Blanket Returns at NSW State Archives

The Blanket Returns (NSW State Archives: NRS 906, [4/7092])

The NSW State Archives have started uploading digitised copies of Blanket Returns from the early nineteenth century to their online catalogue. These records list Aboriginal people who received blankets from the colonial authorities and are an important resource for family and personal history research.

The Returns on the NSW State Archives website are broadly arranged by locality and include each person’s Indigenous and European name as well as their age. They can be accessed by using the keyword ‘blankets’ in the Collection Search and refined by including locality – for example, for lists of blankets issued at Dungog, type the words ‘blankets’ and ‘dungog’ into the Collection Search.

Participants of our Finding Your Ancestors online series have asked on many occasions how to access these records.

Given their importance to Aboriginal family historians, the RAHS wishes to extend its thanks to the NSW State Archives for progressing this digitisation project, which has made these records more accessible.

Want to know more? Find out more about Finding Your Ancestors by downloading a special article by Paul Irish and Michael Bennett published in History Magazine, or by visiting the website and watching our YouTube videos.

Want to get involved? We are on the lookout for community researchers to co-host and share their experiences in June. Please send expressions of interest to