Family history

The Aboriginal family history unit was established in 1988 with the sole purpose of making the South Australian Museum's archival material available to Aboriginal family history researchers. We provide a confidential and professional genealogy research service to assist the Aboriginal people researching their family history.

Mapping family is a guide for Australian Aboriginal people derived from the genealogies and data cards recorded during the Harvard and Adelaide Universities, Board for Anthropological Research (BAR) expeditions in South Australia, 1938–1939. Mapping Family also includes expeditions undertaken to areas within South Australia between 1923-1963.

The guide is primarily an index of names – the Name Index and is available as a publication in hardcopy and a downloadable PDF. In addition to the Name Index, each of the original genealogies for South Australia have been reproduced in RootsMagic, a genealogy software that can be made available to family history researchers as an app, or by other means.

Its purpose is to provide information about the location of these records held in the South Australian Museum Archives and to assist Aboriginal people to link up with family and community. As well as a valuable tool for family history researchers, this resource can be utilised to grow family trees, incorporating successive generations into the future.

There are approximately 100 collections listed online. To see the full list of collections please click here.

Before contacting the South Australian Museum Archives or Family History teams please search the archives that are available here.

You can find out more about making a Family History application processes by clicking on this link.

If you wish to submit a family history application, please fill in the family history application form and/or contact Family History staff.

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