Series VPRS 5271
Birth Registers Victoria (Master Microfilm Copy of VPRS 8341 1853 - 1960)
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series Circa 1979 - 1989
  Series in Custody 1979 - 1989
  Contents 1853 - 1960
Public Access: Closed
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records: Physical
 
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1979 - 1983 Office of the Government Statist and Actuary VA 989
1983 - 1989 Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (including 1983-1986 Assistant Government Statist, Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages) VA 983
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1983 - cont Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (including 1983-1986 Assistant Government Statist, Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages) VA 983
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    Access to these records is through an index system dating from 1853 to 1989 when a computerised system of registration, Lifedata, was introduced. Microfiche copies of the indexes have been transferred into the Public Record Office as VPRS 7290 and are used in the following manner:

    1. Consult the index by
    year of birth
    surname of the child
    given name(s)
    parents' names
    mother's family surname
    place of birth
    date of birth

    2. Note the registration number

    3. Determine the number of the film that would contain that particular registration number (refer records description list)

    Registers, Microfilm Copies

    This series is the microform copy of the hardcopy Birth Registers for the period 1853 to 1960 (refer VPRS 8341). For the master microfilm copy of Birth Registers 1961 to 1989 see VPRS 5473.

    The filming of the Registers began in March 1979 and was terminated with the introduction of Lifedata, the computerised system of registration, in 1989.

    The number of rolls of film used to capture registrations for any one year varies. Generally each roll of film contains five thousand registration entries, however some films contain less than five thousand entries and some more. It depends on the number of registrations for the year being filmed and the paper size used to record the original entries.

    Each box containing a roll of film is numbered and annotated with the registration numbers of the entries captured thereon.

    Decentralised system of Registration, 1853 - 1960

    Compulsory civil registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths in the State of Victoria began on 1 July 1853 with proclamation of An Act for Registering Births, Deaths and Marriages in the Colony of Victoria (16 Vic., No.26). Prior to this, baptisms, marriages and burials were recorded by church authorities and are known as Early Church Records (refer VPRS 5479).

    From 1853 to 1960, a system of registration existed whereby District Registrars operated throughout the State with a principal Registrar situated at head office in Melbourne.

    Between the years 1853 and 1873, administration of the function of registration was with the Registrar-General's Department (VA 2889). From 1873 to 1893 responsibility moved to the Office of the Registrar-General and the Office of Titles (VA 862) which were amalgamated when the administration of the Registrar-General's Department transferred to the Law Department (VA 2825).

    In 1893 with the proclamation of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Act (56 Vic., No.1303) responsibility passed to the Office of Government Statist and Actuary (VA 989).

    Metropolitan births were registered at the Registrar-General's Office and later at the Office of the Government Statist, 295 Queen Street, Melbourne. Births occurring in the country regions of the State were registered with the local Registrars who were appointed by the Registrar-General and later by the Assistant Government Statist, and forwarded to head office each quarter at the end of March, June, September and December.

    Information recorded in the Registers

    The registration entries were recorded in the Register in numeric order by registration number and detail the following:
    full name of the child
    date of birth
    place of birth
    parents' names
    parents' places of birth and age at the time of the child's birth
    mother's family surname
    marriage details of the parents
    previous children born of the marriage
    signature of the person supplying the information recorded

    Arrangement of the Registers

    The Registers, from 1853 to 1989 are numbered and arranged in numeric order from 1 to 5504.

    The volumes for the period 1853 to 1960 reflect the system of decentralised registration. Quarterly returns from district registrars were initially sorted alphabetically by name of registration district. Registration numbers were then allocated and folios were bound in volumes according to the registration numbers. Hence for any one year there are four (quarterly) sequences of registers in which the entries are arranged by district and then by registration number.

    The volumes are marked on the spine with reference to the registrations bound therein and show the following information:
    the year of registration
    the range of district entries bound in the volume by first letter of the name of the district where the birth was registered. (eg. entries for Aireys Inlet to Dunkeld would be in the volume marked "A - D")
    the registration quarter of the entries bound therein
    the number of the volume in the series of Birth Registers, 1853 - 1989

    1853 - 1931

    During this period, the Registers reflected the above system with each return sheet recording five entries.

    1932

    As above except that two sequences of numbers were used in the Register, one sequence referred to metropolitan registrations and the other to registrations effected in the country. To differentiate between the two sequences, metropolitan events were prefixed with the letter "M" with one entry per sheet. Country registrations were still recorded five to a sheet.

    1933 - 1960

    For each of the years in this period, a batch of numbers was reserved for each of the two areas, metropolitan and country, and only one entry appeared on each sheet. For example, numbers 1 to 20,000 were reserved for metropolitan events and 20,001 and above for country registrations.

    Consequently, for any one year all numbers in the sequence of numbers between the first registration and the last registration for that year may not have been used to record an entry in the Register. This range of numbers altered as the number of births occurring in each of the regions increased within the period 1933 to 1960.

    Indexes

    Each registration, uniquely numbered from one each year, appears in an index for that year which records:
    the full registered name
    the date and place of birth
    the parents' names
    the mother's family surname
    the entry number of the registration in the Register

    The indexes have been produced in microform, refer VPRS 7290.

    It is possible to locate a particular entry in the Register by ascertaining the registration number recorded against the above details in

  • Function / Content


  • Recordkeeping System


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Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1853 - 1960 Index to Birth Registers VPRS 7290
Controlled SeriesControlled Series
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
Previous SeriesPrevious Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
Subsequent SeriesSubsequent Series
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List/s of records in this seriesList/s of records in this series
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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
R0001 1853 - 1900 Closed 396
R0002 1900 - 1960 Closed 37
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1853 - 1960 Index to Birth Registers VPRS 7290
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