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Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)

The AIATSIS Family History Unit can help people researching their Indigenous family history. The AIATSIS Finding Your Family website is an online resource with a focus on helping people to learn how to do Indigenous family history research. AIATSIS offers an Australia-wide service. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Biographical Index enables you to do an online name search of some of the material in the collection. AIATSIS cannot compile family trees or help you to confirm Aboriginality, but they can offer you advice on how to begin this work yourself.

51 Lawson Crescent, Acton ACT 2601
GPO Box 553, Canberra ACT 2601
Ph: 02 6246 1111
Freecall: 1800 352 553
Fax: 02 6261 4285

Libraries Tasmania

Libraries Tasmania is comprised of the State Library of Tasmania, the Tasmanian Archives, 45 public libraries, the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts and the Office of the State Archivist.

The State Library of Tasmania, located in Hobart, is the home of Tasmania’s largest library collection. The State Library plays a leadership role in access to the physical collection of archives and reference material. The State Library in the main gateway to exploring Tasmanian family history records and stories. 

2nd Floor, 91 Murray Street, Hobart TAS 7000
Ph: 03 6165 5538
Research request form
Tasmanian Name Index
Births, Deaths and Marriages
Records of Tasmanian Aboriginal people
Tasmanian Aboriginal ancestry

Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages

Registration of births, deaths and marriages commenced in 1839 in Tasmania, the first Australian colony to take over the function previously conducted by the churches. The registry holds church records (burials, baptisms and marriages) from 1803 to 1839, and birth, death and marriage registrations from 1839 to the present day.

The Tasmanian Names Index provides access to historical Tasmanian birth, death and marriage records online. The cost of BDM records varies from state to state but is normally $30 to $50 per certificate.

Apply in person for birth, death and marriage certificates at Service Tasmania shops around the state.

30 Gordons Hill Road, Rosny Park TAS 7018
Free call: 1300 135 513
Ph: 03 6165 3457
Fax: 03 6173 0204

Link-Up Tasmania 

Link-Up Tasmania  supports and assists Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were separated from their families, communities, culture and land under past government legislation and who were adopted, placed in foster care or in an institution. Link-Up conducts research, assists with accessing records and traces family. They also organise reunions and provide counselling for Stolen Generations.

340 Bell Street, Preston, VIC 3072
Free call: 1800 OUR MOB (1800 687 662)
Ph: 03 7002 3700
Fax: 03 9484 5403

Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre

The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre was developed in the early 1970s. TAC ‘represents the political and community development aspirations of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community’. Its programs include counselling services, including for people separated from their families and communities, aged care and children’s programs and many other health and wellbeing initiatives.

Hobart office

198 Elizabeth Street, Hobart TAS 7001
GPO Box 569, Hobart TAS 7001
Ph: 03 6234 0700
Fax: 03 6234 0799

Launceston office

182 Charles Street, Launceston TAS 7250
PO Box 531, Launceston TAS 7250
Ph: 03 6332 3800
Fax: 03 6332 3899

Burnie office

53 Alexander Street, Burnie TAS 7320
PO Box 536, Burnie TAS 7320
Ph: 03 6436 4100
Fax: 03 6436 4151

Find & Connect Support Services Tasmania

The Find & Connect Support Service in Tasmania provides support to Forgotten Australians, Former Child Migrants and other Care Leavers. They assist clients to apply for records understand the reason they were placed into care, reconnect with family where possible and to access counselling and other supports.

Hobart office

20 Clare Street, New Town, TAS 7008
Free call: 1800 161 109 or 1300 364 277

Launceston office

6 Paterson Street, Launceston, TAS 7250
PO Box 968, TAS 7250

National Archives of Australia (Hobart)

The National Archives of Australia holds federal government records, including many about Indigenous Australians (mostly people from Victoria and the Northern Territory). The archives has offices around Australia. Records about Tasmania are mostly held in Hobart and Canberra. The Bringing Them Home name index can help you find information about Indigenous family members in National Archives records. The index is not available for the public to search, but an archivist will do a search for you.

91 Murray Street, Hobart TAS 7000
GPO Box 309, Hobart TAS 7001
Ph: 03 6165 5607
Fax: 03 6233 7902
Ask a question about records:
Web: (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) (Family history)

National Library of Australia

The National Library collects and makes available material of national significance about Australia and Australians. It holds books, manuscripts, newspapers, photographs and oral histories that could be useful in researching your family. Some of these resources, such as photographs and newspapers, can be viewed online via Trove. Other material, such as some oral histories can be accessed via the Library website. The library has a family history collection and staff you can help you to locate material.

Parkes Place, Canberra ACT 2600
Ph: 02 6262 1111
Fax: 02 6257 1703
Ask a Librarian (online contact form):

Australian War Memorial

Indigenous people have served in every military conflict that Australia has been involved in since the Boer War (1899−1902). Military records are a rich source of information about the men and women who served in the armed forces and they can also provide information about family members.

Treloar Crescent, Campbell ACT 2612
Ph: 02 6243 4211
Fax: (02) 6243 4325
Researching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defence force service: and

Researching a person - learn more about how to research your family member's military service:

Research guides for Indigenous family history

Research guides provide comprehensive information for people doing family history research. They often include an outline of the history of colonisation and Aboriginal protection/welfare legislation, linking these to the records that were created about Indigenous people.

Books published by AIATSIS

  • Penny Taylor, Telling it like it is: A guide to making Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, AIATSIS, 1992
  • Diane Smith and Boronia Halstead, Lookin for your mob: A guide to tracing Aboriginal family trees, Aboriginal Studies Press, 1990.

Online guides


The Centre for Indigenous Family History Studies (CIFHS) website is a name searchable archive of a selection of mainly government documents relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The site is updated with new records continuously. Many of the documents contain offensive language.

In order to do a name search in documents on this website you need to type the following into google - – followed by the name you are searching for in quotation marks, such as “John Smith”.

General family history organisations

Family history groups, local history societies and local libraries

Local family history groups, local history societies and local libraries are valuable sources of information and resources. They can put you in contact with people with a good knowledge of the local history of a town or area. Many also have local studies collections with books, newspapers, family histories, photographs and manuscripts.

Find local libraries

You can use Australian Libraries Gateway – Find a Library to locate libraries in Tasmania with family history and local history collections. Under location select ‘TAS’ and under library type select ‘Local/Family history’. You can also browse using the map.

Tasmanian Family History Society

The Tasmanian Family History Society promotes family history research through education and, preservation and transcription of family history records. The Society has branches in Hobart, Burnie, Huon, Launceston and Mersey and a number of reference libraries.

PO Box 326, Rosny Park TAS 7018
Ph: 03 6244 4527

Family history research websites

  • CoraWeb: a comprehensive, categorised and cross-referenced list of links and useful advice about tracing your family history (Australia)
  • Ancestry – Help & Advice: general family history advice, as well as information about using Ancestry’s paid services (Australia) Remember that many libraries have subscriptions which you can use on site for free.
  • Cyndi’s List: a comprehensive, categorised and cross-referenced list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online (Australia)
  • FamilySearch Learning Center: articles and short online courses put together by the largest genealogical organisation in the world (USA)

Find family history and historical societies

Last updated: 02 August 2023