Divorce records in NSW

This webinar is an update of one of our most popular record series. Learn the tips and techniques for researching divorce records in the State Archives Collection.

Divorce was legislated in NSW in 1873 and heard by the Supreme Court of NSW until 1976. Divorce case papers are exceptional sources for family historians.

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Page from the Divorce file of Stanley Grenfell Lloyd and Alice Kathleen Lloyd

Divorce records index 1873-1923

Search 21,000+ entries - divorce files can include petitions for the dissolution of marriage, petitions for maintenance, marriage certificates, decrees nisi and decrees absolute

Divorce resources

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Page from the Divorce file of William George Dunbar and Marie Dunbar

Divorce records guide

Divorce files contain evidence for each divorce case including Judicial Separations. They can include petitions for the dissolution of marriage, affidavits, petitions for maintenance, marriage certificates, and sometimes the decree nisi and decree absolute.

Divorce papers from Archives Behind the Scenes

Archives behind the scenes - divorce case papers

In this episode Bonnie talks about divorce case papers in the State Archives Collection

Divorce records: what the files can tell you

Divorce files can be a detailed source of information for family history, providing extra details that may not have been discussed or known within the family

Sarah Wentworth (1853)

Promised in marriage, courting in Colonial NSW

Free men and women who courted were considered to be ‘promised in marriage’. When a promise of marriage was broken—or breached—the offending party could be pursued through the civil courts for the value of ‘lost expectations’

Family history

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Naturalization & citizenship guide

Naturalization records are a good source of information for tracing details of an immigrant's arrival and native place. This guide lists the key records in our collection relating to naturalization, 1834-1903

Liverpool State Hospital & Home guide

Patient records in our collection for Liverpool Asylum for the Infirm and Destitute (1862-1933) and Liverpool State Hospital and Home (1933-1961)

View of a sandstone building on a corner street

Accessing Colonial Secretary's records online

A guide to assist users browsing NSW Colonial Secretary’s papers 1826-1900 at Ancestry.com or FamilySearch.org

Aboriginal resources: an overview of records

A brief overview of the State archives that document the NSW government's interaction with Aboriginal people from 1788 until today