Finding an Irish Ancestor Using Australian Records

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Notes on Immigration

The Irish did not immigrate to Australia in large groups or during specific time periods. They did immigrate individually or a  few at a time. Irish were among the convicts who were shipped to New South Wales as early as 1788 and Tasmania in 1804. Passengers came unassisted, meaning they paid their own way. Others were assisted, meaning their passage was paid by the government or an individual. The debt had to be repaid.

How to Use This Page

Search each of the Web sites and sources listed under the state(s) where your ancestor lived. Look for clues pointing to a place of origin in Ireland. Each index and source covers a different time period. It's important to understand what's covered instead of assuming that every Web site and source is complete for every year and every name.


AUSNZ Passengers

New South Wales


Ireland-Australia transportation database includes not only convicts but convicts' families and free settlers.

Assisted Immigrants, 1839-1896

Index to the Unassisted Arrivals NSW 1842-1855

Passenger Indexes (various years and ports)


Irish Convicts to NSW 1788 - 1849

Births, deaths and marriages



Index to passengers & ships arrivals - 19th Century

Index to Tasmanian Convicts, 1804-1853

Passenger lists, 1827-1862 (various ports)


Naturalisation records may state a place of birth. Search an Index to Naturalisations 1835-1905.

South Australia



Index to Assisted British Immigration 1839-1871

Assisted Immigration to Victoria 1836 to 1879 Ships

Western Australia

Convicts to Western Australia has information and links to several databases.