Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ryerson Index

The Ryerson Index is a site for Australian death notice lookups.

There are many New Zealanders in Australia. We even go to see a show in Melbourne for the weekend, it's as easy as going from Auckland to Wellington, it just takes a bit longer. New Zealanders have retired there and we are bound to have one or two people be deceased in Australia.

I enquired the maker a few years ago to see it the index could be expanded to include New Zealand newspapers.  The response was warm.
"A small Windows program converts the data into a format that will go straight in. Indexers start from the day they start indexing."
But I didn't take it up myself because I didn't have the time.  I have used their service a few times, its excellent. Well done.


  1. Hi Lyn

    This certainly is a great index. Kiwis and Aussies have "commuted" across the Tasman for over 200 years. There are records in the earliest Sydney newspaper mentioning New Zealanders.

    I found the Ryerson Index most useful tracing my great great grandfather's descendants for a bi-centenary back in 2007. Since then I volunteer as a looker-upper, to pass on the help I received. It can be done from anywhere in the world as the papers are provided to you for your year as scans on a cd.

    The advantage this group had was that Joan Ryerson kept all those notices from the Sydney Morning Herald in her house for many years. It would be harder to get the ball rolling in NZ, but maybe you could drum up some volunteers for each paper around the country to start indexing from current papers??? Then it could expand into finding people able to index back issues... Not sure where the more recent papers are held. Do you know?

  2. The main libraries have the newspapers on film. Indexing has been done in a piece-meal fashion around the country but little of it is available easily online.

  3. If anybody is interested in doing this for NZ, I'd be keen to support them in FamNet. I already have a lot of data from some old NZ newspapers that I'm considering how to make searchable. Why send it across the Tasman, when you could support a NZ site?

  4. Wellington, Wanganui and Taranaki BDM notices are listed here, Glenn Stewart spends an hour a day updating it:
    John Wilson

  5. Thank you John, I hadn't seen that before.

  6. Please note that the link given above is now obsolete. The correct address is