Births Deaths & Marriages

Births Deaths & Marriages

Births Deaths & Marriages

Births Deaths & Marriages

Births Deaths & Marriages

Sofala Parish Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials


Volume 1 of the Church of England Sofala Parish Baptism, Marriage and Burial register, covering the period 27 November 1851 to 17 March 1861 was located in a collection of material held by the State Library of New South Wales. It is believed to have been deposited there in the 1980s by the National Parks & Wildlife Service along with a number of other records associated with Hill End and not correctly identified until recently.

This register provides a listing of the very early baptisms (and hence many births), marriages and burials on the goldfields. It also tells us the parents’ names, abode and occupation of the father as well as the date of birth of the person being baptized in the rights of the Church of England. It lists the full date and abodes of the parties and witnesses at the marriage and the burial records reveal the date of death, abode, age, and profession or parent’s full names if known   The Parish of Sofala covered a wide area, including Tambaroora and Bald Hills and it is obvious that the Rev H. A. Palmer, first minister in this area, travelled widely attending to the needs of his parishioners.

Our volunteers, Maureen Clarke and Verna Little, have now transcribed these records. They have been sorted by

Baptism: 27/11/1851 – 17/03/1861

Marriage: 25/12/1851 – 6/4/1856

Burials 22/11/1851 – 28/2/1861

Later entries, 1861 onwards, are available at the State Library of New South Wales, on microfilm. As of May 2016, the records included here have not yet been microfilmed.

A full report of the building and consecration of the church in Sofala was given in the Sydney Morning Herald 8 Nov 1851 and  Sydney Morning Herald 18 Nov 1851.

The Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal

Bathurst Free Press

Births, Deaths, Marriages, Funerals, Selected Notices and Inquests.

Compiled by Lynne Foley in 2000 and expanded by Annette Sheen in 2015

In 2000 Lynne Foley indexed all the known issues of this newspaper for the period 1850 – 1860. In the introduction to her privately published book, she explained her reasons for compiling the document. She has included births, deaths, marriages, funeral and select notices, chosen according to the primary criterion that pertinent genealogical information be contained. In addition to specific notices, reports of deaths and inquests and inquests are included in full.

Not all issues were apparently available but using the issues that have been microfilmed, Lynn was able to make a record of events that may not appear elsewhere. As civil registration was not compulsory until 1856 newspaper items are often the only record of such details. Issues of this newspaper have now been digitized on Trove and are available to view and download. However, if the original reproduction was not clear, or the OCR process misspelled words, then names may be missed. Lynne has corrected these entries, thus making them now available to the researcher through this publication.

As not all names were indexed in the original manuscript it was decided to revisit the work and index the locations as well. This is an aid to the local, as well as the family historian. In 2015, our volunteer, Annette Sheen, undertook the task and now this location index is available on our website.

Bathurst Free Press Index of Names

Bathurst Free Press Index of Localities

Click on this link to Trove to access the actual newspapers

Cemetery Records

It has long been known that there are at least 3 cemeteries in the district that have been in use since early times; the General Cemetery, the Roman Catholic Cemetery and the Chinese Cemetery, all located at Tambaroora. There are also 2 other locations which had been gazetted as cemeteries which we believe have never been used. Recent research has also revealed the presence of a further 2 very early cemeteries, which were in use in 1859 when their location was recorded on surveyors’ plans. At this stage nothing is known about the burials in these areas and further investigation is being undertaken.

Located at Tambaroora, the headstones for both the General Cemetery and the Roman Catholic Cemetery have been recorded and are available on the Australian Cemeteries Website.

Bathurst Regional Council has also undertaken Conservation Management Plans (CMP) for both these cemeteries (and many others in their area) and these are available on their website.

As well as providing interesting background information on the cemeteries, these Plans also list a large number of those interred in them. However the lists are not exhaustive as early records were sometimes scant and many of the old headstones have deteriorated to some extent over time. The following links take you to these plans:

There are a number of other local cemetery CMPs also available on their website so it is worth browsing to see if there may be reference to your ancestors there as well.