Sailing ship   Shipping records online

Our ancestors from foreign places arrived in their new land by ship. Discovering that link with the old country is a significant step for family historians. The Online Resources of the Public Record Office of Victoria website is an excellent place to start.

PROV Immigration Records and Passenger Lists
Here the immigrants are divided into two groups depending on whether or not the government paid for their passage to the colony. The accountability requirements have resulted in more comprehensive details for the assisted.
(Be aware that at this point you are likely to be enticed to check out the growing number of PROV records online.)

Assisted British Immigration 1839-1871
Search results give name, age, month and year of arrival, the name of the ship and a reference to a book and a page which is used to locate copies of the original registers on fiche at the PROV or local societies and libraries which hold shipping records, such as in the Ballarat Australiana Room.

The Nominal List was compiled in the foreign port and the Disposal List was compiled on arrival. In addition to the online information, you can discover the exact dates and ports of departure and arrival, the type and size of ship, the names of the master and surgeon, the length of the voyage in days, the number of passengers and the amount paid to the agent for each immigrant.

Of course not all lists have survived and the amount of personal information for passengers is variable but generally there will be occupations, native places, religious denominations, whether they could read and write, marital status and children on board. The chances are that the Disposal List will show the date of leaving the ship, the name and address of the employer, the wages and term of engagement and whether or not rations went with the job. Sometimes in this column there are family clues about where they went to join relatives. However, a great number left the ship 'on own account' to try their luck.

Unassisted Inward Passenger Lists to Victoria from British, Foreign and New Zealand Ports 1852-1923
A search of this database will give name, age, month and year of arrival, ship, a port code and a reference to a fiche and a page which can be noted to locate the original shipping record.

Bound For South Australia 1836-1860s
We're Bound for South Australia by Di Cummings
Also at www.slsa.sa.gov.au/fh/passengerlists/Adelaide.htm
This is a newish website created by a dedicated genealogist, Diane Cummings, whom we met at the 2004 Local History Expo in Ballarat. Diane has gathered over 2000 passenger lists from various sources but principally from the South Australian Register newspapers which are on microfilm in State Libraries.
Despite the pop-ups which come with a free rootsweb hosting some excellent features of this site are the design, the images and the links, which include the whys and wherefores about deciding to set off over the deep and blue ocean.

You can read the shipboard diary of James Menzies of his voyage on the William Money which arrived in 1849, view a South Australian Time-line 1834-51, and read an account by Charles Rule of a five week, 600 mile journey (with map) from the Burra Mine to the Mount Alexander Diggings in 1852. In the early 1850s it seemed that every able-bodied man left South Australia hoping to make his fortune on the goldfields. Thousands joined the trek to the Victorian Goldfields via what was known as the 'Overland Route'.

State Records of NSW : Indexes to Assisted Immigrants 1839-1896
Here are five searchable databases with limited date ranges for arrivals in Sydney, Newcastle and Moreton Bay in Queensland. The index for the Port Phillip District of NSW 1839-1851 (subsequently Victoria) is now completed with over 1200 new entries. You can choose the name of a ship from a drop down list of 117 vessels and the search will bring up a complete passenger list. At twenty names to a page this could entail quite a few clicks.

Convictions : Australian Shipping from 1788 created in 1998 by Peter Larson and still growing.
There are a number of indexes on the contents page to search for the arrivals and departures of ships, names of passengers, captains and crew as well as a section on convicts.

For more shipping websites go to www.ballaratgenealogy.org.au - Australia - Shipping Lists. Look for convict shipping under NSW, TASMANIA and WESTERN AUSTRALIA - Fremantle Prison.

Jennifer Burrell: jburrell@ncable.net.au



Created : 15 January 2005
Last Modified : 7 April 2006
Email : jburrell@ncable.net.au
URL : http://users.ncable.net.au/~jburrell/link/7ship.htm