Location: New South Wales, Australia
Surnames/tags: Australia New_South_Wales BDM
New South Wales
State Library NSW
The NSW State Library has produced six detailed guides for researching Family History. These guides outline the various sources available and where.
- Births, deaths and marriages
- Convicts: Bound for Australia
- Convicts: Life in the colony
- NSW First Nations Family History
- Oral History and Sound Collections
- Shipping and Passenger Records
The NSW State Archives Collection
The NSW State Archives Collection includes a vast collection of records and archives relating to the daily work of the NSW Government and its agencies from 1788 to today. Browse an alphabetical list of research topics at NSW State Archives Collection Subjects A-Z . This list includes links to guides, indexes and articles. Many records have been digitised and are available for viewing online free of charge.
Note: In 2019, the State Archives and Records Authority of NSW (SARA) and The Historic Houses Trust of NSW, operating as Sydney Living Museums (SLM), entered into a partnership and in 2022 they became Museums of History NSW (MHNSW).
Other Historical Records of New South Wales
- Historical Records of New South Wales. Vol. I, Part 2, Phillip 1783-1792. Sydney: Charles Potter, Government Printer, 1892. add further details of volume, page etc here Archive.org
- Bladen, F M, ed. Historical Records of New South Wales. Vol. VI, KIng and Bligh, 1806, 1807, 1808. William Applegate Gullick, Government Printer, 1898. add further details of volume, page etc here Archive.org
Birth, Death, Marriages
NSW Government. Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. https://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/Pages/family-history-research/family-history-search.aspx
also Early church and district codes
It is not possible to link to the search results page. Supplying the registration number and registration district, and the spelling of the name in the entry (especially if spelt incorrectly) will help identify the index entry.
An example of a birth index citation:
- NSW Government. Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Varney Parkes, Birth. Registration number: 12295/1859, District: Ryde. Father: James. Mother: Mary. Accessed 25 Apr 2021. Births search page
An example of a death index citation:
- NSW Government. Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Varney Parkes, Death. Registration number: 12295/1859, District: Ryde. Father: James. Mother: Mary. Age: 64. Accessed 25 Apr 2021.Deaths search page
An example of a marriage index citation:
- NSW Government. Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Varney Parkes & Mary Jones, Marriage. Registration number: 12295/1859, District: Ryde. Accessed 25 Apr 2021. Marriages search page
Tips for using the search tool:
- How to find the exact birth / marriage / death date in New South Wales. See also: Binary Search Algorithm
- How to decode death registration district codes for post-1974 registrations
Immigration and Shipping Records
NSW State Archives Collection
The NSW State Archives Collection holds extensive immigration records with detailed guides and a number of online searchable indexes. Images of passenger lists for many voyages between 1828-1896 are also available for viewing online (no subscription or charge).
- Immigration & shipping - a list of resources relating to immigration and shipping which includes guides, indexes and articles.
- Assisted immigrants (digital) shipping lists Browse through digital shipping lists and images of Assisted immigrants passenger lists from 1828-1896
- Assisted Immigrants Index 1839-1896 An index of assisted immigrants arriving in Sydney and Newcastle 1844-59, Moreton Bay 1848-59 and Port Phillip 1839-51.
- Example of a citation for an assisted immigrant:
- NSW State Archives and Records. READ William. Assisted Immigrants Index 1839-1896. Age: 38 | Ship: Ellenborough | Year: 1853 | Copy: Reel 2137, [4/4791]; Reel 2464, [4/4931] William Read
- From the search results click on 'Detail' for the person. The citation can then be copied from the top part of the record. Add 'NSW State Archives and Records' at the beginning. The record page also includes a permalink at the bottom of the page which can be used to link directly to the record.
NSW State Library
The State Library of New South Wales maintains an extensive list of resources with details of coverage and links here: https://guides.sl.nsw.gov.au/shipping_passengers/getting_started
Bounty Immigrants database on Family Search: https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1542665?collectionNameFilter=false
Highlands and Islands Emigration Society
Highlands and Islands Emigration Society assisted the passage of nearly 5000 emigrants to Australia between 1852 and 1857. The records can be searched for free by name, by ship, by destination port. The images can be viewed for free. Registering with Scotlands People is required (free) but credits are not required to search or view images. Scotland Peoples search page
NSW Goverment State Archives Collection. “Land.” Accessed 10 February 2023 https://mhnsw.au/archive/subjects/land/
NSW 1828 Census
The 1828 census is available on Family Search at https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/2177300
NSW State Archives Collection: https://mhnsw.au/archive/subjects/convicts/
- Convicts Index - 1791-1873 (not digitised)
- Convict Indents Index - 1788 - 1801 (digitised)
- Convict Assignments - 1821 - 1825 (not digitised)
- Convict Exiles Index - 1849 - 1850 (not digitised)
- Convicts Applications to Marry - 1825 - 1851 (not digitised)
State Library NSW "CONVICTS: LIFE IN THE COLONY" https://guides.sl.nsw.gov.au/convicts-bound-for-australia/about
- A detailed Research Guide to researching convicts including information about primary and secondary sources and where to find them.
Example citations include links to the cemetery websites.
- Burial Record (Broken Hill City Council - Broken Hill Cemetery Records, https://www.bhcemetery.com.au/ : accessed 5 Sep 2021) database entry for Woods, Lily (Interment Type: Interment, Interment Date: 27 May 1920, Location: Section: Methodist, Subsection: Meth M5, Row: 44, Grave: 21A).
- Burial Record (Rookwood Cemetery, https://www.rookwoodcemetery.com.au/deceased-search-engine : accessed 9 Oct 2021) entry for Jessop, Clive (Death Date: 30 Dec 2002, Burial Date: 6 Jan 2003, Location: Remembrance Lawn, 3 Zone H/#/598)
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