In Australia, I think we are pretty lucky when it comes to trying to trace our family tree for free. For instance, both NSW and Queensland have a free historical birth, death and marriage (BDM) index online, where we can easily find information to help us in our family search.
But eventually there may come a time when you have to purchase a BDM certificate to allow you to trace your family tree further. NSW BDM certificate costs will vary from state to state, with NSW BDM certificates starting from about $28 (at the time of posting).
Another alternative is to get a transcribed copy of the certificate. There are a number of professional BDM transcription agents across Australia who will often be able to transcribe certificates cheaper than purchasing the original.
Being a bit of a scrooge, this was the position I found myself in when I needed to find information on my mum’s parents.
Somehow I had ended up with a copy of my grandfather’s death certificate, so I knew Pop’s details but all I knew about Nana was that her and Pop were married in Ryde, NSW and their 50th Wedding Anniversary was in 1982. Nana’s parents were named Albert and Amelia Thompson and that Nana was born in England somewhere.
Once I had Nana and Pop’s marriage reference number from the NSW BDM index, I then found a NSW BDM transcription agent through Google.
A NSW BDM transription agent can transcribe the following for you: NSW Birth Certificates 1788 – 1909. NSW Marriage Certificates 1788 – 1959 and NSW Death Certificates 1788 – 1979.
When hiring a NSW BDM transcription agent, one good thing is that besides purchasing a full transcription, you can pay for only the “fields” you require. A NSW Full Certificate Transcript cost is $18.00, NSW Partial Certificate Transcripts (5 Fields) is $15.00, and a NSW Partial Certificate Transcripts (3 Fields) costs $12.00.
For example, if you need a marriage certificate transcribed, you have the choice of 12 different fields.
1.Marriage Date & Place
2. Groom’s Birthplace
3. Groom’s Occupation
4. Groom’s Age
5. Groom’s Father
6. Groom’s Mother
7. Bride’s Birthplace
8. Bride’s Age
9. Bride’s Father
10. Bride’s Mother
12. Religion & Minister
I only needed to know 3 fields 7, 9 and 10 and the cost is only $12 instead of $28 for a certificate. Not a bad saving, especially if you need to purchase a few.
And when I received the order, the NSW BDM transcription agent actually sent me all of Nana’s details, fields 7 to 12, even though I didn’t really need them, which I thought was nice.