NOTICE: Our online forms will be unavailable during site maintenance on Sunday 8 December 2019 from 9am to 12pm (AEDT)
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You can conduct your own family history search using our Family History Search engine. We offer free, unrestricted searching with no identification required for:
After viewing the search results, you can purchase a certificate to obtain all the information available. A family history certificate is an accurate record of the Register issued under seal.
On-screen it may say "PDF Unavailable" but don't worry that only means we will create a file to send you. Choose the email option to receive a digital record that's easily stored.
Applying online via our Family History Search engine gives you a discounted fee of $35 (usually $48 when applying by post).
Download Family history search help guide - PDF
You may wish to have a family history search conducted by the Registry. When you apply make sure to provide all known details of the person's record you wish to search including their:
Download Family history search application - PDF
Think carefully about the date of birth, death or marriage you wish to search for. If you’re unsure about the spelling of a name, note this on your application form and we’ll check any minor variations.
If you’re unsure of when the event occurred you can nominate a 10-year period for a search. If the date you’ve provided is incorrect, we’ll search up to five years either side of the date.
You can request to search a longer period than 10 years at an extra cost:
If you wait for the results of your first search and then decide to search a longer timeframe, this will count as a new search and you will be charged a further fee. A search under a different family name is treated as a new search and will incur separate search fees.
You can also visit your local library when conducting your own family history search. Most public libraries hold copies of our microfiche allowing you to search a registration number. You can then purchase a certificate from us. Remember to include the registration number for a discounted fee.
Family history transcription agents provide full and partial transcriptions, or verification of details. A good idea if you only need the facts, and not full certified copies of certificates. For information and fees refer to the contacts below:
The best way to gather family history information is to start with what you know and work backwards beginning with your parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Talk to older family members and consider preparing questions and recording their answers.
As you move through generations you can verify your information with birth, death and marriage records held by the Registry in the form of certificates. Certificates are great stepping stones for searching information from previous generations and often contain information not just about the subject but also other family members: