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This is the "Intro" page of the "Births, deaths and marriages" guide.
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State Library of South Australia Government Ministers State Library of South Australia
This State Library of South Australia guide includes information on cemeteries, church records, burials and probate (wills). Information for other states is also included.
Last Updated: Dec 1, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Birth, Death and Marriage records are a rich source of information about your family. The information you will find in an index or on the certificate itself will depend on the time and place the event was registered, but by checking a few different sources you might be able to establish:

  • The date and place of the birth, death or marriage
  • The names of the father and mother of the person you are researching
  • Their maiden name
  • The ages and birthplace of their father and mother, which can help you keep tracing your family backwards through time 
  • Any previous children they might have had

Indexes to birth, death and marriage records for South Australia and interstate are held at the State Library. These indexes are available in various formats including CD ROMS, books and microfiche, and can only be searched onsite. Please note that only indexes are held. The actual records of a particular person's birth, death or marriage are held at Birth, Death and Marriage Registry Offices in each state. You will need to contact the Birth, Death and Marriage Registry Office directly and pay a fee to obtain the actual certificate.

These pages will help you discover how to start searching.

Birth, Death & Marriage Registry Offices

Each state holds its own birth, death and marriage registry office.  To be directed to the appropriate office in each state click on the name of the State you are interested in.



Ancestry Library Edition

Due to licensing restrictions the State Library cannot offer access to Ancesty Library Edition to home users. However, it is available at the State Library or at local council libraries.


Searching from home

In 2012, Genealogy SA published extracts from the South Australian births, deaths and marriages indexes online. The information is equivalent to indexes published online by most Australian  states. Information about these and other databases can be found at the Genealogy SA website.

The full indexes are available on CDROM and available in the State Library of South Australia, many public libraries and other state libraries across Australia. The Library is open daily, however, if you are unable to visit, we invite you to submit a query via our Ask Us Service.


Savill Index of The Advertiser Funeral Notices now online

It is with great pleasure that the State Library of South Australia announces that the Savill Index of The Advertiser Funeral Notices is now available online.  The index is arranged alphabetically by surname, given name and on occasion gives maiden name or nicknames.  The date that appears in the far right hand column is the date on which the first funeral notice appears.  Notices that appear on multiple dates only have the first date of publication recorded.

In January 2001 Mr Gerald A. Savill commenced extracting and indexing funeral notices that appeared in The Advertiser newspaper.  He commenced his index from 1971 and he spend many months peering at microfilms as he recorded, by hand, in notebooks the details needed for his indexes until he was able to catch up and index directly from The Advertiser on a daily basis to his computer. 

The State Library of South Australia has for some years held a printed copy of The Savill Index and will continue to do so.  It is available in the Family History area and is updated at the beginning of each year when the previous year's index is received electronically from Mr Savill.

Savill Index of The Advertiser Funeral Notices 1971 - 2014


If you would like copies of funeral notices located via the Savill Index please use our Ask Us service (option also located at the bottom of the Savill Index page). Don't forget to mention that you are looking for someone located in the Savill Index as well as the name of the person and date.  Unless specifically requested as a hard copy, copies of funeral notices will be forwarded as pdf files.  Please note there are copy costs (a quote will be forwarded to you).  Or you can come into the Library and make copies of the funeral notices from our copies of The Advertiser yourself.



Newspapers are a rich resource and are useful for augmenting information from official sources. Personal Notices published in newspapers often mention names of parents or other family members.


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