Births, deaths and marriages

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visitors are kindly advised that this website includes images, sounds and names of people who have passed.

All users should be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified. Certain words, terms or descriptions may reflect the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written, but are now considered inappropriate in today's context.

Key to library resources

Access anywhere with a library card In the Library (or anywhere with a Library card for NSW residents)
Available to access in the library Only in the Library
Publicly available online Publicly available

More marriage records

Learn more about your ancestor's marriage or divorce

Newspapers at the Library

Newspapers are great for researching your family history as they hold a wealth of information. Newspapers can expand on the information you've already gathered and can contain information that isn’t available elsewhere.

We have a large collection of NSW newspapers that are available in a variety of formats including online, microfilm and print. You can find many early Australian newspapers on Trove.

What are Parish Registers?

Parish registers are records of marriages that were performed by churches of all denominations. Churches recorded the marriages they performed in the registers.

These are the official source for marriages that occurred before 1856 when civil registration began in NSW. Churches continued to record marriages after this date. These records can be a useful supplement to the official certificate.

Find parish registers on microfilm in the Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room and in the Special Collections area.

What is Civil Registration?

Civil registration is the official recording of births, deaths and marriages by the government. Compulsory civil registration began on 1 March 1856 in NSW. Each state and territory has a Registry that is responsible for these records.

States once part of NSW

ACT, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and even New Zealand were once part of the colony of NSW. It may be worth checking the NSW birth, death and marriage indexes for these areas.

Notices in newspapers

Use newspapers to find engagement and marriage notices.

We have indexes of birth, death and marriage notices for several newspapers. You can find online indexes on our eresources page or search our catalogue to find print indexes.

Koori Mail Online Collection

Search the Australian Indigenous index to find information about births, funerals and marriages in the Koori Mail newspaper, Dawn magazine as well as historical missionary magazines.

You can view issues of the Koori Mail, 1991-present in the Koori Mail Online Collection.