Koorie Genealogy

For people of European descent a significant step is to discover the original arrival in Victoria and to locate the ancestral village in the old country. Likewise for Koorie people, the aim is to establish their origins in a particular place. This may be one of a number of reserves, missions, or a pastoral station where their ancestors were first given a surname, usually of the property owner.

Missions and Reserves (Victoria)

Here you will find a map, background information and a timeline. There is also a link to contact details for The Koorie Family History Service.

Norman Barnett Tindale
At the South Australian Museum is an account of Tinsdale's anthropological work and map of Australia-wide indigenous tribal areas and language groups at the time of European contact.

I am told that there are cultural reasons for the scarcity of internet sites which record the genealogy of Aboriginal families in Victoria. Family connections are personal matters which are still very much an oral tradition. Like many non-Koories there are people who are sensitive about sharing such knowledge outside the family group. However, there are Koories who are curious about their origins and do research their family history using government records. For such people the following three sites at the Public Records Office of Victoria Online would be helpful.

Koorie Records Unit
This is a special unit for the location of Aboriginal records at the Public Record Office of Victoria. 'Koorie People and Places' is a research pathway to follow for family history.

Finding Your Story
This is one long page of answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about records relating to the Stolen Generations.

Tracking the Native Police
This online exhibition is about Victoria's well-documented Koorie Police Force from 1837 to the 1850s. It includes the story of Dana's Native Police Corps 1842-1853 and another on Patrolling the Goldfields. Digital images of documents and paintings illustrate the stories.

Indigenous Australians at War
Here Garth O'Connell (Munro) shares information he has compiled about indigenous servicemen in various conflicts.

Aboriginal People in the Victorian Colonial Forces
This is part of the Defending Victoria website hosted by Ian McFarlane.

Koori & Aboriginal History on Rootsweb.com
Links to various indigenous cultural and historical resources including extracts from the 1841 diary of George Robinson, Protector of the Aborigines. There is also a link to AUS-KOORI Mailing List where you can search and browse messages from the archives and place your own enquiry.

Hidden Histories
At the Museum of Victoria is a collection of eleven Koorie oral histories.

While sharing family history over the internet is not a common practice in the Koorie community there is a notable exception by Ivan Sanders.

Mannalargenna Resource Page
This site tells the story of Darymple Mountgarret BRIGGS also known as 'Dolly Dalrymple' (c1808-1864) and includes a long transcription of The Briggs Genealogy from The Tasmanian Aborigines and their descendants : Chronology, Genealogy and Social Data (1978) by Bill Mollison and Coral Everitt. The descendants of John BRIGGS and his aboriginal wife moved from Tasmania to Victoria in the 1850s and generally married people of aboriginal descent.

Helen's Koorie Genealogy
As a baby Helen was taken from her mother Nellie DARBY who had also been separated from her family and sent to a government institution. The story contains a heart wrenching letter written by Nellie's grandfather from Lake Tyres Aboriginal Station in 1930 in an attempt to regain custody of his three grand daughters. Helen and her husband Greg Baldwin have compiled a number of Koorie genealogies and from this site there are links to more than thirty related surnames.

The Ballarat & District Aboriginal Cooperative does help with family history enquiries. Anyone who would like to investigate possible local Koorie connections in their family tree should contact Vicki Peart on 5331 5344.

Jennifer Burrell: jburrell@ncable.net.au



Created : 22 December 2005
Last Modified : 7 April 2006
Email : jburrell@ncable.net.au
URL : http://users.ncable.net.au/~jburrell/link/11koorie.htm