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Using the ARK - Arrivals to the Colony

Indexes to ships arrived

NRS 13277, Indexes to ships arrived, 1837-1925
(2 rolls of 35mm microfilm)

Reel 2502 - 1837-41; 1841-66; 1867-82; 1883-93; 1894-1900
Reel 2503A - 1901-Jun 1907; July 1907-1912; 1913-25

These indexes record name and type of vessel, and date of its arrival. They relate to vessels arriving in Sydney only The indexes are alphabetical by the name of the vessel; within each letter of the alphabet arrangement is chronological by date of arrival. There are a number of different sequences on each reel, as noted in the shelf list below.

If the name of the ship is known, this series can be consulted to check the vessel's date of arrival. Therefore, it can be used as an index to other series listed in this section.

Assisted (Bounty) Immigrants

Assisted (Bounty) Immigrants, 1828-42
A pilot project available to search at familysearch.org
The project offers a digitised version of the index to search.

NRS 5310, NRS 5311, NRS 5314, Assisted (Bounty) immigrants to New South Wales, 1828-42
(64 microfilms)
Reels 1286-1349
This includes the following records:

  • Persons on early migrant ships, 1828-32, NRS 5310 [4/4823 on Reel 1286];
  • Persons on early migrant ships, May 1832-Jan 1833, NRS 5311 [4/4824 on Reel 1286]; and
  • Entitlement certificates of persons on bounty ships, 1832-42, NRS 5314 [Reels 1286 part-1349].

The Persons on early migrant ships, 1828-32, records, for each immigrant, name, age, sex, country and calling, and status as a passenger (cabin or steerage). The Persons on early migrant ships, May 1832-Jan 1833, is similar to the earlier volume but also includes a list of mechanics and females who received advances of money from the British Government to pay the cost of their passage to New South Wales.

For each certificate in the series Entitlement certificates of persons on bounty ships, 1832-42, the name of the ship and the ship's agent; and the native place, calling, age, health, religion and name of the immigrant are recorded. Each certificate is endorsed with a character reference and a certificate of baptism.

An index to these records for the years 1828-42, known as the Bounty Index (consisting of 8 rolls of 16mm microfilm) has been prepared by The Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU) and is available from:
The Australian & PNG Regional Manager
The Genealogical Society of Utah
PO Box 350 CARLINGFORD NSW 2118
(Telephone enquiries (02) 9841 5333)

Bounty Index

Reel GSU No. Inclusive Names
30 416870 Abbott-Byron
31 416871 Cabby-Dyon
32 416872 Eacott-Gwynn
33 416873 Habart-Justus
34 416874 Kaar-McWilliams
35 416875 Madden-Quirk
36 416876 Rachay-Taaffe, Ann
37 416877 Taaffe, Anne-Zuill

Assisted immigrants New South Wales and Moreton Bay

NRS 5316, Assisted immigrants to New South Wales, 1838-96, and Moreton Bay, 1848-59 (Agent's Immigrant Lists)
(10 microfilms)
Reels 2134-2143

The information contained in these records varies but usually includes name, age, sex, calling, marital status, native place, and literacy.

Also called the 'Agent's Immigrant Lists', the arrangement is chronological by date of arrival of each ship. Within each ship entries are generally arranged under the following headings: families, widowers, widows, wives and families of persons resident in the Colony, single men, and single women.

This series (NRS 5316) is part of a pilot project to digitise the microfilm copies of the Persons on bounty ships (Agent's Immigrant Lists), 1838-96

Indexes
The index to Assisted Immigrants arriving in Sydney, Newcastle, Moreton Bay and Port Phillip is available to search online.

New South Wales and Moreton Bay (Brisbane)

1828-42
The immigrant lists for this period complement those in series above. Immigrants on these ships would therefore be included in the Bounty Index.

1844-1896

  • 1844-59 Originally printed three volume set is now available on Fiche 2481-2491
  • 1848-59 (Moreton Bay) Originally printed volume is now available on Fiche 2479-2480
  • 1860-79 Originally printed volume is now available on Fiche 2492-2498
  • 1880-96 Originally printed volume is now available on Fiche 2499-2504

Item List

A full listing of the ships which are covered in these reels can be found in Appendix A, pp. 106-32 of the Guide to shipping and free passenger records.

Reel Dates Item
2134 Apr 1838-Nov 1841 [4/4784, 4/4787-4788]
2135 Nov 1841-2 Sep 1849 [4/4782-4783, 4/4785-4786]
2136 2 Sep 1849-6 Sep 1853 [4/4786, 4/4790-4791]
2137 6 Sep 1853-6 Jan 1856 [4/4791-4793]
2138 6 Jan 1856-7 Apr 1859 [4/4793-4795]
2139 7 Apr 1859-Mar 1865 [4/4795-4798]
2140 May 1865-15 Jan 1878 [4/4789, 4/4799-4802]
2141 15 Jan 1878-Sep 1881 [4/4802-4805]
2142 Nov 1881-Aug 1884 [4/4806-4809]
2143 Nov 1884-Jan 1896 [4/4810-4812]

Wage agreements and entitlement certificates

NRS 5315, Wage agreements and entitlement certificates of persons on bounty ships, 1844-45
(8 microfilms)
Reels 2449-2456

The agreements record the conditions under which the immigrant was to work for his or her sponsor. The certificates note the name, age, calling, native place, health, religion and education of the immigrant; the names of his or her parents; and the amount of bounty claimed.

This series complements the Agent's Immigrant Lists (series above) but provides more information about the immigrants.

Index

NRS 5315 is included in the index to Assisted Immigrants arriving in Sydney, Newcastle, Moreton Bay and Port Phillip online.

These immigrants are indexed in the printed publication Guide to Assisted Immigrants arriving Sydney and Newcastle, 1844-59, which forms part of the Archives Resources Kit. This index is also available on Fiche 2481-2491.

Item List

Reel Date of Arrival Name of Ship
2449 10 Jan 1844 Herald (Greenock)
2450 20 Jan 1844 Elizabeth (Liverpool)
2451 11 Feb 1844 Neptune
2451 13 Mar 1844 William Metcalf
2452 29 Apr 1844 Elizabeth (Cork)
2452 29 Apr 1844 United Kingdom
2453 26 Jul 1844 Briton
2453 26 Jul 1844 Royal Saxon
2454 31 Jul 1844 St Vincent
2454 27 Aug 1844 Templar
2455 9 Feb 1845 Herald (Cork)
2456 31 Mar 1845 Elizabeth (Liverpool)

Persons on bounty ships

NRS 5317, Persons on bounty ships to Sydney, Newcastle and Moreton Bay ('Board's Immigrant Lists'), 1848-91
(41 rolls of 35mm microfilm)
Reels 2458-2498

Each entry records the name, age, marital status, calling, native place, religion, and education of the immigrant. Also recorded are the names of relations in the colony; names and addresses of parents; and any complaints respecting treatment aboard ship.
The majority of ships travelled from a British port to Sydney. However, there were numerous arrivals from Hamburg in the 1850's, when considerable numbers of immigrants from Germany were recruited to come to New South Wales (which included Moreton Bay until 1859). In addition, the William Prowse (1853) and the Palmyra (1854) arrived from Madras carrying Eurasians; and the Annie H. Smith, N. Boynton, Sierra Nevada, Star of the West and the Ivanhoe arrived from New York in 1877-78.

Also called the 'Board's Immigrant Lists', arrangement is alphabetical by the name of ship within each year. The series generally provides more information about immigrants than the Agent's Immigrant Lists (series above), which it complements, but it is incomplete.

Indexes

The index to Assisted Immigrants arriving in Sydney, Newcastle, Moreton Bay and Port Phillip is available to search online.

New South Wales

1828-42
The immigrant lists for this period complement those in series above. Immigrants on these ships would therefore be included in the Bounty Index.

1844-59
Originally printed three volume set is now available on Fiche 2481-2491.

1860-79
Originally printed volume is now available on Fiche 2492-2498.

1880-96
Originally printed volume is now available on Fiche 2499-2504.

Moreton Bay (Brisbane)

1844-59

Originally printed volume is now available on Fiche 2479-2480.

Item List

  • Summary list of NRS 5317 provided for quick reference only
    A full listing of the ships which are covered in this series can be found on pp. 53-61 of the Guide to shipping and free passenger records. The ships have been filmed in alphabetical order by ship name.

Wives and families of convicts

NRS 5321, Wives and families of convicts on bounty ships, 1849-55
(2 microfiche)
Fiche 837-838

Each entry records the name, sex, age, marital status, calling, native place, religion and education of the immigrant as well as his or her relationship to the convict. In addition, information concerning immigrants arriving who were not related to convicts is recorded in the lists for the ships William Jardine, Success, Anglia and Ramillies.
Arrangement is chronological by the date of the ship's arrival. 

Index

These immigrants are indexed in the printed publication Guide to Assisted Immigrants arriving Sydney and Newcastle, 1844-59 which is also available on Fiche 2481-2491.

Item List

Fiche Dates Inclusive Ships
837 14 Sep 1849-12 Oct 1853 Panama-Ellenborough
838 2 Feb 1855 ; 17 May 1855 Nabob; Matoaka

Germans on bounty ships

NRS 5320, Germans on bounty ships, 1849-52
(1 microfiche) Fiche 851
Each entry gives the name, age, marital status, religion and education of German workers brought out to New South Wales to relieve the demands for special skills, such as winemaking and carpentry.
This series records the arrival of the German immigrants on the ships Beulah, Parland, Harmony, Balmoral and San Francisco.
This series (NRS 5320) is part of a pilot project to digitise the microfilm copies of the Germans on bounty ships, 1849-52
View the passenger lists online via the 'Online' Reel webpage
Index
NRS 5320 is included in the index to Assisted Immigrants arriving in Sydney, Newcastle, Moreton Bay and Port Phillip online.
These immigrants are indexed in the printed publication Guide to Assisted Immigrants arriving Sydney and Newcastle, 1844-59 which is also available on Fiche 2481-2491.

Family Colonization Loan Society

The Family Colonization Loan Society Passenger lists have been digitised and can be viewed online on the 'Online Reel' webpage. 

Passenger lists

NRS 5323, Passenger lists of the Family Colonization Loan Society, 1854-55
(1 part microfiche)
Fiche 839 part
These lists relate to the following ships: Abdalla, Bangalore, Hanover, Lord Burleigh, Marchioness ofLondonderry, and Nimroud. In addition to details of payments made by the immigrant and the Society towards the cost of the passage, names of immigrants, ages and occupations are recorded.
This series and series below are located on the same microfiche. As this series is slightly more detailed than the one below it is located at the beginning of the microfiche.
Index
These immigrants are indexed in the printed publication Guide to Assisted Immigrants arriving Sydney and Newcastle, 1844-59 which is also available on Fiche 2481-2491.

Members of the Society

NRS 5322, Members of the Family Colonization Loan Society, 1854-57
(1 part microfiche)
Fiche 839 part

Each entry records the name, address and calling of the member, together with amounts of loan received and subscription paid; and the names of ships carrying certain members.
This series and series above are located on the same microfiche.
Index

These immigrants are indexed in the printed publication Guide to Assisted Immigrants arriving Sydney and Newcastle, 1844-59 which is also available on Fiche 2481-2491.

Item List

Date of Arrival Name of Ship
22 Sep 1854 Hanover
10 Dec 1854 Marchioness of Londonderry
13 Jan 1855 Bangalore
21 Feb 1855 Abdalla
11 Apr 1855 Washington Irving
29 Aug 1855 Lord Burleigh
18 Oct 1855 Nimroud
13 Dec 1855 Light of the Age
2 Mar 1856 Washington Irving

Immigration Deposit Journals

NRS 5264, Immigration deposit journals, 1853-1900
(9 microfilms)
Reels 2668A-2676

These journals record moneys deposited in the Colony by persons wishing to sponsor the immigration of a nominated person or group of persons, frequently members of their own family or persons they wished to employ.

The amount of information provided varies over the period and includes: certificate number; deposit number; name of depositor or sponsor; date of deposit; particulars of name, age, calling and address of the sponsored migrant; name and address of referee; amount paid towards cost of passage and outfit; nationality (English, Scotch, Irish, Foreigner) of sponsored migrant; ship and date of arrival; and, if necessary, date of refund of deposit on account of the non-arrival of the nominee.

These volumes are particularly valuable for the period 1860-62 when the Board's Immigrant Lists (series above) are missing; and after 1870 when they no longer supply the place of origin within the county in Ireland.

Many months would usually pass between the deposit of the money and the arrival of the immigrant and researchers should keep this time lapse in mind when using these records.

Indexes
Indexes to the depositors are located in the front of volumes [4/4577, 4/4583-4588, 4/4591-4598]. [4/4578] is a separate index covering the period Oct 1856-Dec 1857, for which the register does not appear to have survived, and [4/4590] is a separate index to volume [4/4589].

There are no contemporary indexes for [4/4576 (1853-54)] and [4/4579-4582 (Dec 1857-Dec 1861)].

A microfiche index to Immigration Deposit Journals, 1853-1900 has been compiled by Pat Stemp and Aileen Trinder (Pastkeys). The address is:

Pastkeys
PO Box 116 ROCKDALE NSW 2216

Assisted immigrants to Port Phillip

NRS 5318, Assisted immigrants to Port Phillip, 1839-51
(3 microfilms)
Reels 2143A-2145
The information contained in these records includes name, age, calling, religion, education, native place and bounty paid.
This series (NRS 5318) is part of a pilot project to digitise the microfilm copies of the Assisted immigrants to Port Phillip, 1839-51
View the passenger lists online via the 'Online' Reel webpage
Index

The index to Assisted Immigrants arriving in Sydney, Newcastle, Moreton Bay and Port Phillip is available to search online.

These immigrants are indexed in the printed publication Guide to Assisted Immigrants arriving Port Phillip, 1839-51 which is also available on Fiche 2476-2478. This index is arranged by head of the family; the name of the wife is also given. For children the statement 'and family' is recorded only.

Item List

See Appendix B, pp. 133-36 of the Guide to shipping and free passenger records for a full listing of the ships on these microfilm reels.

Reel Dates Item
2143A 1839-41 [4/4813]
2144 1840-49 [4/4814-4816, 4/4818]
2145 1849-51 [4/4817]

Unassisted passengers

Online indexes

Unassisted Immigrants 1842-55
This index covers free or unassisted passengers arriving in NSW.
Search |  More information |

Unassisted passenger and crew arrivals, 1854-1900
Available at the Mariners and Ships in Australian Waters website.
Covering Shipping Inward lists from the Shipping Master's Office, lists for the 1850s, 1860s and 1870s are almost complete, 1880s and 1890s to follow. Searchable by person's name, vessel name, and date; includes transcribed passenger lists and links to scans of the original lists.

Arrivals 1826-1900

NRS 1291, NRS 13278 Unassisted passengers, 1826-1900

(181 microfilms)
Reels 1263-1280; 2851; 399-560

These records list the names of passengers, by ship, arriving in New South Wales. Occasionally status or occupation is also given.

The following records are included:

  • Reports of vessels arrived, Jul 1826-Dec 1853, NRS 1291 [Reels 1263-1280 and 2851]; and
  • Passengers arriving, 1854-1900, NRS 13278 [Reels 399-560]

The Reports of vessels arrived record the vessel's name, tonnage, number of crew, master, from whence, when sailed, cargo, first class passengers' names, names or number of steerage passengers (refer to immigrant lists), and occasionally particulars such as passenger's trade or profession or native place. Health Officer's Reports are frequently attached to the main report from 1839.

The lists in Passengers arriving record name of ship and master; tonnage; where from; date of arrival; seamen's names, station, age and nationality (from 1854 onwards); and passengers' names, and very occasionally occupation. The information on each passenger may be quite limited, eg. 'Mr & Mrs Smith & infant'.

A microfiche index to Unassisted passengers arriving for the years 1842-54 has been compiled by Pat Stemp and Aileen Trinder (Pastkeys). The address is:

Pastkeys
PO Box 116 ROCKDALE NSW 2216

Other guides to the records

State Records has published Guide to shipping and free passenger records which provides details of all relevant records in State Records.