Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Family History South Australia

Q. Do you have any records of the family with surname ...?
A. For records in the period 1836-60, search the South Australian Pioneer Families database for that surname. Later records might be found on one of the external websites listed in the SA Family Tree Websites. Open this directory and use <Ctrl+F> to search the page. You may also wish to search land, naturalization, deserter and other databases.

Q. How do I obtain a full official copy of a birth, death or marriage certificate?
A. Check out the link to the Births, Deaths & Marriages Registration Office.

Q. Why don't some of your passenger lists have any information from official lists?
A. In many cases, no official passenger lists have survived. Our shipping & passenger list database gives arrival information from many sources including the official lists that still exist. Copies of surviving original records are available for viewing at the State Library of SA and State Records of SA.

Q. Why does the information in your databases sometimes differ from what is recorded on BMD certificates and official passenger lists?
A. Due to poor literacy in the early days of the colony, names were often mis-spelt in the official records. Where possible, we have corrected these errors in our databases. In some cases, the correct spelling could not be determined.

Q. Why are the dates in your databases given in yyyy-mm-dd format?
A. We use the international standard date format as defined in ISO 8601:2000, Representation of dates and times. It is also important that our database search results can be readily sorted into chronological order as an alternative to alphabetic order. This can be achieved most readily with dates in international format, the digits being in strictly decreasing order of significance, as with ordinary numbers. Also, this format is consistent with dates given in the SAGHS/Digger indexes to South Australian BMD registrations.