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Sources and Citations - South Australia

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South Australia

Civil Registration

Civil registration commenced in South Australia on 1st July 1842. There is no free access to indexes online, although they may be viewed in some public libraries, either in book form or using Digger software. Currently indexed births are available to 1928, marriages to 1937, and deaths to 1972.

Genealogy SA - Limited index search available online, with membership of Genealogy SA required for further information. Links must go to the home page. Full list of current records available online: https://www.genealogysa.org.au/resources/online-database-search

When BDMs were registered, two copies were made. One copy remained in the district and one copy was sent to the Registry in Adelaide. Today, the historical district copies reside within a public library within the district, and members of the public may view and transcribe them for free. Copies of these registers are also available for transcription at Genealogy SA (free to members, non-members pay a daily access fee).

When citing a South Australian BDM record, it's very important to include the district in your citation to enable people to find the original record.

SA BDM indexes also often include names of relatives. When trying to connect a profile to family members, it helps to know who those family members are. By not including them in citations, it limits the number of people who can contribute to South Australian profiles. In keeping with Wikitree policy to include all relevant information in the citation for any records behind a paywall, please include the names of relatives mentioned in the BDM indexes.

An example of a birth index citation at Genealogy SA:

South Australia Birth Index. (Genealogy SA, https://www.genealogysa.org.au/index.php : accessed 11 May 2020), database entry for Lomman, Tom (Birth Date: 23 Dec 1857, Father: Thomas Lomman, Mother: Louisa Bratchell, Birthplace: Shipley), Reference: District Adelaide, Book 11, Page 251.

An example of a marriage index citation at Genealogy SA:

South Australia Marriage Index. (Genealogy SA, https://www.genealogysa.org.au/index.php : accessed 24 Jul 2020), database entry for Rainey, Fredrick George (Age: 22, Status: bachelor, Father: George Rainey) and Barrett, Eliza Myrtle (Age: 23, Status: spinster, Father: William Fredrick Barrett), 31 Aug 1909 at the residence of the bride's parents, Parkside, Reference: District Adelaide, Book 240, Page 480.

FindMyPast - Subscription required, or may be accessed free with Genealogy SA membership (entire membership has a monthly search limit), or free at Mormon Family History Centres. It is possible to link directly to the record.

An example of a birth index citation at FindMyPast:

South Australia Births 1842-1928 (FindMyPast, https://www.findmypast.com : accessed 2 October 2021) database entry for Tiller, Bertram Norman (Birth Date: 15 Apr 1879, Father: George Tiller, Mother: Mary June Nelson, Birth Place: Mallala) Reference: District: Gilbert, Book/Page: 219/58.

An example of a death index citation at FindMyPast:

South Australia Deaths 1842-1972 (FindMyPast, https://www.findmypast.com : accessed 2 October 2021) database entry for Fradd, John (Death Date: 26 January 1922, Marital Status: Married, Age: 82y, Residence: Copperhouse, Death Place: Copperhouse) Reference: District: Burra, Book/Page: 452/93.

An example of a marriage index citation at FindMyPast:

South Australia Marriages 1842-1937 (FindMyPast, https://www.findmypast.com ; accessed 7 October 2021) transcript for Cormack, John (Age: 26, Status: Single, Father: Andrew Cormack) and Stone, Mirinda (Age: 20, Status: Single, Father: Alfred Stone) on 12 October 1889 at St Paul Church Port Adelaide, Reference: District: Port Adelaide, Book/Page: 161/192.

Church Records

Genealogy SA has transcriptions of some parish registers available online, including baptisms, marriages, burials. These include events prior to civil registration. Membership required.

FindMyPast - has transcriptions of some parish registers available, including baptisms, marriages, burials. Subscription required.

An example of a baptism citation at FindMyPast:

Australia, Births & Baptisms, 1792-1981 (FindMyPast, https://www.findmypast.com : accessed 23 September 2020) database entry for Lomman, Tom (Baptism Date: 17 January 1858, Father: Thomas, Mother: Louisa, Baptism Place: St George, Woodforde, South Australia).

An example of a burial citation at FindMyPast:

Australia Deaths & Burials, 1816-1980 ((FindMyPast, https://www.findmypast.com : accessed 23 September 2020) database entry for Lomman, Thomas (Burial Date: 28 Nov 1904, Burial Place: St Martins, Campbelltown)

FamilySearch - has transcriptions of some parish registers available online, including baptisms, marriages, burials. Some images of registers are available.

An example of a baptism record at FamilySearch:

"Australia Births and Baptisms, 1792-1981", database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XT6Y-G24 : accessed 24 Sep 2020), database entry for Lomman, Thomas Henry (Birth Date: 28 Oct 1849, Baptism Date: 9 Dec 1849, Father: Henry Lomman, Mother: Martha, Baptism Place: St George, Woodforde)

Savill Index

Index of funeral notices published in The Advertiser from 1971-2019. https://savill.collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/

Burials

Genealogy SA has transcribed many burial registers, including offline registers, and headstones from cemeteries across SA. The final year of transcription varies for each cemetery. https://www.genealogysa.org.au/resources/online-database-search (Membership required)

An example of a burial transcription by Genealogy SA:

Burial Transcription (Genealogy SA, https://www.genealogysa.org.au/index.php : accessed 22 Jul 2020), database entry for Buckenara, Edward G. (Cemetery: North Road, Burial Number: 14186, Plot: 1748).

Local Governments - Many cemeteries are administered by local Councils and several, but not all, Councils have chosen to make their burial registers available online. The proprietary software used will allow searching from a Council's website of specific cemeteries administered by that Council, or a search of the entire state. From time to time this software is buggy, so if at first you don't succeed, try searching from another Council website, preferably the one where you suspect the burial took place, or try again a few months later.

The Cemeteries and Crematoria Association of South Australia has a list of all known cemeteries in South Australia with their administrators here.

Adelaide Hills Council has an online search function that is not part of the statewide search. https://www.ahc.sa.gov.au/Community/cemeteries/cemetery-data

The Town of Gawler has downloadable PDF listings of burials available for some of the cemeteries under its administration, including Willaston Cemetery and the Pioneer Park. https://www.gawler.sa.gov.au/services/cemeteries

An example of a burial citation in a Council administered cemetery:

Burial Record (Regional Council of Goyder, http://goyder.dcw.lga.sa.gov.au/ : accessed 24 Apr 2020) database entry for Broad, Nicholas (Cemetery: Burra Cemetery, Death Date: 19 Jan 1929, Age: 79y, Location: Plot 3044).
Note: Optional separate link directly to the record included http://goyder.dcw.lga.sa.gov.au/page.aspx?u=1613&c=13604. These are subject to change when the website building software is upgraded, so a link to the Council home page should also be included.

Adelaide Cemeteries Authority administers West Terrace Cemetery, Cheltenham Cemetery, Enfield Memorial Park and Smithfield Memorial Park. https://aca.sa.gov.au/aca-records/ Also includes cremations performed at Enfield.

An example of a burial citation in a cemetery administered by the Adelaide Cemeteries Authority:

Burial Record (Adelaide Cemeteries Authority, https://aca.sa.gov.au/aca-records/ : accessed 16 Apr 2020) database entry for Curnow, Mary Isabel (Death Date: 19 Sep 1920, Age: 61, Cemetery: West Terrace, Adelaide, Location: Road 4, Path 31, Aspect E, Site Number 24).

Centennial Park - large cemetery located at Pasadena in Adelaide's southern suburbs. It is the final resting place of people from all over Adelaide, and also occasionally from rural SA and even Broken Hill, NSW. Also includes cremations where the ashes are not buried at Centennial Park. https://www.centennialpark.org/memorial-search/

An example of a burial citation at Centennial Park:

Burial Record (Centennial Park Cemetery, Pasadena, https://www.centennialpark.org/memorial-search/ : accessed 17 Aug 2020) database entry for Braham, Ruby Elizabeth (Interment Type: Burial, Interment Date: 24 Jun 1988, Location: General D, Path 9, Grave 217B, Last Abode: Bridgewater).
Note: Optional separate link directly to the record included https://www.centennialpark.org/memorial-search/ruby-elizabeth-braham-59881/ Include a link to the search engine in case direct link changes.

See Church Records above for burials within cemeteries administered by churches.

School Records

Genealogy SA has transcribed over 83,000 school records from 1877 onwards, for 98 schools. https://www.genealogysa.org.au/resources/online-database-search (membership required)

FamilySearch is in the process of digitising and indexing the SA school registers held at State Records, Gepps Cross. For a complete list see https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&query=%2Bauthor_id%3A591389.

Immigration and Shipping

Bound for South Australia - Passenger Lists 1836-1851 https://bound-for-south-australia.collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/

Note: Many of the early passenger lists only named full fare paying passengers. Assisted passage migrants travelled in steerage and are not named. Some of the early passenger lists have not survived. Many of the passenger lists on this site have been reconstructed from other secondary sources and therefore contain some errors.

An example of a passenger list citation from the Bound for South Australia collection:

Reconstructed Passenger List for the Orleana, 1840. (State Library of South Australia, Bound For South Australia Collection, https://bound-for-south-australia.collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/ : accessed 24 Sep 2020), entry for John Skinner, Sarah nee Smith, John, Sarah Elizabeth.
Note - This includes a direct link to the passenger list, https://bound-for-south-australia.collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/1840Orleana.htm, as well as a link to the collection home page.

State Records of South Australia - Surviving passenger lists 1845-1940 https://archives.sa.gov.au/finding-information/discover-our-collection/migration-and-crew/passenger-lists-1845-1940

An example of a passenger list citation:

Passenger list for the Monsoon 3/1857, arrived 17 March 1857. (State Records of South Australia. https://archives.sa.gov.au/. GRG 35/48/1 Official Assisted Passage Passenger Lists 1845 – 1886 : accessed 11 Feb 2020.) Record for King, Jas He (Reference: 1223, Occupation: Engineer, Place of Origin: Lincoln, Age: 26), travelling with Mary Ann (Age: 25), Mary Ann (Age: 1).
Note: Link directly to passenger list has been included. https://archives.sa.gov.au/sites/default/files/documentstore/passengerlists/1857/GRG35_48_1_57-3_Monsoon.pdf A link to the home page should also be included in case website directory structure changes.

FamilyHistorySA - https://www.familyhistorysa.org/shipping/passengerlists.html
Note: Secondary sources have been used in the compilation of this database and therefore may contain inaccurate information.

The Ships List - Immigrants to South Australia 1847-1886 http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/SAassistedindex.shtml
Project ongoing. Note that some secondary sources have been used in the compilation of these passenger lists and therefore may contain inaccuracies.

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

Register of Emigrant Labourers 1836-1841

State Library of South Australia - offline records. Due to the limited information contained on early BDM records in SA, if your ancestor arrived in the early years of SA colonisation, this register may provide the only clue of your ancestor's place of origin.

An example of a citation from the Register of Emigrant Labourers:

Register of emigrant labourers applying for a free passage to South Australia, 1836-1841. (State Library of South Australia, Adelaide. A copy of Colonial Office Records held in the Public Record Office, London, England : accessed 22 Sep 2020) entry for Parker, John (Address: Halstead, Date: 3 Jul 1839, Occupation: Agricultural Laborer, Marital Status: Single, Applicants: Male 29y, Application number: 5353, Embarkation number: 3013).

An example of a citation from the Pike Index:

Index to register of emigrant labourers applying for a free passage to South Australia, 1836-1841. (State Library of South Australia, Adelaide. Compiled by Douglas Pike from Colonial Office Records held in the Public Record Office, London, England : accessed 22 Sep 2020) entry for Parker, John (Address: Halstead, Date: 3 Jul 1839, Occupation: Agricultural Laborer, Applicants: Male 29y, Application number: 5353, Embarkation number: 3013, Ship: Caroline).

FamilySearch intends to digitise the Pike Index. Watch https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/229459?availability=Family%20History%20Library for progress.

Some of the data from the register and the Pike Index have been compiled into a book entitled A Free Passage to Paradise by Pat Button. This book has been transcribed by Genealogy SA into their online shipping arrivals database.

An example of a citation from the Genealogy SA database:

Ship passenger arrivals in SA (Genealogy SA, https://www.genealogysa.org.au/index.php : accessed 24 Sep 2020), database entry for Skinner, John (Ship: Orleana, Arrival Date: 10 Jun 1840, Application Number: 6949, Embarkation Number: 4208, Migrants: 1 male, 1 female, 2 children, Source: A Free Passage to Paradise)

Place Names of South Australia

Information from the research of the late Geoffrey Manning, providing the location of many place names that are no longer in use, or the township is now deserted.

An example of a citation from Place Names of South Australia:

Place Names of South Australia (State Library of South Australia, Manning Index of South Australian History, https://manning.collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/ : accessed 23 Sep 2020) entry for Sod Hut, https://manning.collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/pn/s/s5.htm#sodH.

A Compendium of Place Names of South Australia is another collection researched by Geoffrey Manning. There are some differences between the two sources, as in different locations included.

There is a list of places with German names that were changed in 1918 due to anti-German sentiment. Some were changed back later to their original name.

Adelaide Hospital Admissions Register 1840-1952

The Admission Registers of the Adelaide Hospital, later Royal Adelaide Hospital, may provide information about your ancestor's place of origin, when they arrived in SA and, if they came by ship, the name of that ship. Sometimes they are the only record of a death, if the death has not been registered. Or they can be helpful when a death registration is difficult to find if the name is not spelled correctly. Earlier records contain the most information about birth and migration, while later records contain little useful information for genealogists.

The registers from 1840-1936 have been digitised by FamilySearch but not indexed yet. To determine what film you need to search manually, check the index at State Records first to obtain the date of admission. (note: only 1840-1911 has been indexed at State Records) https://archives.sa.gov.au/finding-information/discover-our-collection/health-and-welfare/hospitals.

Digitised registers at Family Search may be searched manually. https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/2699404?availability=Family%20History%20Library.

Family Search intends to digitise the registers up to 1952. Registers may be viewed at State Records, Gepps Cross.

An example of a citation from the Adelaide Hospital Admissions Register:

Admission Registers, Adelaide Hospital, later Royal Adelaide Hospital, 1840-1952, manuscript on digital images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS6D-8SFX-N : accessed 23 Sep 2020), admission for Joyce, Michael (Admission Number: 189, Admission Date: 21 Jan 1879, Discharge Date: 28 Jan 1879, Residence: Warooka, Age: 30, Marital Status: Single, Religion: RC, Disease: Rheumatism, Birthplace: Clare, By What Ship Arrived: Lightning, Residence in Colony: 2y, Occupation: Laborer), citing Admissions Register, GRG 78_49_0_6_6, 15 Sep 1878-31 Dec 1885, State Records of South Australia, FHL film 102872929.

Land Records

For land held under The Real Property Act between 1858 and 1973:

Land Services SA - https://sailis.lssa.com.au/home/auth/login (login not required)
Use the Historical Name Index Search

An example of a land title citation:

Certificate of Title 402/219. (Land Services SA. https://sailis.lssa.com.au/home/auth/login : accessed 28 Jun 2020.) Hundred of Adelaide, portion of allotment no. 6 of the subdivision of the blocks 185 and 190 of the Section 278 laid out as Maylands. Memorandum of Transfer No. 149510 and Transfer No. 166045.

For land not held under The Real Property Act:

The General Registry Office and Old Systems land records are available at the Land Services Group, corner of Marion Road and Richmond Road, Netley. There are alphabetical indices of records from 1842 to the present, including those of early landowners and pioneer settlers.

Almanacs and Directories

These have been digitised by the State Library of South Australia and are available online from 1864-1973. Each directory is searchable. https://guides.slsa.sa.gov.au/directories

An example of a directory citation:

Boothby, Josiah. The Adelaide Almanac and Directory for South Australia 1877, page 228 (State Library of South Australia, https://guides.slsa.sa.gov.au/directories : accessed 28 Jun 2020.) entry for Parker, Joseph, lime burner, little Adelaide. https://images.slsa.sa.gov.au/almanacsanddirectories/1877boothby/246/#zoom=z

Electoral Rolls

SA electoral rolls for 1939, 1941 and 1943 are available at Ancestry and FindMyPast (subscription required).

An example of a citation from the electoral roll:

Australia, Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980 (Ancestry.com. [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010; Original data: Australian Electoral Commission. : accessed 23 Sep 2020) entry for Norman, Freda Gertrude (Roll Number: 11862, Gender: Female, Address: 13 Koolunga Avenue, Woodville, Occupation: Home Duties) in South Australia, 1941, Division of Hindmarsh, Sub Division of Hindmarsh.

Electoral rolls are available for viewing at the State Library of SA (recent years not available). Most are available in book form within electoral divisions. 1988-1999 are available as a statewide alphabetical listing on microfiche.

Lutheran Archives

The Lutheran Archives at 27 Fourth Street, Bowden have a range of useful records for those with German/Prussian ancestry. Unfortunately all records are offline. https://www.lca.org.au/departments/ministry-support/lutheran-archives/

Military

State Library of South Australia has general information relevant to SA, including some photographs. https://guides.slsa.sa.gov.au/Militaryresources

South Australian Red Cross Information Bureau 1916-1919 has digitised records relating to missing personnel in World War 1 who were from SA. Some of these images are of superior quality to the Red Cross files at the Australian War Memorial, and the SA files may contain more information, including letters from family members seeking information about a loved one. https://guides.slsa.sa.gov.au/c.php?g=410211&p=2794840

Example of a citation from SARCIB files:

South Australian Red Cross Information Bureau 1916-1919 (State Library of South Australia, https://guides.slsa.sa.gov.au/c.php?g=410211&p=2794840 : accessed 23 Sep 2020) file for Summers, Robert Chestnut (Rank: Private, Service Number: 1995, Unit: 50th Infantry Battalion, SLSA Reference Number: SRG 76/1/3075).

Inquests

FamilySearch is in the process of digitising inquest registers from South Australian police stations. See https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&query=%2Bauthor_id%3A591389 for a listing.

Courts SA has Coroner's findings from 2000 to present online. http://www.courts.sa.gov.au/CoronersFindings/Pages/All-Findings.aspx

State Records has some historical inquest records. These are only available offline. https://archives.sa.gov.au/finding-information/discover-our-collection/police-courts-and-gaols/inquests-and-police-reports-coroner

Wills & Probates

The Testamentary Index is not available online. It may be searched in person at the Probate Registry, Sir Samuel Way Building, 241-259 Victoria Square, Adelaide. It is also available on microfiche at the State Library of South Australia.

FamilySearch has digitised and indexed Probate and Administration books, numerical series, 1844-1890. These contain copies of wills and letters of administration. https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/2727104?availability=Family%20History%20Library

An example of a citation of a will at FamilySearch:

"Australia, South Australia, Will and Probate Records," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:7QDH-XTN2 : accessed 24 Sep 2020), Richard Samuel Pepperell, 17 Oct 1845; citing Will, South Australia, Australia, Probate and Administration Books, Supreme Court of South Australia, Adelaide; FHL microfilm 103140258.

State Records holds records relating to power of attorney, succession duties, and the Public Trustee. https://archives.sa.gov.au/finding-information/discover-our-collection/estates These are only available offline. Succession records may sometimes provide birth dates and places of beneficiaries and their relationship to the deceased. They may also provide a death date when a death has not been registered.

South Australian Government Gazettes

A weekly record of the proceedings of State Government and Local Government Authorities. Gazettes from 1839 to the present are available online and are searchable. 1999-present are available here: https://governmentgazette.sa.gov.au/. 1839-1999 are available here: http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/other/sa_gazette/.

Example of a citation from the gazette:

The South Australian Government Gazette, 27 Jan 1966, no. 4, page 208. (AustLII, http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/other/sa_gazette/ ; accessed 23 Sep 2020) Publican's license granted to #47, Golden Grain Hotel, Pinnaroo. Licensees: Clarence Laurie Liddle and Irene Joyce Liddle. http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/other/sa_gazette/1966/4.pdf

South Australian Police Gazettes

Gazettes from 1862-1947 are available at Ancestry, and 1862-1900 are available at FindMyPast.

Example of a citation from the gazette:

South Australian Police Gazette, 8 Apr 1868, page 48. (FindMyPast, https://www.findmypast.com : accessed 24 Sep 2020) Deserted Seamen. William Fradd, from the ship "John Nicholson".

Prison Records

FamilySearch is in the process of digitising and indexing some prison admission registers from State Records. See https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&query=%2Bauthor_id%3A591389 for a listing.

Health & Welfare

State Records has some online indexes of records relating to state care of children and admissions to the Destitute Asylum. https://archives.sa.gov.au/finding-information/discover-our-collection/health-and-welfare

FamilySearch is in the process of digitising and indexing a range of registers of these records. See https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&query=%2Bauthor_id%3A591389 for a listing.

State Records of South Australia

A listing of the types of records held at State Records. There are a number of special lists online, similar to an index, of some records, which can provide some useful information.

Family Search is currently digitising and indexing many of these records. See https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&query=%2Bauthor_id%3A591389 for a listing.

State Library of South Australia

SLSA has a range of family history guides and some, mostly general, information online that can provide a good background for your research. There is an extensive range of photographs that may be uploaded to Wikitree, provided you quote the ID number and acknowledge SLSA. There is also a range of online maps, including cadastral maps. You may also find some genealogical gems in the South Australiana collection.

Residents of SA can apply for home access to a range of resources, which includes some newspaper databases not covered by Trove, and to British newspapers. See https://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/home-access-to-eresources for more details.

The library will also provide small amounts of research for residents of SA. See https://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/how-we-can-help-your-research-queries for more details.





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This is all very useful. A couple of comments regarding the section 'Immigration and History'.

- Another useful website is 'Passengers in History' (https://passengers.history.sa.gov.au/) maintained by the South Australian Maritime Museum. This site has a good search system for passengers and also has information about individual migrant ships.

-In the long run the government supported sites will be more reliable than non-government.

posted by Steve Thomas
edited by Steve Thomas
Thanks Steve, you can add it to the page in the relevant section.
No worries. I can easily a link to the page. I was far more hesitant to add an example citation.
posted by Steve Thomas