Aboriginal Australians family history

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visitors are kindly advised that this website includes images, sounds and names of people who have passed.

All users should be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified. Certain words, terms or descriptions may reflect the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written, but are now considered inappropriate in today's context.

Key to library resources

Access anywhere with a library card In the Library (or anywhere with a Library card for NSW residents)
Available to access in the library Only in the Library
Publicly available online Publicly available

What are the Tindale genealogies?

What are the Tindale genealogies?

On the joint Harvard-Adelaide Universities’ Anthropological Expedition of 1938-39 Norman Tindale and his colleague Professor Joseph Birdsell undertook what has been called one of the greatest systematic genealogical surveys conducted on any indigenous population anywhere in the world.

Tindale, Birdsell and their colleagues “measured” and photographed some 2400 “full and mixed blood” peoples from Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and southern Western Australia. The names of 50,000 Aborigines were recorded in a dozen volumes of genealogical charts tracing back to the 1860s and 1870s. Subsequent expeditions in the 1950s and 1960s collected data on 5000 more people.

The New South Wales component of the Tindale genealogies includes charts and photographs from nine communities, mostly collected through 1938. These include Boggabilla, Brewarrina, Cummeragunga, Kempsey, Menindee, Pilliga, Walgett, Wallaga Lake and Woodenbong.

View Tindale's 'Aboriginal tribes of Australia' map.

Tindale Genealogies, viewed 9 January 2013 <http://www.aiatsis.gov.au/fhu/tindale.html>

Who can view the Tindale Genealogies?

In the interests of privacy and respect for the communities mentioned in the genealogies, the State Library of NSW has agreed to a restricted access policy, as required by the South Australian Museum. Only direct descendants or those with written approval from communities or families can view the genealogies.