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Government Records and the Family Historian: Orphanages & Homes

As a family historian, consider what information may be found in the Police, Education or Government Gazettes or hospital, electoral, probate, naturalisation or other government held records. This guide focuses mainly on South Australian resources.

What could I find?

Since the colonisation of South Australia in 1836 a number of children have needed the care of either government or church organisations. Surviving records and available information is variable. For the family historian locating records will therefore be a challenge, but once discovered, information found may include:

  • name of child
  • name of parents or previous guardian
  • address of parents or previous guardian
  • age
  • sex
  • condition or reason for admission
  • date of arrival and departure
  • records of illness or diseases

More information

Find and connect provides guidance for people looking for information about children's homes and orphanages in South Australia, including the location of records.

Goodwood Orphanage, 1940

SLSA: B 59181

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Available at the State Library

The State Library holds a variety of information on the following aspects: