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Welcome to the Norfolk Island GenWeb Project

NorfolkIsGenWeb is a non-profit, volunteer based organisation dedicated to providing genealogical and historical records and resources pertaining to the island of Norfolk.  

Norfolk Island is a small inhabited island in the Pacific Ocean located between Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia.  Along with two neighbouring islands, it forms one of Australia's external territories.


Norfolk Island was first settled by East Polynesian seafarers, either from the Kermadec Islands north of New Zealand, or from the North Island of New Zealand. They arrived in the fourteenth or fifteenth century, and survived for several generations before disappearing. Their main village site has been excavated at Emily Bay, and they also left behind stone tools, the Polynesian Rat, and banana trees as evidence of their sojourn. The final fate of these early settlers remains a mystery.

The first European known to have sighted the island was Captain James Cook, in 1774, on his second voyage to the South Pacific on HMS Resolution. He named it after the Duchess of Norfolk, wife of Edward Howard, 9th Duke of Norfolk (1685-1777). The Duchess was dead at the time of the island's sighting by Cook, but Cook had set out from England in 1772 and could not have known of her May 1773 death.

Cook went ashore on Tuesday 11 October 1774, and is said to have been impressed with the tall straight trees and flax-like plants. He took samples back to the United Kingdom and reported on their potential uses for the Royal Navy.

At the time, the United Kingdom was heavily dependent on flax (for sails) and hemp (for ropes) from the shores of the Baltic Sea ports. Any threat to their supply endangered the United Kingdom's sea power. The UK also relied on timbers from New England for mainmasts, and these were not supplied after the American War of Independence. The alternative source of Norfolk Island for these supplies is argued by some historians, notably Geoffrey Blainey in The Tyranny of Distance, as being a major reason for the founding of the convict settlement of New South Wales by the First Fleet in 1788.

Two British attempts at establishing the island as a penal colony (1788-1814 and 1825-55) were ultimately abandoned. In 1856, the island was resettled by Pitcairn Islanders, descendants of the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian companions.

Source: Wikipedia & the World CIA Fact Book

Norfolk Island

Norfolk Island Coat of Arms
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Norfolk Island Flag
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Kingston Settlement West to Point Howe Old Prison (Kingston)
Photos of Norfolk
(click to view additional photos)

Norfolk Online is the email version of the Norfolk window to the world, printed weekly for locals and visitors.
(click to read)

History of Norfolk Island
Articles pertaining to the history and culture of Norfolk Island; links will open in a new window for your convenience.
A Visit to Norfolk Island by P. Stacy Waddy, 1906
Bishop Patteson Memorial Church from The Illustrated London News, March 12, 1881.
Norfolk Island and its Inhabitants by Joseph Campbell, 1879
School-days in Norfolk Island by Florence Coombe, 1909
The Island Mission: Being a History of the Melanesian Mission from Its Commencement reprinted from Mission Life. London: William Macintosh, 1869.
General Weblinks
Weblinks pertaining to Norfolk Island; links will open in a new window for your convenience.
History & Culture of Norfolk Island
History of Norfolk Island National Park and Botanic Garden
History of Norfolk Island Meteorological Office
Norfolk Island
Norfolk Island (DOTARS)
Norfolk Island Government Website
Community Links
Public forums and communities pertaining to Norfolk Island; links will open in a new window for your convenience.
Loyalist Landings (Yahoo)
Norfolk Island: the Pacific Rim's best kept secret (Yahoo)
Norfolk Island Stamps - Official Norfolk Post Collectors Club (Yahoo)

Link to the NorfolkIsGenWeb

To link to the NorfolkIsGenWeb simply add as a hyperlink; or select a logo from below and add the URL as a hyperlink to the picture's properties when posting to the web.  

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2007 NorfolkIsGenWeb Project