Discover your Tasmanian ancestor’s original death register. Uncover or confirm when and where they died, how old they were at the time of passing, 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 Deaths 1803-1933 may include the following information:
Name of deceased
Year of death
Year of birth
Cause of death
Signature, description and residence of informant
Date and year of registration
State and country
Tasmania Deaths 1803-1933 comprises death records held by the Tasmanian Archive & Heritage Office. Excitingly, this collection includes both transcripts and images of the original death registers themselves. Before official registration began in Tasmania in 1838, the only records of births, deaths and marriages were church registers. Many of these church registers are kept at the Registry Office.
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 case of a death, the owner of the household in which the death occurred was required to register the death within 10 days. However, if an inquest was held, it was the coroner’s responsibility to report the death. 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 Tasmanian household owners either failed or refused to report deaths that occurred in their homes.
In some cases, authorities such as policemen, clergy and on some occasions even deputy registrars themselves 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. 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 death registrations varied widely over time. For example, some records in the 1890s indicate where the deceased person died. From 1897 the deceased’s birthplace is included. By 1908 the name of the deceased’s spouse was included or, if they were single, their parents’ names. By 1914, the deceased’s age at marriage, and issue of the marriage, was also 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 death 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 death certificates dating back over 25 years can be accessed by any member of the public. Death certificates that are less than 25 years old are generally only available to the person in question, or their parents, unless their permission can be proven.
© Tasmanian Archive & Heritage Office.