COVID-19 sparks history lesson for Queenslanders as records requests surge

By Matthew Elmas

Tuesday January 12, 2021


There’s been plenty of  trends and tangents kicked up by the COVID-19 pandemic over the last year, but this is one of the stranger ones: Queenslanders have been digging up their family histories in droves.

In what the Queensland government suggests might be a case of #stayathome curiosity (read: boredom), the state’s Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages has recorded a whopping 22% spike in family history purchases last year.

In total more than 31,190 family history items were accessed by mid-November, up from 24,683 in 2019.

Queenslanders looking to learn more about their history spiked in May and June, with access rates rising 38% and 37% respectively.

The largest requests were for images and death registrations, according to Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman.

“With Queenslanders spending more time at home with their families during 2020, it proved a good opportunity to start researching their family history,” Fentiman said.

“Last year we saw a spike of almost 40 per cent in purchases of family history from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, the biggest request was for images and death registrations.”

Queensland started compulsory registration of life events (births, deaths and marriages) in 1856, which is pretty impressive given the technology of the day.

And the library just keeps growing, with 51,661 new records available from this year.

That’s it folks, that’s the story. Kudos Queensland!



About the author
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
The Mandarin Premium

Canberra’s changed

Stay on top for only $5 a week


Get Premium Today