Death Registers Victoria (Master Microfilm Copy of VPRS 8340 (1853-1960))
||Circa 1979 - 1989
||Series in Custody
||1979 - 1989
||1853 - 1960
|Format of Records:
|Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series|
|1979 - 1983
||Office of the Government Statist and Actuary
|1983 - 1989
||Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (including 1983-1986 Assistant Government Statist, Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages)
|Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series|
|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 to the Public Record Office as VPRS 7291 and are used in the following manner:
1. Consult the index by
year of the death
surname of the deceased
mother's family surname
place of death (1881 to 1960); place of birth (1853 to 1880)
date of death
age at the time of death
It should be noted that the Indexes from 1853 to 1880 record the birthplace of the deceased and those from 1881 to 1960 record the place of death.
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 Death Registers 1853 to 1960 (VPRS 8340).
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.
The R1 consignment consists of deaths registered between 1853 and 1900. The R2 consignment consists of all deaths registered between 1901 and 1931 and country deaths registered between 1932 and 1960. The R3 consignment consists of metropolitan deaths registered between 1932 and the earlier months of 1960 and all deaths registered in the latter part of 1960, commencing at number 30,000.
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 decentralised 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 deaths were registered at the Registrar-General's Office and later at the Office of the Government Statist, 295 Queen Street, Melbourne. Deaths occurring in the country regions of the State were registered with the local Registrars who were appointed by the Registrar-General and later byAssistant 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 information:
surname of the deceased
given name(s) of the deceased
date and place of death
cause of death
occupation of the deceased at the time of death
usual residence of the deceased at the time of the death
parents' names including the mother's family surname
marriage details of the deceased and any children born of the marriage, if applicable,
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 2192.
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 entries bound in the volume by first letter of the name of the district where the death 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
1853 - 1931
During this period, the Registers reflected the above system with each return sheet recording five entries.
For the year 1932, 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 block of numbers was reserved for each of the two areas, metropolitan and country and only one entry appeared on each sheet. 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. The range of numbers reserved for metropolitan deaths varied from year to year. In the latter part of 1960, metropolitan and country deaths were recorded within the same sequence, commencing at 30,000.
Each registration, uniquely numbered from one each year, appears in an index for that year showing the following details:
the full registered name of the deceased
the date of death
the parents names, including the mother's family surname (if these details were known by the person furnishing information for registration purposes)
the entry number of the registration in the Register
This index has been produced in microform, refer VPRS 7291.
It is possible to locate a particular entry in the Register by ascertaining the registration number recorded in the index against the above details.
- Function / Content
- Recordkeeping System
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