Discover your Tasmanian ancestor’s original birth register. Find out when and where your ancestor was born, learn their parents’ names and uncover the insights of these original documents.
Each record includes an original image and transcript. The amount of information listed varies, but the Tasmania Births 1803-1933 may include the following information:
Name of child
Date of birth
Year of registration
Father’s first name(s)
Mother’s first name(s)
Mother’s last name
Father’s rank or profession
Signature, description and residence of informant
Date of baptism
Year of registration
District of registration
State and country
Tasmania Births 1803-1933 comprises birth records held by the Tasmanian Archive & Heritage Office. Excitingly, this collection includes both transcripts and images of the original birth registers themselves.
Before official registration began in Tasmania in 1838, the only records of births, deaths and marriages were church registers. Indeed, baptism records are the earliest form of birth records in Tasmania.
In 1838, Tasmania became the first British colony to introduce civil registration, only two years after similar legislation in Britain itself. The Registration Act, passed in August 1838, directed that Tasmania should be divided into registration districts, each with its own appointed deputy registrar to record the births, deaths and marriages that occurred within that particular district. In the event of a birth, it was the responsibility of the child’s parents to report the birth to the district registrar within 42 days. Every quarter, deputy registrars and clergy were required to send copies of their registers to the central office in Hobart, where the registrar would then compile indexes of these registers.
Although the registration process was successful overall, there were a number of issues surrounding civil registration that genealogists may like to keep in mind. For instance, some Tasmanians registered the births of children who were born before the Registration Act 1838 came into effect, even, in some cases, those who were born several years prior. Other parents either failed to register the births of their children or refused to do so. In 1847, for example, according to the Statistics of Van Diemen’s Land for 1847, there were 2,041 baptisms yet only 1,531 registered births that year. In other cases, authorities such as policemen, clergy and on some occasions even deputy registrars failed to comply with the process of registering births, deaths and marriages. This under-registration was improved somewhat in 1843 when district registrars began to receive a fee for each birth or death they registered. In that year, registrations doubled. This is worth keeping in mind if your ancestor died or was born between 1838 and 1842, when there may have been an under-registration of births, deaths and marriages in their district.
However, the levels of registration improved. It is believed that by the end of the 19th century, the registration of births, deaths and marriages would have been virtually complete.
Keep in mind that these records often provide information about not only the people registered but also other family members. The level of detail recorded on birth registrations varied widely over time. For example, in 1902 the parents’ age and birthplace was included. In 1909, previous issue of the marriage was included.
In Australia, each state administers its own birth, death and marriage certificates and the process of ordering certificates, as well as the level of detail they may contain, varies widely.
In the state of Tasmania, the Tasmanian Archive & Heritage Office is responsible for managing this process for pre-1900 BDMs. For information about certified copies of certificates issued by the Tasmanian Archive & Heritage Office please refer to its website at http://search.archives.tas.gov.au/
For post-1900 BDMs please see the website of the Department of Justice http://www.justice.tas.gov.au/bdm/forms
In order to apply for a birth certificate, you must fill out an application form, pay the prescribed fee and show appropriate identification. Extra fees apply for searches of six years or more. You must provide the given name, last name and a defined search period for the search to be completed for you.
It is important to keep in mind that only birth certificates dating back over 100 years can be accessed by any member of the public. Birth certificates that are less than 100 years old are generally only available to the person in question, or their parents, unless their permission can be proven.
© Tasmanian Archive & Heritage Office.