Source Information Australia, Obituary Index, 1800s-current [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations Inc.
Original data: See newspaper information provided with each entry.

About Australia, Obituary Index, 1800s-current

About the Australia, Obituary Index, 1800's-current

General collection information

This collection contains indexes of obituaries from Australian newspapers for those who died from the 1800s through present day. Newspapers are among some of the best family history research tools available. The information is very thorough and often frames your family member's history within a broader context. The main cities represented in the collection are:

  • Hamilton
  • Melbourne
  • Sydney
  • Using this collection

    Records in this collection may include the following information:

  • Person's name
  • Sex
  • Birthdate
  • Birthplace
  • Age at death
  • Marriage date
  • Marriage place
  • Residence place
  • Names of parents
  • Date of death
  • Place of death
  • Burial date
  • Obituary date
  • Obituary place
  • Names of family members
  • Original publication date
  • Name of newspaper
  • This collection is presented index only, with a link to the digitized page on The original images may have more information, such as the name of the officiant, any organizations the deceased belong to, cause of death, suggested charities for donations, and even photographs. Clicking on the link will open the image on the site, which may require an additional upgrade or subscription.

    If you're searching the collection by your ancestor's name and can't find a record, consider searching for their parents or spouse. Some obituaries don't directly mention the name of the deceased and instead reference their parents or spouse, particularly if the deceased was a woman or child. For example, the obituary may read "the son of Tobias Lee passed away in Canberra" and not list the name of the deceased at all. You're more likely to see this in older publications.

    If your ancestor was a recent immigrant to Australia, you may also wish to check newspapers from their homeland. Announcements would often be duplicated by local newspapers in the person's hometown to help keep separated families connected.

    Collection in context

    Australia's first newspaper, the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, debuted in 1803. It would be the only newspaper published until the launch of The Australian in 1824. Within the next 20 years, Australia would see a newspaper boom, gaining over 20 new newspapers.

    Most newspapers at this time were published weekly, as it was hard to distribute newspapers to rural areas. Daily newspapers, such as the Sydney Morning Herald, were first available in larger cities. Towards the end of the 19th century, photographs began appearing in newspapers. Australia began publishing national newspapers in the mid-20th century.


    Hammond, Revor. "6 Tips for Searching Obituaries on" Fishwrap: The Official Blog of Last modified 18 August 2014.

    National Library of Australia. "History of Newspapers." Last modified 2 January 2014.