Title: Biographical Index of South Australians 1836-1885
Author: Compiled by volunteers at the South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society
Media: 1 CD (6 vols, 3027 pages)
Year: (1986, 1990) 2007
ISBN: 9781921175039
Item Code: AU5044
Price: $99.50
Link to website

If you are researching anyone in South Australia who arrived or was born in South Australia prior to 1885, you NEED this CD. The Biographical Index of South Australian (or BISA as it is commonly known) is one of the key resources that researchers use.

The story behind it is that in 1980 the South Australian Genealogy and Heraldry Society decided to start a project to publish a permanent record of people who lived in South Australia during the first 50 years of colonisation (1836-1885) which would coincide with the State’s Jubilee 150 year,  1986. After years of work, and thousands of hours from the volunteers, the result was the 4 volume set, the Biographical Index of South Australians 1836-1885 which was edited by Jill Statton.

Once the Biographical Index of South Australian was published, it didn’t stop. After a further 4 years of research  2 more volumes of biographical information, titled the ‘ South Australians 1836-1885’, edited by Jan Thomas were released.

Both publications have long, long out of print and if you’re lucky enough to find a copy secondhand, you’d better take out a mortgage on the house to pay for it. They’re that rare.

Archive CD Books Australia, in association with the South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society has digitised these 6 volumes and has released it as a single CD. This CD contains high quality scanned images of the whole of the original book, and has been bookmarked for easy navigation. Pages can be searched, browsed, enlarged and printed out if required.

I know the text on the above pic is a little small, but it’ll give you an idea of just how the book looks – three columns wide with 3000+ pages of biogaphical information page after page, all sorted alphabetically for easy reference.

Below is a list of the information that might be included included in entries. Unfortunately you don’t get ALL of this in each entry, but still a reasonable about it useful.

born date and where
died date and where
arrival date and ship
married date
spouse name (with maiden name)
spouse’s parents
spouse’s birth date and place
spouse’s death date and place
children with names and year spans (and the married names of the females)
multiple marriages are also noted

Here’s a few sample pages you can look at.

If you wish to order the Biographical Index of South Australians on CD, it is available for AU$99.50 from Gould Genealogy & History, and other genealogy resellers.