Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Miryyal: Budawang Aboriginal

Miryyal meaning the Creator in Dhurga is the index and transcription of church records of the Budawang Aboriginal Tribe. Dhurga is the Aboriginal language spoken from Jervis Bay area to Wallaga Lake. Whilst Yuin is the name referred to for the Aboriginal Tribal group occupying the coastal area between Jervis Bay and Twofold Bay.

The indexes have been prepared by local historian Cathy Dunn and cover the years 1848 – 1930. Included are the church records from Milton/Ulladulla, Moruya and others along with references to Walbanga tribal members and others from the Yuin group.

The Budawang tribe were the Aboriginals to be sighted by Captain Cook in 1770, on Koorbrua beach at Murramarang.  The tribal area of Budawang is from Conjola in the north, Lake George in the West and the Moruya (Deua) River in the south.

There are of course other aboriginal birth, death and marriages in the civil records, however church records tend to be overlooked as a resource for family history research.  All the church records have been crossed referenced with the civic registrations of events of birth, death and marriages. The use of totem names are rare in the church records, however they were occasionally used to record the baptism of an Aboriginal adult. With nearly 340 references to individual aboriginal people from the South Coast.

In accordance with traditional laws often followed by Indigenous communities in Australia the mentioning of and photographs of deceased people may offend. Please note in the indexes there is mention of Aboriginal people who are deceased.

The earliest settlers called Ulladulla Boat Harbour. Surveyor Hoddle called it Ulladulla in 1828, because it was thought to sound like the aboriginal name, ‘Woolahderrah and Nulladulla’.  The Port and harbour of Ulladulla has always played an important role to the whole district, as the farming areas as well as the township of Milton depended on it for the arrival and departure of people, produce and goods.

When Joseph Townsend from England visited the Ulladulla District during 1842 – 1846, he wrote of his travels. Joseph stayed at the Settlement (now Milton) describing the clearing and burning of land, farming methods with the problems of bush fires, snakes and locusts (cicada) and the life styles and customs of the Aboriginals of both Ulladulla and Lake Burrill.  He imagined the numbers of aborigines on the coastline between Jervis Bay and the River Moruya, to be about four hundred.

In 1898 it was recorded that there were six full blooded and 58 half-caste aborigines living at Ulladulla. With eleven Aboriginal children attending the Ulladulla Public School in 1891.

Amongst other primary civil records referring to Aboriginals one can also use Electoral Rolls and Census although these are by no means a true and complete record. They are still a good source for those researching their Aboriginal heritage. Some Aboriginal families featured in these are: Beattie, Billyboy, Brown, Butler, Carriage, Cooley, Dashwood, Dixon, Evans, Hunt, Kerry, Lacey, Nicholson, Nyberg, Nye, Stewart, Wilson. Many of these family names appear in Miryyal.

Miryyal: Budawang Aborigines featured in church records.

National Library of Australia – Cataloguing-in-Publication data:
Dunn, Cathy
Miryyal: Budawang Aborigines featured in church records.
Includes index.
ISBN 09587586 6 21. Church records and registers – New South Wales –
Ulladulla. 2. Aborigines, Australian – New South Wales –
Ulladulla – Art. I. Title

Miryyal – Budawang Aboriginal references in Church records
is now out of print

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