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Pacific Island Guide  >  French Polynesia  >  Austral Islands

The Austral Islands (French: Îles Australes) are a volcanic island group comprised of seven atolls which are the southernmost group of islands in French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the South Pacific

Geographically, the Austral Islands consist of two separate archipelagos: the Tubuai Islands (French: Îles Tubuaï), consisting of Îles Maria (Hull); Rimatara; Rurutu; Tubuai and Raivavae or Raevavae; and the Bass Islands (French: Îles Bass), consisting of Rapa (Oparo) and Marotiri (Bass). Several of the islands have uninhabited islets or rocks off their coastlines.

Tubuai is very fertile. Oranges, coffee, arrowroot, tobacco, and copra are grown. The climate is healthy and temperate. Population is about 2,400 and mainly consists of Polynesian people.

There are three branches of the LDS Church in the Austral Islands, and they are some of  the earliest in the Pacific, dating back to 1844-1852.

Historical background

1775 Spaniard Gayanges discovers Raivavae (Austral).
1777 Tubuai was visited by British Captain James Cook.
1797 Wilson discovers Mangareva and Vaitahu.
1843 Mormon missionaries arrived in Tubuai and in Papeete.
1867 Epidemics in Rapa of the Austral Islands. A French protectorate is established.
1880 Tubuai was annexed by France.
1900 Rurutu and Rimatara of the Austral Islands are annexed by France.
1938 French authorities imposed strict regulations on immigration and tourism.

Research Resources

Use the Family History Library Catalog

  • Use a Film/fiche number search and look at the descriptions of the following microfilms, all of which contain French Polynesian information:795887, 795888, 795889, 181746 Item 7, 1085600, 1085601, 1085602, 1085603,1085604, 1085605, 1085606, 1085607, 1085608, 1085609, 1-85610, 1085611, and 1515054.

Oral genealogies 

During the 1970s, the Utah Genealogical Society recognized how important and how fragile these genealogies are.  They commissioned qualfied people to contact the older peojple from the islands and have them speak into a tape recorder to redord their genealogies.  Then, the people who gathered them would type the information from the tapes onto paper as a transcript of the genealogy.  These transcripts were later microfilmed.  The microfilms of thetranscripts (see the transcript numbers on the table below)can be ordered from any family history center. 

Recently, the tapes were recorded onto compact discs.  In the future, the recordings from the CDs will be made available on the Internet and you will be able to listedn to them by clicking on the tape number on the chart below..

Last Name First Names Residence About place
Tape mp3
Transcript
PAF
Aie Tumairani Mataura Tubuai 40 795889 Item 48
Bataillard Pauro Mahu Tubuai 28 795889 Item 37
Bataillard Veronique Tanepau Mahu Tubuai 21 795889 Item 30




 

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