Online Database Search

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Year of Event

(i.e. birth year, death year, marriage year etc.)

Online Database Search

What You Can Search

Search our extensive online databases for your South Australian ancestors.

You are about to search the following Genealogy SA databases: 


17/12/2020 - Update to Newspaper Birth Notices - 6,883 records and an Update to School Admissions records - 3,794 records

4/12/2020 - New release - Irish Born South Australians - 36,194 records


  • Birth Registration Certificates Index 1842 - 1928 - key database information
  • Death Registration Certificates Index 1842 - 1972 (Certificate transcriptions to 1967*) - key database information
  • Marriage Registration Certificates Index 1842 - 1937 - key database information
  • South Australia Cemeteries Index includes Adelaide Catholic burials 1845 - 1895 and some Funeral Directors - key database information #
  • Newspaper Birth Notices Index Births: 1839-2018 and Birthdays: 1967 - 2018 (some incomplete years**) - key database information 
  • Newspaper Death Notices Index from 1852 (includes Deaths, Funerals, In Memoriam, Lest We Forget, etc. some incomplete years) - key database information #
  • Newspaper Divorces Index, Adelaide newspapers 1879 - 1954. Matrimonial Petitions and related documents 1859 - 1893 - key database information
  • Newspaper Engagements, Approaching Marriages, Marriages and Wedding Anniversaries. From Adelaide Papers: Advertiser, Sunday Mail, Chronicle, Register, Southern Cross etc 1852, 1889 to 2018. Country Papers: 1961 to 2007 - key database information #
  • Biographical Index of South Australians. 1836 to 1885. Contains records from "Biographical Index of South Australians 1836-1885" and "South Australians 1836 -1885" Users are warned that, although the coverage of early South Australians is comprehensive and valuable, some of the material is based on verbal sources, and may be incorrect. Please read search tips further on this page for assistance - key database information #
  • South Australian Church Baptisms - over 40,000 records available from 1839 onwards - key database information # 
  • South Australian Church Marriages - over 36,000 records available from 1842 onwards - key database information 
  • South Australian Church Burials - over 2,000 records from 1845 onwards - key database information 
  • South Australian School Admission records - over 87,569 records from 1877 onwards for 107 Schools - key database information 
  • Shipping arrivals in South Australia from 1836 to 1952 - 277,959 records - key database information 
  • Hospital, asylum and lying-in home admission records - 171,453 records - key database information #
  • Deceased Estate/Public Trustee records - 232,235 records - key database information #
  • Irish Born South Australians - 36,194 records - key database information and members search hints #

All databases with this suffix - # - are "works in progress" and are continually being added to and will be updated both in our library and online regularly.

Lookups for Members - before you ask for a lookup please remember that if a displayed field is BLANK it means that there is no further information available for that field in that database. There maybe be further information available in our library on the person you are researching. You will need to ask for a research request - click here

* Please note, we do not have original death registrations from 1968 to 1972, only index records, therefore we cannot transcribe death registrations between 1968 to 1972.

** Newspaper births - non-members are provided with a limited view, members are provided more detail and have the service available to order look-ups. Non-member look-up requests will be refunded immediately, the look-up service will not be available to non-members.

Before requesting a birth, death or marriage certificate, check our What is in a Certificate When? document. This lists all of the the fields that may be available in the certificate that you request.

Our index records contain abbreviations that are defined on our site at Abbreviations Explained


Search Tips

Specifying a date range for your search can speed the search process. The indexes for Birth, Death and Marriage Certificates have date restrictions due to government regulation. Read the story of the Genealogy SA BDM Certificates.

Use the wildcards to search for parts of names, or names that begin or end with certain characters, * for multiple characters and ? for one character. eg.  If searching for Joraslafsky or anything similar, enter *lafsky to find anything that ends in lafsky. 

If searching for O’Dea or anything similar, enter O?Dea to find that name. The ? Wildcard replaces the apostrophe.

Likewise, if you want to find someone born in 1888 with Last name of Longbottom or similar, you enter Date 1888 and Last name Lon*. Note - the wildcard search requires 3 characters plus the wildcard symbol. This will give you hundreds of results to wade through

Biographical Index of South Australians search tips:

- The event year may be either the year of birth or year of death. This is due to no definite date of birth or data of death field were created in the original database published 1989/1990

- when you have found a spouse, do another search which may give you additional information such as birth and death dates

Great!  A Result!  Is there any more?

If your search narrows down to a person of interest, remember that you have only searched an index. An index is usually an extract taken from a more detailed source document. If you get a result from our index and you want more details, order a source document transcription or lookup, which you can do online through this website.

Transcriptions and Lookups are processed on Monday and Fridays, you can expect a response within one week.

No!  Didn't find a thing?

Well don't quit!  If you are certain your missing relative should be in South Australian records, try varying your search criteria. Indexes sometimes have spelling or other errors, often reflecting an error in the original document. Untick the 'exact matches' box and look for different spellings, places or time periods. 

People often contact us about errors they believe they have found. The Society will receive advice of suspected errors, and we may be able to correct index errors in the future, where we can access the original source document. Please send error reports to the webmaster or our research co-ordinator.

Be persistent and try different ways of searching. If your efforts don't help your research, or you still face a brick wall, you could always consider a Genealogy SA Research Request.