Most family historians are keen to find their ancestor's name on a passenger list, particularly when the voyage signified the start of a new life a long way from home. However, it is important to realise that this is not always possible for a variety of reasons; some passenger lists, especially early ones, have not survived; not all passengers were listed, particularly if they travelled steerage class; and crew members and the military were often not included. Sometimes, passengers are listed but are difficult to identify. For example, it is quite common to see entries such as Mr Smith or Mr and Mrs Brown and children.
Bearing these limitations in mind, there are some key resources on this page for tracing your ancestors' voyages. To find information on passenger lists for specific states please go to:
- Western Australia – Passenger Lists
- New South Wales – Passenger Lists
- Northern Territory – Passenger Lists
- Queensland – Passenger Lists
- South Australia – Passenger Lists
- Tasmania – Passenger Lists
- Victoria – Passenger Lists
National Archives of
The National Archives of Australia holds immigration and naturalisation records, including passenger lists, from the late 1800s onwards. Some material has been digitised and is available through their website. Select Search the collection but please be aware that not everything is available online. This site includes a Passenger arrivals index for ships arriving in Western Australia 1921-1950 and aircraft arriving at Perth airport 1944-1950.
Passenger lists leaving UK 1890–1960 (BT 27)
Here you can trace people sailing from Britain to non-European ports from 1890 to 1960. This database is available on both Findmypast and Ancestry Library Edition. This is an extremely useful source for finding ancestors’ voyages to destinations such as New Zealand, South Africa, the United States, Canada and, of course, Australia.
UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878–1960 (BT 26)
This database, available on Ancestry Library Edition, records those sailing into Britain from ports outside Europe and is useful for ancestors who may have travelled backwards and forwards between Britain and other countries. The library edition of this subscription database is available to use within the State Library building, as well as in most public libraries.
Ozships: Australian shipping arrivals and departures, 1788 to 1968
This site has an alphabetical list of over 92,000 passengers and crew. There are also lists of arrivals and departures arranged chronologically giving the name of the ship with date and port of arrival or departure. Some shipping for New Zealand is also included.
Ships' Logs, Journals, Pictures and Passenger Ship Links: Australia and New Zealand
This site describes some of the main sources of information on ships bound for Australia and New Zealand. It includes links to ships' pictures, passenger lists, crew lists and convict sites.
The Ships List
This is a large website which includes passenger lists for Australia and New Zealand as well as for the United States, Canada and elsewhere. Also on the site are descriptions and images of ships, shipboard diaries and more.
Emigrants from Hamburg to Australia
Emigrants from Hamburg to Australia, 1850-59 an index
Index to emigrants from Hamburg to Australia, 1860-1869
Emigrants from Hamburg to Australia, 1877
Emigrants from Hamburg to Australia, 1878
Emigrants from Hamburg to Australia, 1879
What other information can I
Use our catalogue
to find other material relating to passenger lists. For
example, we hold some published lists for specific ships. Search under
the name of ships, countries or ports with keywords such as
immigrants, passenger lists. Examples of keyword
darwin passenger lists
Don't forget to
use our Family History Bookmarks. Look for headings
as emigration, immigration or passenger lists under the country or state of interest e.g.
Page last updated: Friday 18 July 2014