The bizarre activity Queenslanders took up during COVID

There’s no denying it’s been a very strange time for the world, but Queenslanders have been found to have taken up a rather bizarre activity over the COVID period last year.

Of course we all rode our bikes a bit more, cooked more bread and just about finished Netflix… but the state government has just revealed that an incredible amount of us started researching our family history!

New statistics compiled by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM) show that family history purchases soared by 22 percent over the course of 2020.


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During the months of May and June (arguably the worst time), they rocketed up 38 and 37 percent respectively.

In 2020, a total of 31,190 family history items held by RBDM were accessed by mid-November, up from 24,683 in 2019.

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman says it’s a very noticeable spike.

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

Plus, the new year brings new records, with the RBDM released new records through their family history research service.

“This year the RBDM have 51,661 new records available through their family history research service including over 20,400 birth records from 1921, over 11,700 marriage records from 1946 and more than 19,400 death records from 1991.

“History is literally at our fingertips. With the rise of genealogy sites such as Ancestry.com and social media, Queenslanders are able to research their family history easier and faster.

“Queensland started compulsory registration of life events – births, deaths and marriages – in 1856, but holds some records dating back to 1829,” Ms Fentiman said.

The registry is able to provide the service for certificates of death registrations but they must be from at least 30 years ago.

We’re able to access birth certificates from over 100 years ago and marriage certificates from over 75 years ago.

For more information about family history searches can be found here.

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