Research Guides: Births, deaths and marriages: More death and burial records (2023)

  • About the guide
  • Beginning your family history research
  • Births and baptismsToggle Dropdown
    • More birth and baptism records
    • Biographies and genealogies
    • Military records
    • Births at sea
  • Deaths and burials
    • More death and burial records
    • Cemeteries
    • Wills
    • Biographies and genealogies
    • Military records
    • Deaths at sea
  • Marriages and divorceToggle Dropdown
    • More marriage records
    • Biographies and genealogies
    • Military records

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visitorsare kindly advised that this website includes images, sounds and names of people who have passed.

All usersshould be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified. Certain words, terms or descriptions may reflect the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written, but are now considered inappropriate in today's context.

Key to library resources

Research Guides: Births, deaths and marriages: More death and burial records (1) In the Library (or anywhere with a Library card for NSW residents)
Research Guides: Births, deaths and marriages: More death and burial records (2) Only in the Library
Research Guides: Births, deaths and marriages: More death and burial records (3) Publicly available

More death and burial records

Learn more about your ancestor's death and burial

  • Find out which inquest and coronial records are held at State Archives & Records NSW.

  • Research Guides: Births, deaths and marriages: More death and burial records (5)

    Connecting Kin - guide to records: a guide to help people separated from their families search for their records [PDF 2.64MB]

    Use this guide to find where New South Wales hospital records are kept. The guide includes information about what records are available, a description of the information possibly included in the records and how you can access the records. You can also use the guide for tracing adoptions

  • Index to Coroner’s Inquests, 1796–1824 [external website]

    Search the index to find out if there was an inquest into your ancestor’s death. You can find the date of the inquest, where it was heard as well as where you can find the report. The index also lists names of witnesses to coronial inquests.
    Use the information found to view the report on microfilm in the family history area of the Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room.

  • Research Guides: Births, deaths and marriages: More death and burial records (7)

    Obituaries Australia [external website]

    Search and read obituaries that have been published in newspapers, journals, magazines and bulletins. You will find details of where the obituary was published and a link to the digitised version of the original. In some cases you may find a photo and additional biographical information. Obituaries of individuals who made a significant contribution to Australia are also included.
    Obituaries Australia does not include all published obituaries. You can submit published obituaries to be added to Obituaries Australia.

  • Research Guides: Births, deaths and marriages: More death and burial records (8)

    The Ryerson index, 1803–present [external website]

    Use the index to find death and funeral notices published in Australian newspapers. Search for your ancestor to find their date and place of death, their age and details of the newspaper issue that contains the notice. You might find more details about your ancestor's death in the notice. Ryerson also indexes some Funeral directors (FD) and also the NSW Probate Index (NSW Probate Notices Online Registry) from 21 January 2013 onwards.

  • Research Guides: Births, deaths and marriages: More death and burial records (9)

    Trove digitised newspapers [external website]

    Find death announcements as well as obituaries published in Australian newspapers from 1803 to 1954. You can search across newspapers from metropolitan and regional areas of New South Wales.

  • Sydney Morning Herald (SMH and Sun - Herald) Archive 1955 - Feb 1995

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    • This link opens in a new window

    Search for death, funeral, in memoriam and probate notices to find information about your ancestor's death. You may find their full name, the date and place of their death and funeral, their age, where they lived, names of family members, and the date and executor of their will.

  • Australasian genealogical computer index (AGCI): volume 1 [catalogue record | CD–ROM]

    Use this index to search 3.9 million records from the 19th and 20th centuries including death and funeral notices from newspapers, cemetery transcriptions and burial records from parish registers. You can find the date and place of your ancestor's death and/or burial as well as where to find the indexed record.

  • Australasian genealogical computer index (AGCI): volume 3 [catalogue record | CD–ROM]

    Search across 864,000 names from newspapers as well as 605,000 death and burial records. You can find the date and place of your ancestor's death and/or burial as well as where to find the indexed record.

  • Australasian genealogical computer index (AGCI): volume 4 [catalogue record | CD–ROM]

    Search across 550,000 names from newspapers as well as 350,000 death and burial records to find the date and place of your ancestor's death and/or burial as well as where to find the indexed record. The index includes records from 1800 to 2009 though there are some records before 1800.

  • Research Guides: Births, deaths and marriages: More death and burial records (15)

    Mitchell church registers [microfilm]

    Find details about your ancestor’s death and burial such as the date of their burial, their age, where they lived and their profession (or their husband’s or father's). You might also find out if they were a free settler or convict, the length of their sentence and the name of the ship. Later records also include their date of death. Churches of all denominations in NSW documented the burials they performed in these registers. Keep in mind that not all registers have survived.
    The church registers are in the Special Collections area. This is also where you will find the card index and reel guides. Use the index and guides to help you search the reels.

  • Mutch index [catalogue record | microfilm]

    Use the index to find records of deaths and burials that occurred between 1787 and 1957. The index is split into two date ranges; 1787–1814 and 1815–1957. In the first part you will find information about records of burials performed at St Philip's (Sydney), St John’s (Parramatta) and St Matthew’s (Windsor). In the second part you will find information from church registers of all denominations across NSW with the exception of the Methodist Church. You may also find headstone inscriptions and newscuttings for later years.
    Use the information from the index to find the original records. In most cases, you will find more information in the original records. Keep in mind that the index in not complete.

  • Parish registers in Australia: a list of originals, transcripts, microforms and indexes of Australian parish registers [catalogue record]

    Use this book to find out which institution has the parish registers that you're looking for. The book is arranged by state and includes an index.
    Also available in the Library in CD-ROM.

  • Registers of Coroners' Inquests, 1821-1937 – Ancestry Library Edition [eresource]

    Find the date of your ancestor’s inquest, where it was held, the findings on their death, how old they were and the year they were born.
    Also available in the Library on microfilm as Registers of coroners' inquests and magisterial enquiries, 1834-June 1942. You can search the Index to Coroners' Inquests, 1796-1824 on the State Archives & Records NSW website.

  • Reports of inquests, 1796-April 1824, June 1828 [microfilm]

    • This link opens in a new window

    Search for your convict to find their age at the time of their death, cause of their death (or the coroner's verdict) as well as the circumstances surrounding their death and some personal information about your convict.
    You can also view the original records in the Library on Ancestry Library Edition (Registers of Coroners' Inquests, 1821-1937) or by visiting State Archives & Records NSW. You can search the Index to Coroners' Inquests, 1796-1824 on the State Archives & Records NSW website.

  • St Margaret's Hospital records, 1894–1998 [catalogue record]

    Search the hospital records to find information about your ancestor who was a patient at St Margaret's Hospital in Darlinghurst, NSW. The records include baptismal registers, baby books, patients admission books and some medical records.
    You must obtain written permission from the Sister’s of St Joseph to view the records. Some of the material is kept offsite and may take up to four days to retrieve.

Newspapers at the Library

Newspapers are great for researching your family history as they hold a wealth of information. Newspapers can expand on the information you've already gathered and can contain information that isn’t available elsewhere.

We have a large collection of NSW newspapers that are available in a variety of formats including online, microfilm and print. You can find many early Australian newspapers on Trove.

Looking for asylum records?

Records from asylums, other mental health facilities and charitable organisations in NSW may be held with us or at State Archives &Records NSW.

Some of the information you might find includes date of death, place of birth, marital status and names of family members.

You will need to seek permission from the NSW Health Department to view records that are less than 110 years old and may also need permission from the hospital.

  • Check out this research guide for further information.

Hospital records at the Library

We have records from several NSW hospitals in our collections.

  • Search for hospital records in our catalogue

    We recommend searching the name of the hospital with the keywords 'hospital records'. The hospital records are not available online.
    You may need to apply for permission to access the records.

What is Civil Registration?

Civil registration is the official recording of births, deaths and marriages by the government. Compulsory civil registration began in NSW on 1 March 1856. Each state and territory has a registry that is responsible for these records.

  • Digital order number: a2824877

States once part of NSW

ACT, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and even New Zealand were once part of the colony of NSW. It may be worth checking the NSW birth, death and marriage indexes for these areas.

What are Parish Registers?

Parish registers are records of the burials that were performed by churches of all denominations. The churches would record the burials in the registers.

These records are the official source of information for deaths that occurred before 1856, when civil registration began in NSW. Churches continued to record burials after this date. Use these records as a supplement to the official certificate.

Find the registers on microfilm in the family history area in the Governor Marie Bashir Reading Roomand in the Special Collections area.

  • Digital order number: d1_17296

Notices in newspapers

Use newspapers to find death, funeral and probate notices as well as in memoriams, obituaries and coroner reports.

We have indexes of birth, death and marriage notices for several newspapers. You can find online indexes on our eresources page or search our catalogue to find print indexes.

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