Graham Jaunay has no seminars scheduled for October. He will
be presenting a public talk:
Crooks, cops and victims in the 1840s (Campbelltown Historical
Society 10 October 8:00pm)
In SA (pt
Individuals whose research is based on South Australia are well aware
of the strengths and weaknesses of the system of civil registration.
Because the colony was one of the earlier starters in this field (along
with VDL and WA) the government followed the English model introduced
in mid-1837. Unfortunately this model lacks details found in those colonies
on the eastern seaboard who stated a decade and more later and used the
Scottish model. You can see a summary table outlining all this detail
on the Adelaide Proformat web site.
Ironically SA was late in producing electronic versions of its indexes
and in licensing the SA Genealogy Society to do the work from the perspective
of family historians, the state has Australia's most detailed indexes.
In fact for many researchers there is little need to purchase BDM certificates.
This is probably a good thing given that SA certificates are very expensive
In this issue:
Civil Registration in SA
records form the foundation of family history because they are the primary
basis of all research to determine the genealogy of a family. By developing
an unbroken chain of marriage and birth certificates back to the start
of civil registration a pedigree can be established. This process can
occur because birth certificates name parents and that leads to the marriage
certificate of the parents. The marriage certificate in turn names fathers and
gives ages and that leads to the birth certificates of the couple and
A surprising number of events are not registered or are inaccurate for a whole
range of reasons. In SA pre1875 Catholic and Scottish births are often not registered.
records are usually the most inaccurate as the person concerned was not in a
to give the information! An searchable index of known unregistered SA deaths
on the web site.
For privacy reasons, the authorities will not make modern records available,
you fulfil certain relationship requirements. The embargoed periods for all
states as well as SA can be seen by reference to the site via the link above.
The SA BDM Registry will search a nominated ten years for a certificate at no
charge. If they do not find the certificate you lose your money! Therefore it
is wise to search the index yourself, even if you know the date to ensure the
event was registered. You can find the indexes in books, fiche or CD at: the
State Library and SA Genealogy & Heraldry Society. Many
and public libraries also hold copies. If given the choice, you should always
opt to search the CD rather than the other media, as databases provide very powerful
searching features especially when you use wildcard searching techniques coupled
with a bit of lateral thinking.
To successfully obtain a certificate is a simple two-step process:
1. Search the indexes
If you locate
the appropriate entry—go to step 2.
If you locate
several likely entries—undertake further research.
If no entry
is located—go to 1. District records 2. Parish registers (see below)
2. Complete the form with as much detail as possible using one of the
three available methods—
with CC details
form for posting
3. using a form from
a SA PO with BillPay
If you cannot find an entry in the index, it may be useful to check the
Registrar’s material as the item may have been lost in transferring to
the Principal Registrar! You can only find a complete set of this material at:
SA Genealogy & Heraldry Society as they initially filmed this material when
District registries were closed in 1992. Some
for their area
only. Searching District Records, like every other series of records, requires
specific skills and understanding that will be elaborated on in a future newsletter,
If you are searching an era before civil registration or for families that avoided
registering births, you
other, usually church, records and those available in SA will also be the subject
of a future newsletter.