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Church Records

Church - Stained Glass Windows
Church - Stained Glass Windows

Church Records are an invaluable source for genealogists as most churches kept baptismal, marriage and burial registers. The Registration Act was passed on 27 May 1841 and the Registrar General's Office began recording births, deaths and marriages from 9 September 1841.

Prior to 1841 there are some copies of church registers of baptisms, marriages and burials for Perth, Fremantle, Guildford, York, Canning, Wellington, Plantagenet, Albany, Upper Swan, Vasse and Augusta for 1829-1841 (CONS 703 State Records Office, microfilm).

Also held is ACC 399A, which contains typescript volumes of baptisms, marriages and burials compiled by Canon P.U. Henn from various parish registers (on microfilm). The date range is c1840-c1920, although not all are that extensive and they contain many inaccuracies.

Church records held by the Battye Library comprise extensive collections of baptismal, marriage and burial registers for a variety of places in all the major Protestant sects. Listings are held for these records and these should be checked for relevant volumes. They can be both originals and microfilms, but coverage is not comprehensive.

See also Tom Reynold's "Records relating to religion in the State Archives of Western Australia" in Studies in Western Australian History Volume IX, October 1987, pp.169-176 for an overview of records of value to the researcher in religious history in Western Australia.

Nick Vine Hall's Parish registers in Australia: a list of originals, transcripts, microforms, & indexes of Australian parish registers (016.92939 VIN) will give an alphabetical listing of Western Australian parish registers, dates and location.

See also headings Births, Deaths and Marriages and Cemeteries.

  • Anglican Church. Listing contained in MN 614 (ACC 2467A etc). Parishes are listed alphabetically and any baptismal, marriage and burial records will be included under the heading Registers. Listing will show if record is microfilmed or in original form. In general the earliest registers date from 1847 to c1980.

  • Congregational Church. Listing contained in MN 257. This is in the same style as MN 614 but not as extensive in terms of the number of records held.

  • Methodist Church. Listing contained in MN 172 (ACC 1336A etc). An extensive series of records. This listing is in the same style as MN 614.

  • Presbyterian Church. Listing contained in MN 713. This listing is in the same style as MN 614 but not as extensive in terms of the number of records held.

  • Roman Catholic Church. Listing contained in MN 812. Very few records are held and these have been lent for copying (either microfilmed or photocopied). Most of the records that are held are baptismal, marriage and burial registers. Churches covered are Albany, Busselton, Fremantle, Geraldton, New Norcia, Perth, Toodyay and York. Any Catholic Records extant should be held by the Catholic Archives or be retained by the churches.

  • Uniting Church. Listing contained in MN 659 and MN 930. In 1977 the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational Churches combined to form the Uniting Church in Australia. Some Presbyterian and Congregational Churches did not join the Uniting Church and remained as they were. These listings are in the same style as MN 614, but not as extensive in terms of the number of records held.

  • Baptist Church. No records for the Baptist Church are held. For such records please email the Baptist Historical Society of Western Australia at archives@baptistwa.asn.au. The Society was established on 28 November 1985 to record and preserve historical data relevant to the history of Baptist Churches in Western Australia and to collect appropriate materials.

Another record which may be helpful in the early tracing of Roman Catholics is ACC 2398A, which is a census of Roman Catholics in 1854. It was compiled by Bishop Salvado and Catholics in country areas are listed by name. This is a typed copy of the original, a photocopy of the original is held as ACC 3815A.

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Page last updated: Monday 19 February 2018