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Government Records and the Family Historian: Government Gazettes

As a family historian, consider what information may be found in the Police, Education or Government Gazettes or hospital, electoral, probate, naturalisation or other government held records. This guide focuses mainly on South Australian resources.

What could I find?

The South Australian Government Gazette is not just the dry and boring workings of the government. For the family historian it also gives valuable information such as:

  • candidates for competitive examinations
  • deaths in government hospitals, asylums and prisons
  • victims of crime, the police officers involved and the suspect/s
  • promotions amongst garrisoned troops
  • mortuary returns
  • persons failing to pay their council rates
  • intestate estates
  • crown land leases of various types
  • timber licences
  • bankruptcy notices
  • listing of dead letters (letters returned to the post office when addressee not located)
  • listing of professionals such as doctors, teachers, magistrates, auctioneers etc
  • Justice of the Peace appointments
  • probate notices
  • deaths in public places
  • police appointments
  • hawker licences
  • stock brands for livestock and their owners
  • petitions with names of signatories
  • publican licences

The State Library has created a more comprehensive library guide about Government Gazettes that may be of interest. 

Indexes online

Available at the State Library

1839 - current

Government Publications area

The South Australian Government Gazette was first published in 1839.

The index to the South Australian government gazette was published annually to 1876; since then the Index has been published half-yearly and is bound with the gazettes. The South Australian Government Gazette is available online from 1839 onwards.

Pre 1839

Family History area

Prior to 20 June 1839 Government Gazette notices were published in the South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register newspaper and may be searched either on the microfilm of the newspaper (available in all Australian state libraries) or on the Trove website.

Available Online

The SA Government Gazette is available on the Austlii website:

1839 - 1999

SA Government Gazette