Discover the details of your South Australian ancestor’s marriage(s). Find out what all-important information is listed on their marriage certificate(s), from their spouse’s name to when and where they were married.
Each record includes information transcribed from the original certificate. The information compiled from the registrations varies, but the South Australia Marriages 1842-1937 may include the following information:
The first name(s) and last name(s) of both parties
The date of the marriage
The place and district of the marriage
Age and marital status of both parties
Father’s name(s) of both parties
Indexing Symbol and Cross-references
The South Australia Marriages 1842-1937 records were transcribed by volunteers from the South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society Inc.
Original marriage 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 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 in the Northern Territory to Darwin. These are now held in the Northern Territory Government’s Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. In the early years of the colony, there was controversy surrounding the legality of marriages that were officiated by clergy other than those of the Church of England. As a result, in some cases there may be no marriage certificate. In other cases, there may be two registrations of the same marriage.
Any Clergymen, officiating minister or deputy registrar who oversaw any marriages was required to make a true copy of all entries of marriage in their registration books to deliver to the Registrar General in the months of January, April, July and October.
The place of marriage may describe the venue, church or office in which it took place or the geographical location of the marriage in terms of town or suburb. The officiating minister may even have used the church’s parish, diocese or district name as the place of marriage instead.
Note that confusions surrounding the end of the year, where a marriage was registered in January that took place in December, were amended and marked with the symbol ‘A’. On the other hand, confusions surrounding the end of the month were not amended as the marriage may have occurred in either the last day of the preceding month or the first day of the new one. In this case, an ‘E’ symbol was added to show that this error had been identified. These are just two examples of the symbols that the volunteers who transcribed the registrations to put together this index often used in order 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
G Guessed age because the record was indeterminate
R The date of registration was used as the date of marriage because the latter was not recorded or is indecipherable
S Additional information is on the certificate but not recorded in this index
V Spelling variations between Certificate entries and signatures
X A cross-reference entry is recorded for another name
If place of marriage 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. Certificates can be ordered from SA Consumer and Business Services www.cbs.sa.gov.au.
Genealogy SA have microfiche copies of the marriage 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 75 year embargo applies to purchasing marriage certificates from the Registration Office. Genealogy SA can provide transcriptions to 1937.
© South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society Inc, trading as Genealogy SA; www.genealogysa.org.au