Indigenous Family History
Before you start searching for records talk to as many family members as you can. Family members will often be able to give you valuable information like names (including nicknames), dates and firsthand accounts of events like births, deaths or marriages. You may like to ask the following questions:
Do I know my ancestors first and last name or any nicknames they may have had?
Do I know the town or area they lived in?
Do I know my ancestors community or tribe they belonged to?
Do I know any birth, death or marriage dates?
Do I know if my ancestors lived in an aboriginal reserve or a mission?
Do I know if my ancestor served in any wars?
Write down as much information as you can about the ancestor you are searching for. Collect or copy any relevant documents relating to your ancestors such as birth certificates, newspapers articles, letters or diaries etc. that you or other family members may have. This type of information will assist you with your research.
Click here to view an online map from our collection showing the distribution of the Aboriginal tribes of Australia.
Proof and confirmation of Aboriginality
For information about proof and confirmation of Aboriginality consult the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) online fact sheets, Proof of Aboriginality or Torres Strait Islander heritage (PDF) and Confirmation of Aboriginality.
The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) Family History Unit specifically assists Link-Up caseworkers in family tracing and reunion for Indigenous people who were removed. AIATSIS also assists anyone of Indigenous heritage with their family history research
- Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) - Family history unit
- Indigenous Australia - National Archives of Australia
Publications and other resources about Indigenous Australians - The National Archives of Australia holds large quantities of files, also known as records. Some contain information about Indigenous people, mainly in Victoria and the Northern Territory. To help find records about themselves or their family, the Archives has published books, guides, fact sheets and articles. Below is a list of key resources.