Series VPRS 8341
Birth Registers
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1853 - 1989
  Series in Custody 1853 - 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
1853 - 1873 Registrar-General's Department VA 2889
1873 - 1893 Office of the Registrar-General and the Office of Titles, (known as Land Victoria 2001 to 2014; Land Use Victoria 2014 - ct.) VA 862
1893 - 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
    Birth registrations are arranged in registration number order. To obtain information from indexes to births, deaths or marriages, researchers should access the relevant databases available online in the Reading Rooms. The indexes are arranged in alphabetical order by surname.

    Seven indexes compiled from registers of births, deaths and marriages are available online in the Reading Rooms:

    - Pioneer Index 1836-1888
    - Federation Index 1889-1901
    - Edwardian Index 1902-1913
    - Great War Index 1914-1920
    - Marriage Index 1921-1942
    - Death Index 1921-1985
    - Marine Births, Deaths and Marriages Index 1853-1920.

    For further information about births, deaths and marriages outside the date ranges of those above, enquiries should be directed to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Melbourne or from their website: www.dvc.vic.gov.au/bdm.htm

    Certificates may be obtained from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages for a fee.

  • Function / Content
    This series comprised the hardcopy of the Birth Registers which were created from 1853 to 1989 when they were superseded by Lifedata, the computerised system of registration.

    Each bound volume contains registration entries in numeric order by registration number. Each volume was annotated on the spine with the number of the volume (in sequential number order) and the range of registration numbers of the entries bound therein.

    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 the proclamation of An Act for Registering Births, Deaths and Marriages in the Colony of Victoria (16 Vic., No.26). Prior to this, baptism, 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.

    Centralised system of Registration, 1961 - ct

    From 1893 until 1986, legislative responsibility for the registration of births, marriages and deaths was with the Office of the Government Statist and Actuary (VA 989). However in 1983, when this Office was transferred to the Department of Management and Budget, operational responsibility remained with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

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

    A centralised system of registration for Births and Deaths was introduced in 1961 when the previous system of registration by District Registrars was abandoned in favour of central registration through head office, at 295 Queen Street, Melbourne.

    Information Forms for Birth and Death registrations were an integral part of the registration system(VPRS 10261). In the case of births, informants, usually the parents of newly born children completed the form, available through hospitals, giving the necessary details for registration purposes and forwarded the form directly to the Office of the Government Statist, later the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, where registration of the birth would be effected. These forms were signed by one or both parents attesting the information therein to be true and correct.

    The information forms were sorted daily in the following order:
    - date of birth
    - place of birth in alphabetical order, metropolitan births in one batch and all those from the country regions of the state in another. (metropolitan births were sorted according to the name of the hospital and those from the country in order of the name of the town where the birth occurred)

    Following that sort, the forms were allocated a registration number and a registration entry was electronically made onto pre-printed forms for inclusion in the Register. These folios were bound in the Register according to registration number.

    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
    - name of the informant of the information recorded.

  • Recordkeeping System
    The Registers, from 1853 to 1989, were numbered and arranged in numerical order, i.e., 1, 2, 3, etc.

    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.

    1961 - 1989

    The volumes for the period 1961 to 1989 reflect the centralised system of registration and the folios were bound in the Registers according to 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 registrations, by registration number, bound in the volume
    - the number of the volume in the series of Birth Registers, 1853-1989

    Indexes

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

    It is possible to locate a particular entry in the Register by ascertaining the registration number recorded against the above details in the Index(refer VPRS 7290).

More research resourcesMore research resources
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1853 - 1983 Index to Birth Registers VPRS 7290
1989 - cont Life Data: Computerised System for the Registration, Indexing and Retrieval of Births, Deaths and Marriages Information VPRS 13011
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
P0001 1853 - 1872 Closed 5
P0002 1853 - 1932 Closed 2006
P0003 1932 - 1960 Closed 970
P0004 1932 - 1960 Closed 1210
P0005 1961 - 1989 Closed 3291
P0006 1962 - 1962 Closed 2
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
Display entries per page
Date Range Series Title Series Number
1853 - 1983 Index to Birth Registers VPRS 7290
1989 - cont Life Data: Computerised System for the Registration, Indexing and Retrieval of Births, Deaths and Marriages Information VPRS 13011
More research resourcesMore research resources