The subfamily Hindellinae is an early group of athyride brachiopods, characterized by a simple jugum that connects the laterally directed spiralia, which are disjunct from the crura. Four genera (Hindella, Cryptothyrella, Koigia, and Hyattidina) are reexamined on the basis of their internal structures, such as the crura and their connection to the hinge, the jugum, and spiralia. The internal brachidium and shell of the Aeronian genus Cryptothyrella differ substantially from those of Hindella. Elkanathyris pallula n. gen. n. sp. is recognized as a posteriorly ribbed hindellide of Aeronian age. These genera are transferred from the Meristellinae to the subfamily Hindellinae (family Hindellidae). On Anticosti Island, Hindella is confined to the Hirnantian (latest Ordovician): it became extinct at the end Ordovician during the last of several mass extinction events that also extinguished the Laframboise reefs at the top of the Ellis Bay Formation. Post-extinction recovery of athyrides was pioneered by small-shelled Koigia, which are abundant in the basal Silurian Becscie Formation. Hyattidina, with a simple brachidium, is abundant in the Aeronian and Telychian of Anticosti, but absent earlier. True meristellines, as envisioned here, first appeared in the Aeronian Gun River Formation. The revised taxonomy and stratigraphic ranges of these earliest athyrides shed light on the nature of the Ordovician–Silurian mass extinction and recovery, and help refine the biostratigraphy of the O-S boundary interval.