Australia Emigration and Immigration
View the"Transportation to Australia" online tutorial from FamilySearch.
Emigration and immigration sources list names and other details about individuals leaving (emigration) or coming into (immigration) Australia. Between 1788 and 1900 over 1,000,000 people immigrated to Australia. Most of them were from the British Isles, but some were from Europe and Asia.
Prior to 1900 there were four classes of immigrants to Australia:
- Convicts sent to Australia after they were tried and convicted for crimes committed in the British Isles. Tasmania and New South Wales were the states that received most of the convicts before 1830.
- Bounty immigrants were chosen by Australian colonists to come from the British Isles to Australia.
- Assisted immigrants came to Australia through the financial assistance of the government, organizations, or wealthy individuals.
- Paying passengers came to Australia through their own means.
Many eighteenth and nineteenth century immigration sources have been published. Indexes to passenger lists have also been published. In addition, many books have been written about immigrants from various countries and religions who settled in Australia. The minorities article has some information about immigrants from other countries.
The National Archives of Australia has a tremendous amount of information on records, their immigration policy and location as well as classification of various records.
Indexes and Lists
Indexes and lists of immigrants to each state are available in a variety of formats including microfiche, microfilm, book and electronic formats. Some are available on the internet. Local, state and family history libraries may hold material relevant to that state and other areas of Australia. The National Archives holds records of immigration after 1923 when immigration became a Commonwealth Government responsibility. Information on the records and how to obtain them is available on the National Archives of Australia site for migration, citizenship & travel .
There are many Indexes in The Irish Ancestor, of convicts requesting wife and children to be sent out to Australia, at the Govt Expense. Look under Emigration and Immigration on the Irish Home Page, for the listing and the years covered, then Australia.
The National Archives of Ireland has a searchable index database on the Internet for transportation records of Irish convicts sent to Australia between 1788 and 1868. Over 38,000 names are indexed on the Ireland - Australia Transportation Web site.
New South Wales
- Mariners and Ships in Australian Waters - primarily New South Wales, unassisted records from the 1850-80s, incomplete
This site provides resources for family history research on South Australians and includes a searchable database of SA Passenger Lists up to 1850 for more than 1200 voyages.
- Lists up to 1848
- Immigration - why they came to South Australia
- South Australian Passenger Lists
- The Ships List
- German Immigrants to South Australia 1837 to 1860
- $ Index to Registers of Assisted British Immigrants-indexes assisted immigrants from Britain to Victoria, Australia between 1839 and 1871
Emigration and immigration records, such as the ones previously described, are deposited in Australian national archives, state archives, and other local repositories and archives. Click on the state archive link in the Archives and Libraries article to learn more.
Emigrants Leaving Another Country
Some information about emigrants leaving country were also kept. These outward-bound records include the names of passenger and crew members and sometimes additional information such as an individual’s age, marital status, occupation, and nationality.
Between 1848 and 1850 over 4,000 adolescent female orphans emigrated from Irish workhouses to Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide on the other side of the world. Their emigration has become known as the ‘Earl Grey scheme’ after its principal architect, Earl Grey, Secretary of State for the Colonies in Lord John Russell’s Whig government at the time of the Great Irish Famine.
The Australian Famine Orphan Monument lists lists the names of 400 of the girls brought to the colonies of Australia from Ireland under this scheme.
Britain Outward Passenger Lists from Britain On-line 1890-1960. Departure records before 1890 have not survived.
From Germany In an article by Karl Werner Klüber were listed emigrants from Hamburg bound for Australia in the years 1849-1851. The lists of passengers can be found in the periodical GENEALOGIE Heft 4, April 1966 page 186, available through the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah (FHL book number 943 B2gf .)
Books about Emigration and Immigration
- Vine Hall, Nick. Tracing Your Family History in Australia: a guide (Family History Library Call Number 994 D23V . There are also several source books about how to find emigration and immigration records. These books are listed in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
AUSTRALIA, [STATE] - EMIGRATION AND IMMIGRATION- HANDBOOKS, MANUALS, ETC.
To find these records at the Family History Library, look in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog for a lengthy listing of sources under:
AUSTRALIA, [STATE] - EMIGRATION AND IMMIGRATION
AUSTRALIA, [STATE], [TOWN] - EMIGRATION AND IMMIGRATION
Indexes of emigration and immigration records are listed in the Family History Library Catalog under:
AUSTRALIA, [STATE- EMIGRATION AND IMMIGRATION - INDEXES]
AUSTRALIA, [STATE], [TOWN] - EMIGRATION AND IMMIGRATION - INDEXES
A wiki article describing an online collection is found at: