I'm looking for records for the death of Joel Holland Webster, 2009 Australia All I know so far is that it was reported in the Illawarra Mercury

1 Answer 1


Wikipedia's list of online newspapers for Australia does not include the Illawarra Mercury, but it does point to a free site called the Ryerson Index, which provides a free searchable index of death notices and obituaries from 1803 to present.

Using the Ryerson Index, I was able to find the following:

Surname  Given Names  Notice Type   Date       Event  Age  Other Details      Publication        Published
WEBSTER  Joel         Death notice  16JAN2009  Death  59   late of Austinmer  Illawarra Mercury  21JAN2009
WEBSTER  Joel         Death notice  16JAN2009  Death  59   late of Austinmer  Illawarra Mercury  22JAN2009
WEBSTER  Joel         Death notice  22JAN2009  Death  59   late of Austinmer  Illawarra Mercury  23JAN2009

From this, it appears that Joel Webster died on 16 January, 2009, and his death notice was posted in the Illawarra Mercury on three consecutive days in January, 2009.

Tributes in the Illawarra Mercury archives are searchable from 1856 to 1950 on Elephind or 2015 to present in the paper's own archives, which does not include the date in question, but may help another researcher.

The Illawarra Mercury lists contact information on its Facebook page. Since you have the date of publication, maybe someone at the newspaper could help you retrieve the page from the archives.

Ryerson also links to the Australian Cemeteries Index, which says that Joel Webster's ashes were taken to Woronora Memorial Park. Or perhaps the ashes were there, but were taken elsewhere. The wording is unclear.

The Australian Cemeteries Index page on Woronora Memorial Park says:

Assistance in locating graves or ashes sites is available from the on site office during business hours or from an electronic database outside the office at other times.

The ACI page also includes a link to the Woronora Memorial Park website, which says that the online Finding Loved Ones "service is presently unavailable – please call our office on 02 9545 4677 Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 4.30pm for assistance." The WMP site offers a downloadable map of the cemetery grounds, which would help if you had a plot number, but since you don't, you'll have to call or write the office if you want to find the exact location where Joel Webster's ashes are interred.

The NSW State Archives & Records says:

For copies of birth, death and marriage certificates registered in NSW and NSW historical BDM indexes you need to visit the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages website. It provides access to online historical indexes: NSW Births that are over 100 years old, NSW Deaths that are over 30 years old, and NSW Marriages that are over 50 years old. More complete Family History Certificates can be purchased from the Registry.

Since the death was only 11 years ago, you cannot access the records online from the NSW registry, but if you are a relative, you may be able to get a copy of the death certificate through other means.

The list of records available from the NSW Registry is on the Registry Records page.

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