Discover the details of your South Australian ancestor’s birth. Find out what information is on their birth certificate, learn when and where they were born, and their parents’ names.
Each record includes a transcript. Information compiled from the original certificates varies but the South Australia Births 1842-1928 may include the following information:
The child’s first name(s) and last name
The child’s gender
The child’s date of birth
The child’s birthplace or parents’ residence, State and Country
The district in which the child was registered
The father’s name
The mother’s name (including maiden name in most cases)
Indexing Symbols and Cross-references
The South Australia Births 1842-1928 records were transcribed by volunteers from the South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society Inc. Original birth 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 added, modified and 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 births in their local area within 42 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 births will appear among these records. In the early years, many Catholics in South Australia refused to register births in their families.
Birth certificates relating to adopted children are not included, as accessing this information requires permission from Adoption and Family Services. Birth certificates of children born before 1928, but registered after 1928, are not accessible.
Although in 1937 it became compulsory to register stillbirths, only a small number remain in the index today as the principal Registrar was permitted to destroy these registrations with the Minister’s consent. Most birth certificates state child’s firs name(s) but not their last name. As such, the last name recorded on this index is that of the father’s last name or, where this was not available, the mother’s last name at the time.
However, some certificates did not appear to follow this format, meaning that it was difficult for volunteer transcribers to determine the child’s last name. In this case, two entries have been included with cross references to one another to help improve your chances of finding the correct record.
Cross references may also appear in the case of people who legally changed their name at some point during their life. 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:
If a code has two digits, it indicates that both meanings apply in this instance.
If place of birth 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 birth 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 100 year embargo applies to purchasing birth certificates from the Registration Office. Genealogy SA can provide transcriptions to 1928.
© The South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society Inc, trading as Genealogy SA; www.genealogysa.org.au