to death notices and obituaries in Australian newspapers

Coverage Details
The 2020 Newspaper Purge
Newspapers with Problems
Finding a published notice (UPDATED)
Other public resources
Calendar of events
Published articles and Videos
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Some statistics
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About us

died 30 August 2012, aged 95


The Ryerson Index is a free index to death notices appearing in Australian newspapers. The date range covered extends from the Sydney Gazette of 1803 up to newspapers published within the last week or so. The Index also includes many funeral notices, and some probate notices and obituaries.

Because the Index was originally created by the Sydney Dead Persons Society, its strength lies in notices from NSW papers - including in excess of two million notices from the Sydney Morning Herald alone. However, the representation from papers from other states continues to grow, with additional papers being regularly added, so that the Index can now truly be considered an Australian index.

Indexing is being continuously carried out by a team of volunteers, too numerous to mention individually, who give freely of their time to ensure the site continues to grow. Site updates generally occur weekly.

The index itself cannot by definition be considered a primary source of data, but is purely a research aid to direct the researcher to the original source of a notice. We at Ryerson cannot undertake genealogical research for you, we are too busy indexing!


Ryerson has just undergone the biggest change to the Ryerson indexing methodology in our 22 years of existence. As well as printed newspapers, we now index notices published in digital-only format on the major publisher's websites, and on a growing number of funeral director's websites. We believe our approach is the correct one to bring more information on Australian death and funeral notices than ever before to the attention of Australian researchers.

This change was brought about by the large number of Australian papers (predominantly those published by ACM and News Corp) becoming digital-only, or ceasing production altogether, during 2020.

Because there is no "newspaper" associated with digital-only notices, we have chosen to identify them in the Ryerson search results by a standard name unique to each publisher. In the case of News Corp (the only publisher with easily-accessible digital-only notices at this stage), search results will be listed with a "publication" name of "News Corp Digital Notices". Others will be added as required.

Funeral Director's notices are identified by the individual funeral director's name, and the coverage page for each funeral director provides a link to their website, so that the original notice may be sought out.

We hope all our loyal users approve of this change. We believe everyone will benefit, as we are now able to increase our coverage of contemporary death information to include many notices which would not have appeared in traditional print publications.

A Special Appeal to
Family and Local History Societies

We always welcome Family History or Local History Societies who are interested in indexing the notices from their local paper. We find members of such societies make excellent indexers, because they know their local area and the names associated with it, and usually have a personal interest in the notices they are indexing.

If your society would like to contribute to Ryerson, please contact us via the link at the left of the screen.

Indexing Vacancies

We currently have the following vacancies for indexers of the capital city dailies:

Perth West Australian - Mon/Tue/Wed

If you are able to help out with indexing any of these papers, please contact us.

Please note - for all papers we prefer indexers who have access to the printed paper, or a .pdf version of the paper, as indexing from most newspaper websites can be unreliable.

Melbourne Help Required

We need people with access to The Age back issues on microfilm.

Our coverage of the years 2001-2004 is very weak, because these years are not available online. For earlier years, our source (Google Newspapers) has not filmed every issue, so we also have numerous gaps in our pre-1990 indexing.

We need people with access to The Age on microfilm to locate the notices for the missing days, save them as .pdf and send them to us. No indexing is required (unless you want to!) - we only need your time spent in a library.

If you can help, please contact us via the link on the left.

Notices Indexed by Decade
(as at 6 November 2021)
Search site last updated
15 January 2022
(next planned update
22 January)
425 Newspapers and websites
8,077,545 entries
(including more than 4 million entries from the past 30 years, which you won't find on any of the state BDM websites!)

Still can't find what you want? Then try the Australian Cemeteries Index

Ryerson and Facebook
As of 19 February 2021, Facebook banned the Ryerson Index page - presumably as collateral damage in their ongoing war with the Australian Federal Government.

Consequently, Ryerson has now unfriended Facebook, and we will no longer maintain our page on their site.

Can You Help?
Is your local paper currently included in Ryerson? If not, then why not take on the task of indexing the notices for us?

Do you have access to a library or other repository which has microfilm copies of newspapers available? We are always in need of people who can copy notices for us to index.

If you can help, please contact us via the link at the left of the screen.

Visitors Map
(since 12 June 2016)

This page is owned by Ryerson Index Inc, a non-profit organisation incorporated under the laws of New South Wales, Australia.