Anyone who has been researching Australian records for a while will know about the Ryerson Index, and just how valuable it is.
The Ryerson Index is an index of death notices appearing in current Australian newspapers, it also includes some funeral notices, probate notices and obituaries. What started as one person’s passion for collecting the death notices out the newspaper, has now grown to encompass death notices from 216 Australian newspapers, and currently has over 3.5 million entries online (actually 3,672,088 to be exact).
Sadly Joyce Ryerson, the person who started it all, passed away a couple of months ago, aged 95, however her legacy and Index most certainly live on.
To give you a little background … it all started in May 1999 with Joyce offering to give “some” Sydney Morning Herald death notices to the Sydney Dead Persons Society, which she had saved so that they could index them. The “some” turned out to be an almost complete run from 1986 to 1999. Today with the help of volunteers around the country. the Ryerson Index continues to grow, and has become a truly Australia-wide collection of death notices.
This Index is used by family historians worldwide, and there is no doubt that the Ryerson Index has become an invaluable reference site for so many genealogists.