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On 27 May 1841, the first act of State Parliament to regulate the registration of births, deaths and marriages was passed. This act became operative on 1 September 1841. Under the Act, recording of these events became an official function and the Office of the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages was established.
Previously, early records of births, marriages and deaths, together with baptism and burial records, were kept in church registers dating from 1829, the year the State was settled by Europeans. Transcripts of early colonial records deposited with the State archives can be viewed at the J S Battye Library, Alexander Library Building, Perth Cultural Centre, Northbridge.
Following the introduction of the 1841 Act, the duty of registering births, deaths and marriages rested with the Registrar General appointed for the whole colony. Sub-Registrars were also appointed for districts surrounding the towns of Perth, Fremantle, Guildford, Bunbury, Busselton and Albany.
Due to rapid and widespread development within the State, it became necessary to determine and fix Registry Districts and to appoint District Registrars. The Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages Act of 1894 established 40 districts, with District Registrars located in the principal town of each district. This network was further enhanced by the appointment of Assistant District Registrars, a system intended to ensure most towns had an authority to whom an event could be reported.
Last Updated: 13-Feb-2015