Each record includes information transcribed from the original certificate. The information compiled from the registrations varies, but the South Australia Deaths 1842-1972 may include the following information:
The deceased person’s first and last name
Their birth year
The date of death
The age at death
The place of death
The name of the informant who notified authorities of their death
The relationship the deceased had to the informant
Indexing Symbol and Cross-references
The South Australia Deaths 1842-1972 records were transcribed by volunteers from the South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society Inc.
Original death certificates are held and administered by the Government of South Australia Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Office. These certificates are not available to search or view online, but can be purchased. See further details below.
The registration of births, deaths and marriages in South Australia began on 1 June 1842. A registrar general was appointed, a Registry Office established, and the colony of South Australia was divided by the Governor into various districts. Each had a local district registrar overseeing the registration of births, deaths and marriages in that region. Over time, Districts were modified, added to or abolished.
It is also important to note that in 1863, South Australia became responsible for administering the Northern Territory. This was referred to as the district of Palmerston. When the Northern Territory was transferred to the Federal Government’s control in 1911, South Australia sent its registrations of births, deaths and marriages from the Northern Territory to Darwin. These are now held in the Northern Territory Government’s Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
From July 1856, district registrars had to register any deaths in their local area within 10 days and then send a copy of this registration to the registrar general’s office in Adelaide. In some cases, only one of these copies survives today.
Note that, for various reasons, not all deaths will appear among these records. Many registrations were forgotten after an Inquest or if no body was found. Another thing to keep in mind is that the volunteers who produced this index often used symbols to provide information on the state of the certificate, its accuracy, legibility, and any suspected errors. A key to the meaning of these symbols is below:
A Transcriber has amended or deduced data for place and district words
B Registrar's certificate was damaged and the district copy was also consulted
C An official correction was recorded, and the correction information is shown
D Certificate is difficult to read and the interpretation may be incorrect
E A possible clerical error exists on the certificate and has not been corrected
F Informant may have been a family member, but no relationship stated
G Guessed age because the record was indeterminate
H Person died in an institution i.e. hospital, nursing facility or religious community
I An indefinite date of death, for example if a range was given the earliest date was used
R Date of death illegible and registration date used
S Additional information is on the certificate but not recorded in this index
V Spelling variations between certificate entries and signatures
W Death occurred in a theatre of war
X A cross-reference entry is recorded for another name
If place of death listed is a town or suburb that appears to no longer exist in South Australia, keep in mind that many places in the state that had a German-sounding name were changed due to anti-German sentiment during the First World War. In some cases, these places later reverted to their original names.
There is usually more information recorded on the certificate than is recorded in this index
In Australia, each state administers its own birth, death and marriage certificates and the process of ordering a certificate, as well as the level of detail they may contain, varies widely.
In South Australia, the Government of South Australia Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Office is responsible for managing this process. Copies of these certificates can be ordered from SA Consumer and Business Services www.cbs.sa.gov.au.
Genealogy SA have microfiche copies of the death certificates indexed, and transcriptions or further research is available. Transcriptions of certificates can be ordered by selecting the record on the Genealogy SA website, then ordering the transcription through the Shopping Cart. Research enquiries should be made through the Genealogy SA website www.genealogysa.org.au.
A 30 year embargo applies to purchasing death certificates from the Registration Office. Genealogy SA can provide transcriptions to 1967.
© The South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society Inc, trading as Genealogy SA; www.genealogysa.org.au