How Government Gazette can help Aboriginal peoples trace their family trees

SENSITIVITY WARNING: This article contains links to historic records that contain terms that reflect the author's attitude or that of the period in which the item was written, and may be considered inappropriate today. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are warned that links may contain the names of deceased persons.

August is Family History Month and may people are use this month as an opportunity to start researching their family history. The NSW Government Gazette offers a valuable resource to family historians.

Of particular importance, the Gazette offers opportunities for Aboriginal peoples to trace their family trees. The Reserves created for Indigenous Australians were all gazetted - upon opening and upon closure. This can be a valuable indicator, for those who were forcibly relocated from traditional lands, of where relevant records might be held. For example a family may have been relocated to an area far from traditional lands as a result of a new Reserve being established.

Another way the Gazette can assist in this area is through the listing of appointments to the Aboriginal Welfare Board. Knowing who served on this Board at different times can give ideological insight into the political and social directions as well as the general running of the Board.

Here are some examples of entries that you can find in the Gazettes that are useful to your family history research.

Call for Indigenous Member election of Aboriginal members of the Aborigines Welfare Board September (1944)

Appointment of the members of the Aborigines Welfare Board, including name of appointed members (1945)

Appointed of Member of the Board for the Protection of Aborigines (1891)

Notice of Reserve created (1886)

Revocation of same Reserve (1886)

You can also contact Indigenous Services at the State Library for more help with your research.