Skip links and keyboard navigation

Skip to primary navigation | Skip to secondary navigation | Skip to content | Skip to content | Skip to footer | Use tab and cursor keys to move around the page (more information)
Skip Navigation LinksQueensland State Archives > Researching the archives > Indexes > Courts > Divorces 1861-1894

Divorces 1861-1894

Search the index

Adobe Reader is required to open and print these Portable Document Format (PDF) index files and is free to download from the Adobe website. If you have difficulty accessing PDF files from our website please contact us.

Explanatory notes

  • ? indicates there is doubt about the entry due to difficulty in interpreting handwriting refer to the See also entries for other possibilities
  • Check all possible spelling variants as names appear as written in the original record
  • Some given names are abbreviated as they appear in the original record
  • Mc and Mac names are interfiled
  • - or a blank cell indicates that there is no information recorded in the original
  • Names have been indexed without an apostrophe, e.g. O DWYER
  • Asiatic names are written as they appear in the original record

Costs and ordering

To order copies of a reference from this index, complete an index order form (PDF, 67KB). Include the name of the person, number or page number (where relevant), date, Item ID, microfilm number and the index part in which the reference is located (if relevant).

Refer to the Index category 2 charge on our Copying charges page for the cost per reference.

If you require further information, please contact us.


This index was compiled from Series ID 5688, Matrimonial Petitions, 1861-1976. The series of divorce files was created by the Supreme Court of Queensland, Southern District, Brisbane.

Divorce records are otherwise known as matrimonial petitions or causes (writs) or Common Law writs. Matrimonial writs are marked "Mat" or "Matrimonial". Matrimonial petitions were kept as a separate series from 1861 to 1894 (Series ID 5688) and from 1961 onwards; from 1894 to 1961 they were kept together with other writs in Series ID 5687.

These files usually contain a range of documents including:

  • petitions and notice of petitions
  • citations for respondent and co-respondent
  • orders for summons
  • praecipe for subpoena
  • pleas and statements
  • certificate of marriage
  • affidavit of service and identification
  • joinder of issue
  • certificate of Registrar
  • notice of trial
  • decree nisi
  • decree absolute
  • maintenance orders
  • costs.

Please note: earlier files do not always contain a marriage certificate or maintenance orders. Some of the files have been water damaged.

The images below (click for larger image) are documents found within a matrimonial writ file. From Divorce No. 166 of 1894 Stewart -v- Holzmann, the Front cover of the file (on the left) listing all documents within the file and item No. 17 the Decree Nisi cover page (on the right).

Writ cover      Divorce file

Related records

See also Supreme Court of Queensland, Southern District, Brisbane Series ID 5687, Writs, 1857-2007. To locate record within this series refer to Search Procedure 6: Divorces (PDF, 75KB).

See also Supreme Court of Queensland, Northern District, Townsville Series ID 6242, Matrimonial Petitions, 1879-1976. This series is item listed which allows searching by individual name.

For the Supreme Court of Queensland, Central District, Rockhampton, no files or indexes are held at Queensland State Archives.

Last updated 30 September 2016

 Indexes available under Open Data initiative

The index to Divorces 1861 to 1894 is also available through the Queensland Government’s Open Data initiative. The Open Data index is in .csv format.