This series consists of forms signed by captains of arriving vessels which contained information about passengers entering Australia.
This lists contain general information about the ship and the voyage such as: name and tonnage of the ship; port of departure; name of master; date of arrival; seamen’s names, positions, age and town and country of birth. The lists also record passengers’ names but sometimes omit the given names. The names of children travelling with their parents are rarely given – often only the number and gender of the children is shown or the fact that they are ‘infants’ or ‘teenage’. Examples of such entries include - 'Mr Kingsford and two children'; 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith and infant'. Some descriptions indicate the passenger’s occupation, or identify them as ‘tourists’ or ‘travellers’. The entries sometimes indicate the class of travel or the location of the passengers within the ship, e.g. Cabin, Saloon and Steerage. Lists sometimes contain information about the skin colour or race of passenger e.g. ‘White’, ‘Brown’, ‘Asiatic’ or ‘European’. Remarks may include details such as whether a passenger was in transit to New Zealand or carried no papers.
The earlier records in this series consist of forms which were clearly retained separate and folded for some time but later bound into chronological volumes. Interleaved with the forms are occasional affidavits covering passenger names which were omitted from the lists or misspelt.
In 1923 the Commonwealth Government took over the activities of immigration and Passenger Lists after 1922 are held by the New South Wales Regional Office of the National Archives of Australia.
This series has previously been known as 'Passengers arriving', 'Shipping lists' or 'Passenger lists'.
See NRS 13278: Unassisted passengers, 1826-1900 for an item list.
This series has been name indexed in Unassisted Immigrants Index, 1842-55.
Item lists are available electronically.