Free Australian Death Notices – Ryerson Index

September 5, 2010 · Filed Under Family Search · 5 Comments 


In Australia there are a number of free Australian death notices websites and without doubt one of the best Australian death notices sites is the Ryerson Index.

The Ryerson Index is an index to death notices appearing in current Australian newspapers. It also includes some funeral notices, probate notices and obituaries. While not all Australian death notices are listed, the Ryerson Index contains over 2,596,891 entries from 178 newspapers (at time of posting) and the indexing is being continuously carried out by a team of volunteers.

One of the advantages of the Ryerson Index compared to some of the other Australian death notices websites is that it contains records going back to the mid 1800′s. Other Australian death notices sites like, and records are obtained from funeral directors or though contributions by members of the public which limits their content.

The Ryerson Index can be searched in two ways: by name, or by location and once the search is complete it lists the Surname, given name, date of death, age, location, which publication it was printed in and the published date.

Once you have found the death notice you are after, you can receive a photocopy of the death notice by using the Ryerson Index free lookup service. Again this is a volunteer project and don’t expect too much as not all decades are available for lookup.

If you cannot get a copy of a Australian death notices using the Ryerson Index free lookup service, try the Australian newspaper archives website or visit your local library and they might have copies of your State’s papers on microfiche.


Wordless Wednesday Thompson’s Poultry Farm

July 21, 2010 · Filed Under Family History · 2 Comments 


thompson poultry farm

Thompson’s Poultry Farm, North Ryde, NSW, Australia. Photo taken late1930′s, early 1940′s.

On the left is my Nana’s brother Albert Thompson and on the right is his father and my Great Grandfather Albert Thompson.

Why does a chicken coup have 2 doors. Because if it had 4 doors it would be a chicken sedan.

Madness Monday Changing First and Last Name

June 28, 2010 · Filed Under Family History · 1 Comment 

When most ladies marry they change their last name to their husband’s last name, which makes tracing their family records fairly easy. But what happens when a daughter changes her first name (not officially) after birth and uses that name on documents?

Don’t get me wrong, I think naming a daughter or a son after their parent’s or grand parent’s first name is a great tradition, but on more than one occasion it has caused me problems.

I know, I know, it might have been easier to change their first name so you know when someone is talking about Sarah Thompson the mother not Sarah Thompson the daughter but it makes it hard when they use the changed name on official occasions and it bears only a little resemblance to the original name.

The last time it happened was just recently when I started searching for the children of my great great great great grand parents John Thompson (born Thomson but that’s another post) and Sarah Ramm.

I was lucky enough to find a collection of scanned images online and within an hour, I had the birth records of all 9 children including a daughter Sarah Ann Thompson.

OK, time to look for marriage and other records for these children. All went well at first, finding most of the records for the sons, but when it came to Sarah Thompson, I could not find a trace.

Looking back through the records, I came across a marriage for a Mary Ann Thompson to a Samuel Starling. I knew we had a Starling in our tree (sorry couldn’t resist it) but as I already had one son married to a Starling, I thought that might be the connection.

Unfortunately the marriage record did not give an age, so I could not work it out from that but the year of marriage and location seemed right. The death record had Mary Ann Thompson’s age at death, which matched Sarah’s birth year.

Was this Sarah Ann Thompson?

Apparently it was! A distant cousin who saw my family tree on got in contact with me and during a wonderful three hour talk on the phone, I was told Mary Ann Thompson was the Sarah Thompson I was looking for.

Thanks Cousin Lyn

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