Records of significant moments in life - such as births, marriages and deaths - can provide unique insight into your family history and your identity.
or read the steps below for guidance before you start.
Records are restricted for between 10 and 100 years, depending on the life event. Family history search provides the capability to search for records that fall outside this period. Refer to Periods of restriction .
1. Choose a search index
When you start a search, first choose the index you want to search by selecting 'Historical' or 'Events at sea'.
What's in the Historical index?
- Births in Victoria from 1853 to 1917
- Marriages in Victoria from 1853 to 1950
- Deaths in Victoria from 1853 to 1988
- Church baptisms, marriages and burials in Victoria from 1836 to 1853
What's in the Events at sea index?
Births, deaths and marriages that happened between 1853 and 1920 onboard ships bound for port in Victoria.
Each entry in the historical and event at sea indexes includes the:
- Name of the person or people the entry relates to
- Type of event (such as birth, marriage or death)
- Name of the ship the event happened on (if applicable)
- Registration year and number
- Other information relevant to the type of event.
2. Search criteria
Enter your search criteria and click search. We recommend:
- Using a first and last name, if possible
- Entering a 5 year timeframe to allow for differences between event registration and year of event.
Can't find what you're looking for?
If you can't find the entry you're after, try:
- Using different criteria combinations in your search (or even using less criteria)
- Different spellings or abbreviations of names (for example, Wm instead of William)
- Using an asterisk (*) after a letter to search for all entries beginning with those letters (for example, W* or Wil*).
The 'place of event' is a tricky search criteria - often it has been entered with an abbreviation - so leave it out if you're unsure or having trouble finding your entry.
3. View record summary
Click on an entry to see the summary for that record. You can access the full record, if you choose to, after payment.
4. Buy the record
You'll be presented with two options at the bottom of the record screen. You can buy either of them by clicking 'add to cart' and 'checkout' to proceed with payment.
|Uncertified historical certificate (a scanned image of a certificate)
This isn't valid for official purposes, you're simply buying a scanned image of an official record.
This is valid for official purposes. If you choose to buy, you'll be directed to fill out a form with your details.
5. Download an image
Once you've bought an image, you get an Image Collection Reference Number (ICRN) that you use to download the image.
Each image is a scan of the original, often handwritten, record. Over time, some have faded or been damaged and may not be easy to read. We've made every effort to capture the best possible image of each record.
You need to download your image within 30 days of purchase.
If you have issues downloading the image, check your computer and browser firewalls and security settings before trying again.