Tindale Genealogical collection

Norman Tindale was an anthropologist who recorded genealogies of Aboriginal people, mainly in the 1930s. From 1928 he began visiting Aboriginal people living on missions and government stations around Australia. By the end of the 1960s he had photographed thousands of Aboriginal people and recorded many genealogies (family trees). His research is now known as the Tindale Genealogical Collection, parts of which are held at State Library of Queensland.

Family at Barambah Aboriginal Settlement, 1911, Cherbourg, Queensland, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Negative number: 130674

About the Tindale Genealogical Collection

Tindale created genealogies of Aboriginal families for up to three generations.

South Australian Museum has his original research.

State Library of Queensland has copies of genealogies and photographs for the Aboriginal communities:

  • Cherbourg (QLD)
  • Mona Mona (QLD)
  • Palm Island​​​​​​ (QLD)
  • Woorabinda (QLD)
  • Bentinck Island (QLD) ​
  • Doomadgee (QLD)
  • Mornington Island (QLD)
  • Yarrabah (QLD)
  • Boggabilla ​​​(NSW) 
  • Woodenbong (NSW)

Young women dressed for a dance party at Cherbourg, Negative number: 107427

Using the Tindale Genealogical Collection

  • State Library has an online index of names in the genealogies.
  • Search the names index in our One Search catalogue. Select “SLQ Family History Indexes”.
  • Fill out the Tindale enquiry form with the name or names you are looking for.
  • There are access conditions on who can see the full family trees and photographs.


  • The Tindale Genealogical Collection does contain some inaccuracies.
  • The language used in the Tindale Genealogical Collection is from another era and may be considered offensive today.
  • Information from this collection should not be your only source of family history research.

Further information