Series VPRS 5478
Marriage Registers, Victoria (Master Microfilm Copy of VPRS 8342)
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series Circa 1979 - cont
  Series in Custody 1979 - 1989
  Contents 1853 - 1989
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 - cont 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 7289 and are used in the following manner.

    1. Consult the index by
    year of marriage
    surnames and given name(s) of both bride and groom at the time of the marriage

    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 VPRS 8342 Marriage Registers from 1853.

    The filming of the Registers began in March 1979 and is a continuing process until the Registry decides to effect the registration of marriages on Lifedata, the computerised system of registration introduced into the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages 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 - 1963

    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 (referVPRS 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 the responsibility of the Registrar-General's Department (see 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 the Government Statist and Actuary (VA 989).

    Marriages celebrated in the metropolitan area were registered at the Registrar-General's Office in Melbourne and later at the Office of the Government Statist, 295 Queen Street, Melbourne. Marriages celebrated 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 returns were forwarded to head office each quarter at the end of March, June, September and December.

    Centralised system of Registration, 1963 - ct

    Although the federal Marriage Act 1961 had the effect of making laws governing marriages more uniform throughout Australia, the registration function remained a State responsibility.

    In September 1963, Commonwealth Registration Forms for marriages came into use and a more centralised system of registration was introduced. No longer did District Registrars effect the registrations and it became the responsibility of the Celebrant performing the marriage to forward the necessary papers to the Office of the Government Statist and Actuary for registration purposes.

    Upon proclamation of the Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages(Amendment) Act 1985 (No.10244), on 31 October 1986, legislative responsibility passed to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (VA 983).

    Information recorded in the Registers

    The registration entries were recorded in the Register in numeric order by registration number and detail the following information:
    surnames and given names of the bride and the groom
    occupations of both the parties to the marriage at the time of the marriage
    the usual residence of both parties to the marriage at the time of the marriage
    date and place of marriage
    dates and places of birth of bride and groom
    parents' names including the mothers' family surnames of both parties to the marriage
    signatures of both parties to the marriage, two witnesses to the marriage and the celebrant who performed the ceremony

    Arrangement of the Registers

    The Registers from 1853 to 1990 are numbered and arranged in numeric order from 1 to 5268.

    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.

    It should also be noted that the forms completed on the day of the ceremony are the folios that eventually formed the Register. The information was not transcribed onto another medium.

    1853 - 1935

    During this period, the Registers reflected the decentralised system with three marriages recorded on each folio.

    1936 - 1963

    The system of district registration did not alter during this period however multiple entries were no longer recorded on each folio in the Register, i.e. a single folio was used for each marriage being registered.

    1963 - ct

    From September 1963 registrations reflected the centralised system where all registrations were effected at the Office of the Government Statist and Actuary (VA 989) and later at the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (VA 983). A single folio was used to record each marriage entry.

    Indexes

    Each registration, uniquely numbered from one each year, appears in an index for that year and records the following details:
    the full names of both parties to the marriage
    and the entry number of the registration in the Register

    This index has been produced in microform, refer VPRS 7289.

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

    Since 1989, marriage registrations have been indexed by the computerised system, Lifedata and the following information is entered into that system:
    Date of marriage
    Name of groom
    Name of bride
    Place of

  • Function / Content


  • Recordkeeping System


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Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1853 - ? 1988 Index to Marriage Registers VPRS 7289
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 1964 - 1980 Closed 3
R0002 1853 - 1989 Closed 41
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1853 - ? 1988 Index to Marriage Registers VPRS 7289
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