Marriage & Divorce

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Collection Information

In a few of the vital records collections on Ancestry.com.au, you will find indexes that link to images of actual records. In other cases, there are indexes containing information which will help you request the full record. Viewing the actual record is beneficial as it often contains details not included in the index.


If you find your ancestor in an index, be sure to click on the database title and look at the description to learn how to request the actual record.


For Australian Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates, you will need to contact the individual state registry offices:

With the England & Wales FREE BMD Birth, Marriage and Death indexes, you can order a copy of the original certificate directly through Ancestry.com.au – just look for the little shopping trolley image to the right of the search results.


If you’re unable to locate your ancestor’s record in civil records, check with churches or synagogues in the areas where the bride or groom lived. Ancestry.com.au has some religious marriage records among its collections. To see what collections are available through the Card Catalogue, using the filters on the left side of the page, select Birth, Marriage & Death, then Marriage & Divorce, and finally the location.

Marriage information can establish religious and congregation affiliation, and other details can include age and place of birth, occupation, residences, and parents’ names. Divorce records include similar details, as well as date of divorce, children’s names reasons for dissolution, and more.

Marriage records are primary resources for the marriage details, since they were created at the time of the marriage. This collection includes indexes that can help you request the record and, in some cases, actual images of the marriage records.

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Search Tips

  • Narrow your search for marriage records by looking at the age and birthplace of the first child. This information can also be found in census records. Start your search a year prior to the child’s birth and gradually widen your search back (and forward) in time until you locate the record. Tracing your ancestor through directories can be helpful as well.
  • Seek out the marriage records for all family members. Information found on the records of siblings may include helpful details that aren’t found on your ancestor’s record.
  • When you find a record in a marriage index, always follow up and request the original record. Click on the database title and the source information and description on the collection page will tell you where the records are held.
  • Keep in mind that when civil registration first began, not everyone complied immediately. When you can’t locate a civil marriage record, look for census records and directories that can place your ancestor in a particular place around the time of the marriage. Then investigate churches in the area where the couple might have been married.
  • Once you find a matching record, save it to your family tree – that way you can provide evidence to back up the info in your family tree, easily share your discover with your family, and quickly find the historical record again later.
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