During current COVID-19 restrictions, you can continue to:
- Use our ‘Ask a family history expert’ service
- Perform online family history searches
- Apply for downloadable uncertified historical certificates. However, we can’t produce printed historical certificates until further notice.
Thanks to the popularity of our discounted certificates, we are continuing this offer. Downloadable, uncertified historical certificates are now $20 each: save $4.50 per certificate.
or read the tips below before you start.
Ask a Family History expert
Need help? Our genealogy experts can help with your search or do it for you.
Fees start at $60, depending how many people you want us to search for. Each package includes at least one certificate image. Learn more about inclusions and fees for Ask a Family History expert
To Ask an Expert:
- Email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Include the person’s:
- Name (surname and first name). Let us know if you’re unsure about the spelling. We’ll check minor variations
- Date and place of birth, death or marriage
- Any other relevant details.
Our genealogy experts will contact you within a week to discuss.
Alternatively, you can try your own search above.
Not all records are available for searching
Records are restricted for between 30 and 100 years, depending on the life event. Family history search lets you search for records that fall outside this period. Refer to Periods of restriction.
The restriction is from the date the event was registered. This may not be the same as the date of the event.
Death records are kept secure for 30 years. If you’re looking for a friend or family member who recently died, it won’t be available here. You may be able to access it if you’re next of kin: refer to Get a death certificate.
1. Choose a search index
Choose the index you want to search by selecting 'Historical' or 'Events at sea'.
What's in the Historical index?
The historical index holds the following life events registered in Victoria.
|Births||1853||100 years before today's date|
|Marriages and relationships||1853||60 years before today's date|
|Deaths||1853||30 years before today's date|
|Church baptisms, marriages and burials||1836||1853|
Records become available on the day they reach the end of their restriction period.
Example: you search for a birth registered on 12 April 1919. If you conduct your search:
- Before 12 April 2019, you won't find it
- On or after 12 April 2019, it is available to find.
This is because the restriction period for births is 100 years.
What's in the Events at sea index?
Births, deaths and marriages on ships bound for port in Victoria, between 1853 and 1920.
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 (e.g. birth, marriage or death)
- Name of the ship (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. This allows for differences between event registration and year of event.
Can't find what you're looking for?
If you can't find the entry, try using:
- Different criteria combinations (or fewer criteria)
- Different spellings or abbreviations of names (for example, Wm instead of William)
- An asterisk (*) after a letter. This will search for all entries beginning with those letters (for example, W* or Wil*).
'Place of event' is a tricky search criterion - often it has been entered with an abbreviation. 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 given two options at the bottom of the record screen. To buy, click '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.
If you buy an uncertified image, you can download it immediately.
This is valid for official purposes. If you choose to buy, you'll be prompted to fill in your details. We will post the certificate to you.
5. Download an image
Once you've bought an image, we will email you a link and you can download it straight away.
Each image is a scan of the original – often handwritten – record. Over time, some have faded or suffered damage, and may not be easy to read. We've tried hard to capture the best possible image of each record.
Download your image within 30 days of purchase.
If you have trouble downloading it, check your computer and browser firewalls and security settings. Then try again.
Ask a Family History expert – Inclusions and fees
|Number of records||Fee||Inclusions|