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Search the Tasmanian Index of Children and Families in files of SWD1 (Neglected Children's Department) 1888 - 1936

You can search the index for children and/ or their families who are mentioned in the SWD1 Neglected Children Department files 1888 - 1936.

Enter the family name.


Life member Joyce Purtscher has recently published yet another index, the result of many months of painstaking transcriptions. This time she has indexed the Tasmanian Archives SWD1 files of the Neglected Children’s Department and provided a link to the actual online content of each file. For many this will provide a unique opportunity to extend our knowledge, not only of our family trees, but also our knowledge of Tasmania’s social history during the years 1888–1936.

Most communication in this era was by letter writing and the noting of odd telephone conversations. The files contain pitiful letters written by parents, children and carers pleading for help. There are descriptive police reports on their findings of living standards in the bush and towns, and treatments of children fostered out and adopted. There are graphic reports by those in charge of institutions telling us of punishments and character descriptions, in a frankness not tolerated by today’s public servants. For some, the content may prove confronting but nevertheless an invaluable new research aid.

The index may be searched here or a full copy may be viewed at, or purchased for just $20, from the Library of the Hobart Branch of the Family History Society of Tasmania.

 Site last updated June 2021