News Release

Julia Gillard Receives Her Family History from the Mormons

The former Prime Minister, Julia Eileen Gillard, has a rich British, Welsh, and Scottish heritage, according to a family history study prepared for Ms Gillard by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons). Julia Gillard received the two leather-bound volumes containing her pedigree in a presentation at Melbourne’s Wyndham Mormon chapel at 7 pm on 1st September, 2013, a week before the federal election, before a crowd of well over 250 Church leaders and young adults. 

(This was a private meeting.  However, journalists are now free to publish stories about the event. Further information can be obtained from the contacts below.  Photos associated with this story are downloadable and may be used by the media with attribution.)

The Church made the presentation to Ms Gillard in recognition of her contribution to the Australian community over many years:  as a lawyer,  as a member of the Australian Labor Party, as a member of  the House of Representatives for the seat of Lalor, Victoria, and as the first female Prime Minister of Australia. 

A delegation of Latter-day Saint leaders, led by Elder Robert J. Dudfield, formally handed over to the former Prime Minister the hundreds of pages of ancestral data contained in the two-volume set.  Additionally, a narrative that paints a word picture of this engaging family story was also presented.

In his remarks, Elder Dudfield, who is one of the Church’s senior ecclesiastical leaders in Australia, spoke of the great value in individuals seeking out their ancestry.  “The more people know about their ancestors, the more they know about themselves,” he said.  “Family history research is more than just names and dates.  It’s all about the experiences that made our ancestors who they were, which tells us a lot about who we are.”

Elder Dudfield said that Julia Gillard’s family history contains a number of interesting stories.  One ancestor, William Gillard, a paternal second great-grandfather joined the British Army in 1839 and was in the 46th South Devon Regiment of Infantry. His regiment served in North America, Crimea, Corfu and the East Indies. Three of his children were born in Ireland, one in England and one in Corfu.

Elder Dudfield felt there was much that we have gained from immigrants to this country from many nations.  “Whether from the United Kingdom, Asia or South America, the fabric of our society has been enriched by those who came to these shores.  Those from the United Kingdom, including Julia Gillard’s ancestors, created the parliaments and civic institutions which are the foundations of our society in Australia.  Ms Gillard’s parents performed a great service in producing a family environment in which the aspirations of a young woman were fulfilled in her election to our nation’s greatest public office.”

The Latter-day Saints have also provided family histories to Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd and John Howard.  Other recipients include U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush. 

A copy of Julia Gillard’s ancestral data will be presented to the National Library in coming months.  This will enable researchers to frame the contributions made by Ms Gillard in a wider context. The Church hopes that the presentation of the family history to the National Library will encourage others to search out their heritage. “We regard today’s presentation as our gift to the nation,” said Elder Dudfield.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a membership of 15 million worldwide and is the fourth largest faith in the USA.  The Australian membership is 136,000 and the Church has consistently been one of the fastest growing Christian denominations here.   Its web site,, hosts the largest collection of free genealogical records in the world.   The Church’s interest in family history is driven by its doctrine that teaches that families can continue beyond this life into the eternities.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: David Cray 0412 337 587 or Nadine Courmadias 0457 548 185

[For the précis of Ms Julia Gillard’s family history click here]

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