whimpey Ethelind Hannah 26820 Jos Sharp Sarah Jane Tarnagulla
- 1891 Whimpey Wm Norman 7465 Jos Sharp Sarah Jane Tarnagulla
- 1892 Whimpey Albt 17990 Jos Sharp Sarah Jane Tarnagulla
- 1895 Whimpey Wm Claude 16383 Jos Sharp Sarah Jane Tarnagulla
- 1896 Whimpey Arth Edgar 23858 Jos Sharp Sarah Jane Tarnagulla
- 1898 Whimpey Herbt 6984 Jos Sharp Sarah Jane Tarnagulla
- 1891 Whimpey Wm Norman 8375 Jos Sharp Sarah Jane 3m Tarnagulla
- 1897 Whimpey Emily 14903 Jos Sharp Sarah Jane 10 Tgulla
- 1933 Whimpey Alfd Hy 117 Joseph Sharp Jane Elizth 58 Bwk W*
- 1954 Whimpey Joseph 12584 Joseph Sharpe Sarah Jane 78 Cobu
- 1960 Whimpey John Ernest 9319 Joseph Sharp Sarah Jane 76 Box H
- 1965 Albert Roy 24286 Joseph Unknown 73 Heid*
- 1969 Walter 5541 Joseph Unknown Hannah 89 Brun*
- 1975 Herbert 01191 Unknown Unknown 78 Gard*
*These entries needed to be verified as children of Joseph and Sarah.
My local library also had the Cemetery registers for the Fawkner Crematorium, the major crematorium for the northern suburbs of Melbourne, so I decided to check for any Whimpeys buried at that cemetery, and found the following entries that corresponded to the above death entries:
Whimpey 44014 Alfred Henry 4/1/1933
225127 Herbert 6/11/1974
153172 John Ernest 18/7/1960
126768 Joseph 29/10/1954
195294 Walter 19/3/1969
I also found an entry for:
175773 Arthur E 13/4/1965
This meant I now had a burial date for 6 of the children of Joseph and Sarah, so now I would use these dates to narrow down my search for death notices. Since these 6 children died and were buried within Melbourne, I searched one of the major newspapers for Melbourne, The Sun. I found the old issues for this newspaper on microfilm at the State Library of Victoria. This newspaper is not yet available online, so a visit to a library is needed to access these records. As well as being held at the State Library of Victoria, this newspaper would also be held at other libraries around Australia. I’m not sure whether it is available anywhere overseas.
From the death notices, I now had the following death dates (I haven’t included my transcriptions, as they mention individuals still living):
- Arthur Edgar 10 April 1965*
- Herbert 3 November 1974 *
- Walter 17 March 1969*
- Joseph 28 October 1954
- John Ernest 15 July 1960
I wasn’t able to find the death notice for Alfred in the Sun – prior to the second World War, the Sun had very few family notices. At this time, these notices were more commonly inserted in the Argus. The Argus is available on the Trove website, and I found the death notice for Alfred there.
WHIMPEY. –On the 2nd January, 1933, at his residence, 13 Fitzgibbon avenue, West Brunswick, Alfred Henry, loving husband of Hilda and loving father of Edna, William and Arthur, aged 58 years.
* I still needed to verify that Arthur, Walter and Herbert were sons of Joseph and Sarah – the death notices didn’t mention siblings or parents, only spouses and children. Since the death certificates aren’t going to be any more help in confirming they were children of Joseph and Sarah than the index entries, another option for confirming this would be to search for marriage notices. Since these marriages were prior to 1955, the first place to search is the Trove website
This is the marriage notice for Arthur.
WHIMPEY-ALEXANDER.- On the 29th September, at the Presbyterian Church, Tarnagulla, by the Rev. J. A. Souter, Arthur, seventh son of the late Mr. and Mrs. J. Whimpey, of Tarnagulla, to Ella, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Alexander, of Tarnagulla.
I wasn’t able to find the marriage notice for Walter or Herbert, so to confirm their relationship, I would need to apply for the marriage certificates. To do this, I would check the marriage indexes for marriage entries that corresponded to the spouses listed on their death notices. These are the entries for Herbert and Walter.
- 1907 Whimpey Walt Russell Ellen Vera Vic 5725
- 1922 Whimpey Herbert Ford Mary Elizth Maude 12233
Using these details, I was able to obtain the marriage certificates, which confirmed their parents were Joseph Whimpey and Sarah Jane Sharp. At the time I obtained these certificates, I used the application form which was available at any Post Office in Victoria. These days, the certificates can be ordered online at https://online.justice.vic.gov.au/bdm/home
In this case, there were 12 children of Joseph and Sarah, so obtaining a birth, death and marriage certificate for each child would be quite expensive. Although not as accurate as the certificates, using family notices is a cheaper alternative.