Most of you would know that the New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages has their ‘historical’ indexes online and available to search for free. This covers Births 1788-1910, Marriages 1788-1960, and Deaths 1788-1980.

Advice that has been sent to me and will affect all who use the New South Wales’ Birth, Death & Marriages website:


I am not sure if you are aware that the NSW BDM Registry has removed the wildcard search facility from the their internet index search. At first I thought it was a cliche but have now learnt it has been removed.  The wildcard * has been extremely useful.  Ann could be listed as Ann, Anne or Annie. With the wildcard the search provided a search for Ann* and it would bring up all possibilties. Likewise Clark* would provide Clark or Clarke.  St*t would provide Stuart or Stewart. And of course there are many many more.

The way around this is that each variation of a name would need to be search separately. Sometimes a wildcard is revealed typos and other varaiation that may not have been considered.  I am sure family historians will have their own examples.

The ? is still allowed but if you use Clark? this only provides one replacement letter, and provides Clarke but not Clark without and ‘e’.

Could this news please be circulated so that societies and individuals may know and perhaps contact the Registry in the hope that they reverse this decision.

The contact details for the NSW Registry are:
Phone: 1300 655 236
Postal: NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages, GPO Box 30, Sydney NSW 2001
Address: 35 Regent Street, Chippendale, Sydney NSW 2008