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Judy Webster's Genealogy Tips and Indexes
for local, interstate & overseas folk with historical records
in Queensland and other Australian States
.

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Frequently Asked Questions
for Queensland family history research
What information is on Qld birth, death and marriage certificates?  How do I obtain them?

Historical certificates for Queensland usually have provision for these details:

  • Births:  name;  date/place of birth;  gender;  father's name, age, occupation, birthplace;  mother's maiden name, age, birthplace;  parents' date/place of marriage;&nsbp; previous issue of parents' marriage (names/ages of children living, number/sex of children deceased);  witness present at birth [before 1980];  informant's name, residence, relationship to child.  Certificates supplied as images occasionally have annotations giving year of death, married surname etc.

  • Marriages:  Bridegroom's and bride's name, occupation, residence, conjugal state, age [to Aug 1963] or birthdate [from Sep 1963], birthplace, father's name and [to Aug 1963] occupation, mother's maiden name. Date/place of marriage ceremony, celebrant, denomination, witnesses.

  • Deaths:  name;  date/place of death;  occupation;  age;  birthplace;  how long in Australia;  married where, at what age, and to whom;  issue (names/ages of children living, number/sex of children deceased);  father's name/occupation;  mother's maiden name;  cause of death;  duration of last illness;  doctor's name;  when last seen by that doctor;  date/place of burial/cremation, and by whom certified [usually an undertaker];  name/religion of minister and/or names of two witnesses to burial;  informant's name, residence and relationship or description.

  • For instructions on ordering certificates, and advice on a cheaper way to obtain some death certificates, see 'Free Certificates in Archives Files', and Queensland Genealogy Research Tips.
No index is perfect, so the more indexes you use, the more likely you are to find 'missing' entries. An earlier version of Queensland birth indexes up to and including 1919 is at FindMyPast (link opens a search page in a new window).

What if I can't find a death registration?

The authorities may not have written the name as your ancestor spelled it, or the name may be incorrectly indexed. Keep an open mind about spelling variants (see Name Variations: Tips and Tricks). Many unregistered deaths can be found via inquests, mental asylum records, Police Gazettes and various other sources and research strategies described in my book Tips for Queensland Research.

Can't find a death? Maybe he/she died while travelling interstate or overseas. Try the indexes on Findmypast.

What if the father's name is not on the birth certificate?

Many other series of records may name the father. Check the names in the Illegitimate Index, and read my mini-guide Researching Illegitimate Children.

How can I trace ancestors who vanished?

It depends on when and where they were last seen. See 'People who vanished' on Queensland Genealogy Research Tips.

How do I find out what ship my ancestor came on?

Advice about immigration records is on Queensland Genealogy Research Tips. More detailed information is in my book Tips for Queensland Research. See also my article about immigrants who used false identities.

Not in our immigration records? Maybe they came via South Africa, India, NZ, Canada, Argentina etc. Check 'Emigrants from the UK'.

How do I get a copy of a will for someone who lived in Queensland?

Most wills for Queensland residents are at Qld State Archives, but a few are held elsewhere (sometimes interstate or overseas). For more details, and tips on what to do if you can't find a will, see Queensland Genealogy Research Tips, and also 10 Tips for Wills, Intestacies and Probate.

Online records at Findmypast include IRISH birth, marriage & death records including wills.

Why was my ancestor in Dunwich Benevolent Asylum?

Dunwich provided a home for poor people who because of age, accident, infirmity or otherwise were unable to care for themselves. Some names are in my index to Colonial Secretary's Office correspondence. For a free leaflet about other indexes and records of Dunwich inmates, email Image of email address (type this into an email headed 'Dunwich brochure please'). The leaflet will be sent immediately by an autoresponder (you may need to check your spam/junk folder).

Some residents of Dunwich also spent time in a mental asylum, so check that index too.

How do I find records of someone who was arrested or imprisoned?

Depending on the severity (or otherwise) of the offence, sources that may be useful include various Court records, registers of criminal depositions, Police Gazettes, Police Station watchhouse charge books and Court of Petty Sessions police charge bench books, murder files, and prison records. Some are indexed. For a free email brochure on this subject, email Image of email address (type this into an email headed 'Criminal Records brochure please'). If you don't receive a reply, check your spam folder.

Other Questions and Answers

My other genealogy sites have additional advice.

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