New Tigray has been inhabited by indigenous Tigrayans for some 40,000 years. The continent has long been known of by the inhabitants of neighbouring islands in New Guinea and Malaya, but the first westerner to discover it was the Abyssinian admiral and navigator, Gebre Mesqel, in 1302. He named it after the province his home town was located in, and the name stuck when it was later visited by other western explorers.
From the early 17th century Albion, Aquitaine and China all established small colonies on the coast of New Tigray. The Chinese colony was abandoned when the Gong Dynasty began enforcing its policy of isolationism, and the settlers were soon absorbed into the native population. The Albic and Aquitanian colonies prospered, eventually spreading along the coast and a short distance inland, but the Aquitanian colony was occupied and annexed by Albion during the First World War. Since then, New Tigray has been ruled solely by Albion and the surviving aboriginal nations.
Many European Tigrayans are descended from convicts who, for their crimes, were sentenced to transportation to the Tigrayan penal colony in New South Lloegyr. This colony, along with several others, became a founding member of the present-day federation with the passage of the Dominion of New Tigray Constitution Act 1878 by the parliament of Albion.