Victorian Genealogy

Finding People and Places in Victoria, Australia.

 


Church, Synagogue and Religious Records

 

Also see Clergymen and Ministers of Religion.

For religious cemeteries see Cemetery and Crematoria Records.

For denominational or religious schools see School Records.

 

 

OVERVIEW

Religious records may include baptism or birth registers, first communion records, confirmation records, marriage records such as marriage banns, marriage licences and marriage declarations and burial or funeral records. Other records may include congregation lists and Sunday school members.

The names of church officials such as priests, clergymen or rabbis, lay readers, organists, trustees, church or synagogue committee members and synod delegates may be found in religious records. There are also the records of religious societies including monks and nuns. Records may be held in a local church or synagogue. They may also be held in a local area archives or national archives.


CHURCH AND SYNAGOGUE RECORDS

For church and synagogue records before 1853 see Birth Records, Death Records or Marriage Records.

Victoria's Early Church Records are on CD-ROM 1836-1853. This includes extra records from 1803-1906. Despite being called Early Church Records, it includes synagogue records and civil registration records 1853-1854. These are not online.

 

FAMILYSEARCH - AUSTRALIA, BIRTHS AND BAPTISMS 1792-1981

An index to records held by the Genealogical Society of Utah is searchable on their FamilySearch website. This has births and baptisms from New South Wales and Victoria. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed.

https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1770729


FAMILYSEARCH - AUSTRALIA, MARRIAGES 1810-1980

An index to records held by the Genealogical Society of Utah is searchable on their FamilySearch website. This has marriages from New South Wales and Victoria. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed.

https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1770858


FAMILYSEARCH - AUSTRALIA, DEATHS AND BURIALS, 1816-1810

An index to records held by the Genealogical Society of Utah is searchable on their FamilySearch website. This has deaths and burials from New South Wales and Victoria. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed.

https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1770857

 

FAMILYSEARCH - CHURCH RECORDS

FamilySearch has microfilmed church records. They are in the process of digitizing all their microfilm records. Some are yet to be digitized; some can be seen online; some can be seen at FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries (in Melbourne these are the Genealogical Society of Victoria and the Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies) and some can be seen at Family History Centres (Mormon Libraries).The following are available online and are included on the International Genealogical Index unless indicated:

https://www.familysearch.org/en/

 

GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY OF VICTORIA - MILESTONES AND GENEALOGICAL INDEX OF NAMES (GIN)

This has indexes and digitised church records online in its Genealogical Index of Names. Church records included:

https://www.gsv.org.au/article/our-collection

 

ANCESTRY - VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA, ST.PETER'S EASTERN HILL, BAPTISMS 1848-1915

St. Peter's Anglican Church is in East Melbourne. This is searchable.

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=60584

 

ANCESTRY - VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA, ST.PETER'S EASTERN HILL, MARRIAGES 1848-1955

St. Peter's Anglican Church is in East Melbourne. This is searchable.

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=9732


ANCESTRY - VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA, ST.PETER'S EASTERN HILL, CONFIRMATIONS 1872-1955

St. Peter's Anglican Church is in East Melbourne. This is searchable.

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=60586


ANCESTRY - VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA, ST.PETER'S EASTERN HILL, BURIALS 1848-1989

St. Peter's Anglican Church is in East Melbourne. This is searchable.

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=60585


ANCESTRY - VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA, ST.PETER'S EASTERN HILL, SELECTED RECORDS, 1848-1998

St. Peter's Anglican Church is in East Melbourne. The selected records include day school records 1897-1930, confirmation classes book 1892-1915, pew rent books 1848-1884 and photographs 1851-1960. The collection may be browsed.

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=9733

 

NUNS AND SISTERS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN AUSTRALIA 1838-1918

For the purposes of historical research or family history an alphabetical index of women who either became nuns in Australia, or who arrived in Australia as nuns has been compiled. The index consists of approximately 14,000 entries and is the result of contributions from more than fifty Religious Orders or Congregations.

https://web.stbedes.catholic.edu.au/Other/nuns/index.html

 

AUSTRALIAN JEWISH HISTORICAL SOCIETY - AUSTRALIAN JEWISH MARRIAGE INDEX 1832-1940

These include the congregation where the marriage took place and full date of marriage.

https://www.ajhs.com.au/marriages-up-to-1940/

 

FAMILYSEARCH - KNOWLES COLLECTION

This includes more than 21,000 Jewish genealogical records for the South Pacific area. It is located under "Genealogies". It is included under "Community Trees" and this should be selected at the bottom of the page for a more focused search.

https://www.familysearch.org/search/family-trees/

 

RELIGIOUS ARCHIVES, MUSEUMS, LIBRARIES AND HISTORICAL SOCIETIES

 

ANGLICAN CHURCH

Victoria is divided up into five dioceses: Melbourne, Ballarat, Bendigo, Wangaratta and Gippsland. Each diocese has a website with contact details. The websites list churches and parishes within their area and include contact details.

 

ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF MELBOURNE

https://www.melbourneanglican.org.au/

 

ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF BENDIGO - DIOCESAN ARCHIVES

This may be contacted through their Registry Office.

www.bendigoanglican.org.au/registry-office/

 

ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF WANGARATTA

They have deposited records in Charles Sturt University Regional Archives, Wagga Wagga New South Wales. Its holdings include registers of baptisms, marriages and burials for the following churches:

 

MOLLISON LIBRARY, TRINITY COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE

Trinity College Library houses the Mollison Library, the provincial library of the Anglican Church of Victoria. The library has a significant collection of theological works.

www.trinity.unimelb.edu.au/learning/resources/library.html


ANGLICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY

https://cathedral.org.au/cathedral/history/anglican-historical-society/


BAPTIST CHURCH

 

BAPTIST UNION OF VICTORIA ARCHIVES

These are housed at the Baptist Union of Victoria Offices.

www.buv.com.au

A list of Baptist church websites in Victoria is included on the website.

 

VICTORIAN BAPTIST HISTORICAL SOCIETY

https://www.buv.com.au/good-news-stories/the-victorian-baptist-historical-society-vbhs-who-we-are-what-we-do-and-why-we-do-it/


CHURCH OF CHRIST

 

THE CHURCHES OF CHRIST IN VICTORIA AND TASMANIA

www.churchesofchrist.org.au

This website includes a list of Church of Christ church websites in Victoria.

 

CONGREGATIONAL UNION OF VICTORIA

See Uniting Church.

 

LUTHERAN CHURCH

 

LUTHERAN ARCHIVES, ADELAIDE

This is the main archive for Lutheran Church records.

www.lca.org.au/departments/ministry-support/lutheran-archives

 

TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH, EAST MELBOURNE

They operate an archive for their church records.

https://en.kirche.org.au/congregational-life/the-archives/

 

METHODIST CHURCH

See Uniting Church.


ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

Victoria is divided up into the Archdiocese of Melbourne and three other dioceses: Ballarat, Sandhurst and Sale. Each diocese has a website with contact details. Religious orders have their own archives.


CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE

https://melbournecatholic.org/

Sacramental records are found in individual churches. As well as its own records, St Patrick's Cathedral holds some baptism and marriage records for the following churches:

 

MELBOURNE DIOCESAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION

This holds records regarding the administration of the Archdiocese. It holds general material about Melbourne parishes and about some Catholic agencies and institutions. It does not hold the records of individuals except for Father Linane's Priests A to Z Series. This comprises biographical information about all priests who have served in dioceses throughout Australia and who were ordained prior to 1900.

https://melbournecatholic.org/about/our-heritage/historical-records/

 

GOOLD CATHOLIC MUSEUM: MUSEUM OF THE CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE

This is managed by the Melbourne Diocesan Historical Commission, whose brief is to collect, house and provide public access to material relating to the history of the Church in Victoria. The Collection comprises liturgical objects, vestments, artefacts, furniture, documents, artworks, statues and personal memorabilia.

https://melbournecatholic.org/about/our-heritage/historical-records/


CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF SANDHURST - ARCHIVES OFFICE

This is the diocese for the Bendigo area.

https://www.sandhurst.catholic.org.au/archives

 

CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF SALE - DIOCESAN ARCHIVES

https://www.cdsale.org.au/archives


CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF BALLARAT

www.ballarat.catholic.org.au

 

BALLARAT DIOCESAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION

This holds many historical records regarding the administration of the Diocese.  It holds general materials about Ballarat parishes and about some Catholic Agencies and Institutions.  With a few exceptions, it does not hold records of individuals.


AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC HISTORICAL SOCIETY INC.

http://www.australiancatholichistoricalsociety.com.au/

 

SALVATION ARMY


SALVATION ARMY HERITAGE CENTRE, AUSTRALIA SOUTHERN TERRITORY

https://www.salvationarmy.org.au/en/Who-We-Are/History-and-heritage/

 

SYNAGOGUES


AUSTRALIAN JEWISH HISTORICAL SOCIETY

http://www.ajhs.info/


UNITING CHURCH

The Uniting Church in Australia was formed in 1977 when Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational (or Independent) Churches amalgamated; only two thirds of Presbyterian Churches joined.


UNITING CHURCH ARCHIVES

https://victas.uca.org.au/resources/synod-archives/

Some of the photographic holdings of the United Church Archives can be seen on the Victorian Collections website.

 

UNITING CHURCH NATIONAL HISTORY SOCIETY

The Uniting Church National History Society (UCNHS) was formed to preserve and promote the historical journey of the Uniting Church in Australia and its predecessor churches.

https://assembly.uca.org.au/history

 

CONGREGATIONAL UNION OF VICTORIA

They have donated their records to the State Library of Victoria and they are held in the Manuscript Collection.

 

BUILDINGS AND LAND

For Buildings see Building Records.

Until 1870 the state funded the building of churches so records of these payments may be found in government records; it should be noted that not all religions were accepting of state aid.

 

CHURCHES

 

AUSTRALASIA CHURCH ALBUMS

This has photographes of churches in Australia and New Zealand.

https://www.ausbdm.org/album.php

 

AUSTRALIAN CHRISTIAN CHURCH HISTORIES

A portal for historical information on Australian Christian Churches. This site contains a contemporary collection of 1,662 Australian Christian churches. There is a searchable database which includes (where available) the date the church was built, identification of the architect and builders, a list of clergy, the dates they served and details pertaining to certain specific fixtures.

http://www.churchhistories.net.au/

 

LAND

Crown land was reserved by the government for church or synagogue purposes. The appointment of trustees for this land may be found in Victorian Government Gazettes. See Government Gazettes.

If the church or synagogue land remained Crown land a Crown Reserves correspondence file number may be obtained from the Parish Plan. See Plans. The Crown Reserves correspondence file at the Public Record Office Victoria will hold correspondence relating to the land.

If the church or synagogue land was alienated ie a Crown Grant was made to the trustees see Land Records.


NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES

Many religious organizations published newspapers and copies of these are held at the State Library of Victoria and the National Library of Australia.


Anglican Church - The Church of England Messenger 1869-1905

Roman Catholic Church - The Advocate 1868-1954

Methodist Church - Spectator and Methodist Chronicle 1914-1918

Jewish Synagogue - Jewish Herald 1879-1920

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/


FINDMYPAST - AUSTRALIAN LUTHERAN 1913-1966

The Australian Lutheran was the nationwide magazine for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia (ELCA). It is searchable.

https://search.findmypast.com.au/search-world-Records/australian-lutheran


BOOKS

ANCESTRY - BENEDICTINE PIONEERS IN AUSTRALIA, VOLUME 1

Henry Norbert Birt, O.S.B. Benedictine Pioneers in Australia, Volume 1. London: Herbert and Daniel, 1911. This may be browsed and it is searchable.

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=30263

 

ANCESTRY - BENEDICTINE PIONEERS IN AUSTRALIA, VOLUME 2

Henry Norbert Birt. Benedictine Pioneers in Australia, Volume 2. London: Herbert and Daniel, 1911. This may be browsed and it is searchable.

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=30264

 

 

 

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