Victorian Genealogy

Finding People and Places in Victoria, Australia.

 


Religion

 

Also see Clergy and Ministers of Religion.

For denominational or religious schools see Schools.

For religious cemeteries see Cemetery and Crematoria 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, clergy 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.


RELIGIOUS RECORDS

For church and synagogue records before 1853 see Baptism and Birth Register Records or Marriage Records or Burial 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.

 

BIRTHS AND BAPTISMS

 

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. These are searchable.

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


ANCESTRY - AUSTRALIA, BIRTHS AND BAPTISMS, 1792-1981

These are sourced from FamilySearch. They include births and baptisms from New South Wales and Victoria. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. These are searchable.

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=9776


FINDMYPAST - AUSTRALIA BIRTHS AND BAPTISMS 1792-1981

These are sourced from FamilySearch. These are searchable.

https://search.findmypast.com.au/search-world-Records/australia-births-and-baptisms-1792-1981


MYHERITAGE - AUSTRALIA, BIRTHS AND BAPTISMS, 1792-1981

Index to selected Australian births and baptisms. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. These are searchable.

https://www.myheritage.com/research/collection-30217/?utm_source=partner_victoriangenealogy&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=victoriangenealogy_July21_textlink&tr_ad_group=textlinks&tr_funnel=supersearch

 

MARRIAGES


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. These are searchable.

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


FINDMYPAST - AUSTRALIA MARRIAGES 1788-1935

These are sourced from FamilySearch. These are searchable.

https://search.findmypast.com.au/search-world-Records/australia-marriages-1788-1935


MYHERITAGE - AUSTRALIA, MARRIAGES, 1810-1981

Index to selected Australian marriages. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. These are searchable.

https://www.myheritage.com/research/collection-30219/?utm_source=partner_victoriangenealogy&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=victoriangenealogy_July21_textlink&tr_ad_group=textlinks&tr_funnel=supersearch

 

DEATHS AND BURIALS


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. These are searchable.

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


FINDMYPAST - AUSTRALIA DEATHS AND BURIALS 1816-1980

These are sourced from FamilySearch. These are searchable.

https://search.findmypast.com.au/search-world-Records/australia-deaths-and-burials-1816-1980

 

MYHERITAGE - AUSTRALIA, DEATHS AND BURIALS, 1816-1980

Index to selected Australian deaths and burials. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. These are searchable.

https://www.myheritage.com/research/collection-30218/?utm_source=partner_victoriangenealogy&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=victoriangenealogy_July21_textlink&tr_ad_group=textlinks&tr_funnel=supersearch

 

RELIGIOUS RECORDS

 

FAMILYSEARCH - CHURCH RECORDS

FamilySearch has microfilmed church records. 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 only 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 - CHURCH RECORDS

The following church records have been indexed into the Genealogical Society of Victoria's Milestones Database and some have attached images.

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

 

GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY OF VICTORIA GENEALOGICAL INDEX OF NAMES (GIN) - CHURCH RECORDS

The following church records have been indexed into the Genealogical Society of Victoria's Genealogical Index of Names (GIN) Database and they may have attached images.

  • Geelong Gaelic Church building fund: list of subscriptions [1859]
  • https://www.gsv.org.au/article/our-collection

     

    GEELONG AND DISTRICT WEBSITE - GEELONG DISTRICT RELIGIOUS RECORDS

    The following religious records have been indexed into the Geelong and District Database:

    http://zades.com.au/gandd/index.php/databases/potpourri/ppindexes

     

    ANGLICAN CHURCH RECORDS

     

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

    St. Peter's Anglican Church is in East Melbourne. This is searchable and may be browsed.

    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 and may be browsed.

    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 and may be browsed.

    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 and may be browsed.

    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

     
    QUAKER RECORDS

     

    FINDMYPAST - QUAKER DEATHS 1810-1918

    The Annual Monitor was first published in York in 1813 and annually thereafter until 1920. It listed the deaths of Quakers brought to its attention. Most of the deceased were members of Meetings in the British Isles or associated with them (through emigration or family links). It is searchable and includes Australian entries.

    https://search.findmypast.com.au/search-world-records/quaker-deaths-1810-1918

     

    JEWISH RECORDS

     

    NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF AUSTRALIA - THE JEWISH EXPERIENCE IN AUSTRALIA

    The following is Fact Sheet 217 from the National Archives of Australia.

    https://www.naa.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-05/fs-217-the-jewish-experience-in-australia.pdf

     

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

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

    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/

     

    ANCESTRY - JEWISH FAMILY HISTORY COLLECTION

    This collection includes all Jewish family history records on Ancestry.com These are searchable.

    https://www.ancestry.com.au/cs/jewishgen-all?o_iid=48016&o_lid=48016&o_sch=Web+Property

     

    ANCESTRY - JEWISHGEN ONLINE WORLDWIDE BURIAL REGISTRY

    The JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry is a database of names and other identifying information from cemeteries and burial records worldwide, from the earliest records to the present. These are searchable.

    https://www.ancestry.com.au/search/collections/1411/

     

    AUSTRALIAN MILITARY MEMORIALS AND RECORDS

    This website aids in finding World War 1 Australian veteran information. It includes a number of digitized books: the All Australia Memorial Book, Victorian Edition, the Education Department's Record of War Services, Some of Australia's Fighting Families, Australian Jewry Book of Honour, and the National Bank of Australasia Ltd. Record of War Service of Bank and Staff 1914-1919.

    https://australianmilitarymemorialsandrecords.com/

     

    BRITISH MILITARY RELIGIOUS RECORDS

    Victoria was defended using British military forces until 1870.

     

    ANCESTRY - UNITED KINGDOM, BRITISH ARMY AND NAVY BIRTH, MARRIAGE AND DEATH RECORDS, 1730-1960

    The records were collected by the various armed services of the British forces. Many are from registers kept by the chaplains of the various services and include births, baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials. Also included in this collection are British Navy reports of deaths as well as British Officer births, wills and personal records. The records are searchable and may be browsed.

    https://www.ancestry.com.au/search/collections/60931/

     

    ANCESTRY - UNITED KINGDOM, MILITARY RECORDS OF BAPTISMS, CONFIRMATIONS, MARRIAGES AND BURIALS, 1813-1957

    This collection contains registrations of baptisms, confirmations, marriages, banns, and burials for individuals who served in the British military, including those stationed overseas. The original records were recorded by military chaplains. The original collection is housed in the National Archives of the United Kingdom in Surrey. The records are searchable and may be browsed.

    https://www.ancestry.co.uk/search/collections/62113/

     

    FORCES WAR RECORDS - UNITED KINGDOM, MILITARY RECORDS OF BAPTISMS, CONFIRMATIONS, MARRIAGES AND BURIALS 1813-1957

    This collection contains registrations of baptisms, confirmations, marriages, banns, and burials for individuals who served in the British military, including those stationed overseas. This collection is unique in that the original records were recorded by military chaplains. While the Church of England is the official state religion of the United Kingdom, people of other faiths have been able to join the British military since 1793.

    https://au.forceswarrecords.com/publication/1125/uk-military-records-of-baptisms-confirmations-marriages-and-burials-1813-1957

     

    FINDMYPAST - BRITISH ARMED FORCES, ROMAN CATHOLIC REGISTERS 1836-1975

    The registers comprise records for the British Army, Royal Air Force, and Royal Navy stationed at home and abroad between 1836 and 1975. They include baptism, confirmation, marriage, and burial records. They are searchable.

    https://search.findmypast.com.au/search-world-records/british-armed-forces-roman-catholic-registers

    BAPTISMS

     

    FINDMYPAST - BRITISH ARMED FORCES AND OVERSEAS BIRTHS AND BAPTISMS 1761-2005

    These records are from the General Register Office and the National Archives in England. It is a collection of birth and baptism records of those born overseas and at sea. The collection holds birth records of children born to those working within the armed forces, merchant navy, and consular forces as well as civilian ship passengers. The records are transcriptions; some have attached images. They are searchable.

    https://search.findmypast.co.uk/search-world-Records/british-armed-forces-and-overseas-births-and-baptisms

     

    MARRIAGES

     

    FINDMYPAST - BRITISH ARMED FORCES AND OVERSEAS BANNS AND MARRIAGES 1796-2005

    These records are from the General Register Office and the National Archives in England. It is a collection of banns and marriage records of those born overseas and at sea. The collection holds marriage records of those working within the armed forces, merchant navy, and consular forces as well as civilian ship passengers. The records are transcriptions; some have attached images. They are searchable.

    https://search.findmypast.com.au/search-world-records/british-armed-forces-and-overseas-banns-and-marriages

     

    FINDMYPAST - BRITISH ROYAL MARINES, MARRIAGE REGISTERS 1813-1920

    The registers are searchable.

    https://search.findmypast.com.au/search-world-records/british-royal-marines-marriage-registers-1813-1920

     

    BURIALS

     

    FINDMYPAST - BRITISH ARMED FORCES AND OVERSEAS DEATHS AND BURIALS INDEX 1787-2005

    These records are from the General Register Office and the National Archives in England. It is a collection of death and burial records of those who died overseas and at sea. The collection holds death records of members of the British armed forces who died while serving their country overseas, British civilians who died while travelling or working overseas, and individuals, including seamen, who died at sea. The records are transcriptions; some have attached images. They are searchable.

    https://search.findmypast.com.au/search-world-Records/british-armed-forces-and-overseas-deaths-and-burials

     

    FINDMYPAST - BRITISH ARMY, ROYAL ARTILLERY OFFICER DEATHS 1850-2011

    These are searchable.

    https://search.findmypast.com.au/search-world-records/british-army-royal-artillery-officer-deaths-1850-2011

     

    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/our-diocese/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

    https://www.ajhs.com.au/


    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/mission-resourcing/synod-archives/

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

     

    UNITING CHURCH HISTORICAL SOCIETY

    The society encourages the study of all aspects of church history, from its buildings and people to the story of its theology through the preservation of materials.

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

     

    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 over 2,000 Australian Christian churches and over 16,000 clergy names. 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 Victorian Government Gazettes.

    If the church or synagogue land remained Crown land there will be a file at Public Record Office Victoria.

     

    PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE VICTORIA - MICROFICHE CATALOGUE TO CROWN LAND AND SURVEY FILES

    In order to find the unit number for files relating to Crown land either a file number is required or an allotment number, section number and name of township or parish. These are obtainable from the Parish or Township Plan. See Parish and Township Plans. The VPRS and unit number can then be located in the Microfiche Catalogue to Crown Land and Survey Files. This is not online.

     

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

    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

     

    MELBOURNE DIOCESE HISTORICAL COMMISSION - THE ADVOCATE SUMMARY AND INDEX 1868-1990

    These include a listing of individuals, religious orders, local and world events, church buildings, politics and education.

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1bM6jYx6tXLfs_PHD86dLJDk48CQeGf8V


    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

     

    FAMILYSEARCH - A JUBILEE HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF VICTORIA BY ROBERT HAMILTON

    Published by M. L Hutchinson in Melbourne in 1888.

    https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/239850?availability=Family%20History%20Library

     

    NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF AUSTRALIA - SAFE HAVEN: RECORDS OF THE JEWISH EXPERIENCE IN AUSTRALIA BY MALCOLM J TURNBULL, 1999.

    https://www.naa.gov.au/help-your-research/research-guides/safe-haven-records-jewish-experience-australia

     

     

     

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