Series VPRS 5475
Death Registers Victoria (Master Microfilm Copy of VPRS 8340 (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 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
    given name(s)
    parents' names
    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.

    Consignments

    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.

    1932

    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.

    Indexes

    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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Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1853 - 1960 Index to Death Register VPRS 7291
Controlled SeriesControlled Series
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Previous SeriesPrevious Series
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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 8
R0002 1901 - 1960 Closed 17
R0003 1932 - 1960 Closed 4
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1853 - 1960 Index to Death Register VPRS 7291
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