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Indexes to assisted immigrants

Assisted Immigrants arriving in Sydney, Newcastle, Moreton Bay and Port Phillip. The term 'assisted immigrant' refers to those people whose passage was subsidised or paid for through one of the several assisted immigration schemes which operated to New South Wales from the United Kingdom and other countries.

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'Online' microfilm reel of Assisted Shipping lists, 1828-1896
Search imagesScroll through the digital copies of these passenger lists, ship by ship, just as you would if you were going through a microfilm in the reading room.
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About the Index

Abbreviations | Compiling | Procedures | A note on some of the records

The Index covers all of the ports below but you can also search them separately:

We hold records of assisted immigrants from 1828-1896 to NSW which can provide valuable information such as native place and parents' names.

Abbreviations in the search results

bv: born on voyage, in quarantine etc.
b&dv: born and died on voyage, in quarantine etc.
cob: child(ren) on board (listed separately)
dv: died on voyage, in quarantine etc.
inft: infant
pob: parent(s) on board (listed separately)
sf: stepfather
tw: travelling with

Compiling the indexes

The following series are included in the index:

Port Phillip 1839-51

NRS 5318, Persons on Bounty Ships (Agent's Immigrant Lists), 1839-51

Moreton Bay 1848-59

NRS 5316, Persons on Bounty Ships (Agent's Immigrant Lists) 1848-59

NRS 5317, Persons on Bounty Ships (Board's Immigrant Lists) 1848-91

Sydney and Newcastle 1844-59

NRS 5316, Persons on Bounty Ships (Agent's Immigrant Lists) 1848-59

NRS 5317, Persons on Bounty Ships (Board's Immigrant Lists) 1848-91

NRS 5315, Wage agreements and entitlement certificates of persons on bounty ships, 1844-45

NRS 5320, Germans on bounty ships, 1849-52

NRS 5321, Wives and families of convicts on bounty ships, 1849-55

NRS 5322, Members of the Family Colonization Loan Society, 1854-57

Sydney 1860-79

NRS 5316, Persons on Bounty Ships (Agent's Immigrant Lists) 1860-79

NRS 5317, Persons on Bounty Ships (Board's Immigrant Lists) 1860-79

Sydney 1880-96

NRS 5316, Persons on Bounty Ships (Agent's Immigrant Lists) 1880-96

NRS 5317, Persons on Bounty Ships (Board's Immigrant Lists) 1880-96

Indexing procedures

  • Where the individual shares the head of family's surname, the reference"and family", or occasionally "travelling with", has been used to indicate that person's location in the original list.
  • Where the individual has a different surname from that of the head of family, one of two references has been used. These are "travelling with" followed by the head of family's surname and initial, and "stepfather" followed by the head of family's surname and initial.
  • In the case of difficulties in deciphering handwritten records, major variations in the spelling of the surname or different surnames in the source records, both surnames have generally been given complete index entries with cross references to each other, for example
CALLAGHAN Eliza 18 or CALLAGHER, E Commodore Perry 1856 2138, 2473
CALLAGHER Eliza 18 or CALLAGHAN, E Commodore Perry 1856 2138, 2473
unless the cross reference is unnecessary because of the proximity of the two surnames. In these cases an internal cross reference is given in the "Remarks" column, for example
MOUREGAN Bridget 21 or MOURIGAN Abyssinian 1859 2139, 2479
In the case of aliases a cross reference has been made from the alternative surname to the surname under which the immigrant is listed, for example
DAVIDSON Isabella 19 see WILLIS, C Earl Grey 1848 2135, 2458
WILLIS Charlotte 19 alias DAVIDSON, I Earl Grey 1848 2135, 2458
Where there are variant spellings of the surname of a family the relationship is given for one of the surnames and a cross reference given in the other, for example
STEPHENS George E 30 and family St Vincent 1849 2135, 2460
STEVENS George E 30 or STEPHENS, G E St Vincent 1849 2135, 2460
Immigrants, including unnamed infants, who died on the voyage have been included, for the sake of completeness.

One practice which frequently occurred during this period was the taking on of an alias in order to obtain passage. This happened in cases where passage had been denied under the correct name; in these instances, the assumed name was often the maiden name or the name of a person with whom travelling. In other instances, an immigrant assumed the name of a person to whom a passage certificate had been granted. An example of this is Joseph Golding who came in place of John Mahon. In these cases the lists usually record the person under his/her correct name with a reference to the alias (or assumed) name.

Your ancestor may have arrived in one of the other categories of passengers who came to New South Wales. These include unassisted passengers, convicts, military, crew.

Further details of the records available for these categories of arrivals can be accessed in Archives in Brief 1.

A note on some of the records

Assisted immigrants arriving at Port Phillip, 1839-51

The vessel Ann Gales listed in volume [4/4818]: Although this volume is labelled as "Persons on Bounty Ships arriving at Port Phillip", the Ann Gales appears to have arrived at Port Jackson, Sydney 12 July 1840, and did not arrive at Port Phillip.

The vessel Cataraqui listed in volume [4/4815] was shipwrecked in 1845. Although the passengers are all listed in the Index, there was only one survivor, Solomon Brown.

The vessel India was burned at sea in 1841. All surviving passengers were transferred to the Grindlay listed in volume [4/4814]. One passenger from the India, Mr Patterson, died at sea, however he is listed on the Grindlay.

Twofold Bay

It is known that two ships carrying assisted immigrants, the Bermondsey (1848) and the Caesar (1855), put in at Twofold Bay (Eden) and discharged some of their immigrants there, the remainder being landed in Sydney. Unfortunately, the immigrant lists do not indicate the port of disembarkation.

Related Indexes

The latest addition to our suite of assisted immigrant indexes is:

Accessing the records

All of the arrival records of assisted immigrants are indexed. Microfilm copies of the records can be viewed in our reading room.

Copy ServiceThere is a photocopy service available from this Index. You will see an 'Add to Cart' tickbox option on the search results page(s).

Help with immigration records

Our family history page on Immigration includes examples of various shipping records, useful tips and 'how to' worksheets to help you search for arrivals to New South Wales.

See also the Index to Vessels Arrived, 1837-1925. Covering vessels arrived in Sydney, it records the name and date of arrival and in some cases the type of vessel. Search by name of ship to find the arrival date.


We would appreciate any feedback and suggestions you may have on using the Indexes.