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Locating an Entry

Various factors will impact on how you find an entry on the Western Australian Online Indexes.

Surnames (births, deaths and marriages)

Variations in the spelling of surnames will occur. Examples of inconsistency in the spelling of surnames include:

Johnson, Johnston, Johnstone
Chappel, Chappell, Chapple
Read, Reed, Reid.

If you are having difficulty locating an entry you believe should be there, consider the phonetics of the surname, then try variations of that name.

Given names (births, deaths & marriages)

Given names are usually shown in full, although on occasion they may be abbreviated, for example:

Geo. = George
Jas. = James
Thos. = Thomas.

If an abbreviated given name is in the index, it will probably be abbreviated in the registration of birth, death or marriage. There is no guarantee the given name of a person will be consistent throughout the birth, death and marriage index entries. For example, Ann at birth may be Anne when married and Annie in the death register.


On births (1841-1905):
records the place of birth of the child. May only show the district of birth if the place name is not stated, unknown or indecipherable.

On deaths (1841-1905):
shows the place of birth of the deceased, if recorded in the register. Prior to 1896 this information was not recorded on registrations of death. If born outside WA, the certificate will show the place and state. If born outside Australia, it will show place and country.

Sex (births, deaths & marriages - 1906 onwards)

Shows gender as male or female.

Age (deaths only - 1841-1905)

If numeral only, indicates years, but if numerals are followed by a letter this indicates:

  • M - months
  • W - weeks
  • D - days
  • H - hours
  • ADU - adult
  • STI  - stillborn
  • CHD - child
  • UNK - unknown.

Father's name

On births (1841-1905):
shows the given names only of the father of the child.

On deaths (1841-1905):
shows the father of the deceased.

Where the father's name is not recorded in the register, the field will be shown as "unknown" or a blank.

Mother's name (births & deaths – 1841-1905)

Shows the given names and maiden surname of the mother.

Spouse's surname (marriages only - 1841 onwards)

This field contains the surname of the spouse of the person whose surname and given name appear in the index.

Spouse's given name(s) (marriages only - 1841 onwards)

Records the given name only of the spouse of the person whose surname and given name appear in the index.

Marriage place (marriages only - 1841-1905)

The location of marriage as stated in the register.

Registration year and number (births, deaths & marriages) (1841-1905)

The year an event was registered and the identifying registration number (no registration district).

Birth and Death Index Entries - 1906 onwards

Birth index entries from 1906 onwards record the following information:

  • surname
  • given name/s
  • sex
  • registration district
  • registration number and
  • registration year.

Marriage index entries - 1906 onwards

Marriage index entries from 1906 onwards record the following information:

  • Surname
  • Given Name/s
  • Sex
  • Spouse Surname
  • Spouse Given Name/s
  • Spouse Sex
  • Registration District
  • Registration Number and
  • Registration Year.

Last updated: 15-Aug-2017

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