Depending on a passenger's wealth or means the manner in which they travelled aboard the ship could have been either saloon or steerage, or first, second or third class. Australian newspaper references to shipping arrivals and departures often list the names of those passengers who travelled 'saloon' but not those who travelled steerage, whose total number only is generally reported. If your relative chose or could afford to travel 'saloon' to or from Australian ports you will have more chance of finding them through searches of digitized newspapers on Trove, or Papers Past for New Zealand arrivals and departures.


Not only should incoming passenger lists be examined but where possible outgoing passengers, especially from the United Kingdom and which are available on both Ancestry and Find My Past. If a name is not found as an arrival in Australia it may be possible to locate someone leaving from a British port.

Emigrants leaving the ship Sydney Cove

This page lists New South Wales-related online, networked and microform resources as well as print publications available for use within the National Library of Australia.


Ancestry (Library Edition)

The Library's subscription to Ancestry currently provides the following New South Wales 'Immigration & Travel'-related resources via its online database. To access Ancestry (Library Edition), visit the eResources portal, click the Browse eResources tab and search for 'Ancestry'. The original data has been obtained from NSW State Archives and Records unless otherwise indicated:

  • New South Wales, Australia, Unassisted Immigrant Passenger Lists, 1826-1922
    Original data:
    • Inward passenger lists
      NRS 13278, Reels 399-560, 2001-2122, 2751
    • Reports of vessels arrived (or Shipping reports)
      NRS 1291, Reels 1263-1285, 2851
  • New South Wales, Australia, Assisted Immigrant Passenger Lists, 1828-1896
    Original data:
    • Returns of convicts applications for wives and families to be brought to New South Wales at Government expense
      NRS 1190, Reel 699
    • Persons on bounty ships (Agent’s Immigrant Lists)
      NRS 5316, Reels 2134-2143
    • Persons on early migrant ships (Fair Copy)
      NRS 5310, Reel 1286
    • Wage agreements and entitlement certificates of persons on bounty ships (Agent's Immigrant Lists)
      NRS 5315, Reels 2449-2456
    • Persons on bounty ships to Sydney, Newcastle, and Moreton Bay (Board’s Immigrant Lists)
      NRS 5317, Reels 2458-2498
    • Persons on bounty ships arriving at Port Phillip (Agent's Immigrant Lists)
      NRS 5318, Reels 2143A-2145
    • Passengers arriving at Sydney 1846 (Agent's Immigrant Lists)
      NRS 5326, Reel 2457
    • Passenger lists of the Family Colonization Loan Society
      NRS 5323, Fiche 839
    • Members of the Family Colonization Loan Society
      NRS 5322, Fiche 839
  • New South Wales, Australia, Settler and Convict Lists, 1787-1834
    Original data:
    • Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania;
      HO 10, Pieces 1-4, 6-18, 28-30;
      The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England
  • New South Wales, Australia, Immigration Deposit Journals, 1853 - May 1900
    Original data:
    • Immigration Deposit Journals 1853-May 1900
      NRS 5264, Reels 2668A-2676
    • Immigration Deposits (refunded or declined) 1852-1885
      NRS 5266, Reels 3111-3114
  • New South Wales, Australia, Departing Crew and Passenger Lists, 1816-1825, 1898-1922
    Original data:
    • Ships musters 1816-1825
      NRS 1289, Reels 561-562
    • Vessels and persons departing (outward lists), 1898–1922
      NRS 13279, Reels 563–579, 3149–3205
  • New South Wales, Australia, Certificates of Naturalization, 1849-1903
    Original data:
    • Certificates of Naturalization 1849-1876
      NRS 1039, Reels 2688-2699
    • Registers of Certificates of Naturalization 1849-1903
      NRS 1040, Reels 128A-141A
    • Lists of Aliens to whom Certificates of Naturalization have been issued 1859-1876
      NRS 1041, Reel 130
  • New South Wales, Australia, Passengers Arriving at Port Phillip, 1846
    Original data:
    • New South Wales Government. Immigration Agent. Passengers arriving at Port Phillip, 1846
      Series 5327, Reel 1408
  • New South Wales, Australia 1828 - 1842: Bounty Immigrants List
    Original data:
    • Bounty Immigrants to New South Wales 1828 - 1842
      Records kept at New South Wales State Archives and Records, Libraries Tasmania and State Records Office of Western Australia
  • New South Wales, Australia, Wives & Children of Irish Convicts, 1825-1840
    Original data:
    • Wives & Children of Irish Convicts Petitioned by Husbands and Fathers.
      CD-ROM. Central Coast Family History Society Inc. East Gosford, New South Wales
  • New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1825
    Original data:
    • Main series of letters received, 1788-1825
      NRS 897, Reels 6041-6064, 6071-6072
    • Special Bundles, 1794-1825
      NRS 898, Reels 6020-6040, 6070; Fiche 3260-3312.
    • Memorials to the Governor, 1810-25
      NRS 899, Fiche 3001-3162
  • New South Wales, Australia, Registers of Seamen, 1859-1936
    Original data:
    • Registers of seamen engaged before the Shipping Master, 1859–1923
      NRS 13282, Reels 3669–3680
    • Index of seamen engaged before the Shipping Master, 1917–20
      NRS 13283, Reel 3669
    • Registers of seamen engaged on board ships, 1864–1919
      NRS 13284, Reels 3667–3668
    • Registers of seamen discharged, 1859–1916
      NRS 13286, Reels 3680–3688
    • Registers of Certificates of Competency issued
      NRS 10785, Reels 3689, 3694

Findmypast (World Edition)

To access Findmypast (World Edition), visit the eResources portal, click the Browse eResources tab and search for 'Findmypast'. Currently, Findmypast has the following New South Wales-related travel and migration records available. The original data has been obtained from NSW State Archives and Records unless otherwise indicated:

  • New South Wales and Tasmania: Settlers and Convicts 1787-1859
  • Passenger Lists Leaving UK 1890-1960
    Records kept at The National Archives of the UK (TNA), London, England
  • Australia, Assisted Emigration
    • Australia, Government Ships 1811-1856.
      NRS 5313, Reels 2654, 2668
    • Wage Agreements and Entitlement Certificates of persons on Bounty Ships 1844-1845
      NRS 5315, Reels 2449-2456
    • Entitlement Certificates of persons on Bounty Ships 1832-1842
      NRS 5314, Reels 1286-1349
    • Persons on Bounty Ships arriving at Port Phillip 1839-1851
      NRS 5318, Reels 2143A-2145
  • Australia, Inward, Outward and Coastal Passenger Lists 1826-1972
    Contains lists from multiple sources around Australia. Those for NSW are:
    • Australian National Passenger Lists 1898-1972
    • New South Wales passenger lists (assisted & unassisted)
    • 1881 British census crew and passengers on ships arriving in New South Wales

NSW State Archives and Records

In addition to records provided via Ancestry and Findmypast, NSW State Archives and Records also provides access to the following records and indexes through its own website:

  • Assisted Immigrants (digital) Shipping Lists
    Browse through digital shipping lists from 1828-1896
    • List of Irish passengers arrived on the ship Sir Joseph Banks, Oct 1828
      NRS 5309, Reel 2795
    • Persons on early migrant ships, 1828-32
      NRS 5310, Reel 1286
    • Persons on early migrant ships, May 1832- Jan 1833
      NRS 5311, Reel 1286
    • Women on the Red Rover and other early migrant ships, 1832
      NRS 5312, Reel 2795
    • Persons on government ships, Aug 1837-40
      NRS 5313, Reel 2668
    • Persons on bounty ships (Agent's Immigrant Lists), 1838-96
      NRS 5316, Reels 2134-2135
    • Persons on bounty ships arriving at Port Phillip, 1839-51
      NRS 5318, Reels 2143A-2145
    • Germans on bounty ships, 1849-52
      NRS 5320, Fiche 851
    • Members of the Family Colonization Loan Society, 1854-57
      NRS 5322, Fiche 839
    • Passenger lists of the Family Colonization Loan Society, 1854-55
      NRS 5323, Fiche 839
  • Miscellaneous Immigrants Index (1828-1843)
    This index contains over 9000 entries for the period 1828 to 1843. Information includes names of passengers who paid their own fare and some assisted immigrants, ship, date of arrival, age and events (e.g. shipwreck) as well as the series, item and microform numbers.
  • Unassisted Immigrants Index (1842-1855)
    The index comprises unassisted (or free) passengers who came to Australia at their own expense, including ships' crew and military. There are over 136,100 entries in the index. In some instances, when a last name is common and no first name or initial is given, it can be hard to pinpoint which entry is your ancestor. Often the entries on the records indexed will provide no more information than the details contained in this index.

Networked resources in the Library

In addition to our subscription databases, the Library also provides access to the following networked CDROM resources:

  • Bounty Immigration New South Wales 1828 to 1842
    Contains nearly 60,000 records of immigrants arriving in New South Wales from 1828 to 1842
  • 1828 Census of New South Wales
    This was the first New South Wales census. It was held in November 1828 and is the only census to survive in full to the present day. It aimed to record all the inhabitants of the colony at the time, and provides the individual's full name, age, place of residence, ship of arrival, occupation employer's name and place of residence.
  • Free passengers to NSW 1826-1837
    Society of Australian Genealogists: Contains a searchable database of 36,000 names of free passengers, crews & military arriving by passenger, merchant or whaling vessels to New South Wales between 1826 and 1837.
  • NSW immigration deposits combined index 1853-1900
    This title provides an index to the following records held by State Records New South Wales: Immigration; NRS 5264, Immigration Deposit Journals, 1853-1900 [4/4576 to 4/4598, microfilm copy SRNSW Reel Nos. 2668A to 2675] and the supplementary records of Embarkation Orders and Shipping Lists in Immigration; NRS 5269, Persons Proceeding to the Colony under Remittance Regulations, Oct 1856-Feb 1858 [with Ships Arriving Nov 1856 to Feb 1858] - part of 1 box (Ref: 9/6182.1 1 bundle)
  • Paracensus of Australia 1788-1828
    A reconstruction mainly prepared by the consolidation of contemporary records about the people of that era and their families. Some family records and literary references are included. A few Maori and Aboriginal family records are also included. Sources on personal information about each of them are listed. It includes marines, soldiers, ship's captains, some sailors, migrants, convicts, some visitors, officially recorded Aborigines, exiles and orphans, also births, migrants, and ships. The shipping arrivals cover 1788-1828, details included are: names of ship, date arrived, port, no. of migrants/convicts, and referenced numbers. The lists of people give surname, given name/s, year of arrival, ship name, reference numbers.
  • Unassisted Arrivals to Sydney (NSW) 1842-1857
    Pastkeys: Index lists name, age, arrival date, status, departure ports, including foreign, coastal and interstate and any other information such as nationality, description, occupation and any additional information from the original source. Available only on the standalone/jukebox PC in the Newspapers and Family History zone.

For more information about these resources, visit the eResources portal, click the Browse eResources tab and search for the name of the resource.

Microfilmed and other published material

The following microfilmed products and published works are available on open access in the Newspapers and Family History zone:

Archives Authority of NSW - Genealogical Research Kit

All of the following immigration-related resources provided as part of this kit can be located under Call Number mfm N 229:

Title SR / AO Reel or Fiche Number
Assisted (Bounty) Immigrants Arriving in N.S.W., 1828-1842 (Boards Lists) Reels 1286-1349
(Pink label)

Indexes available on our networked resource Bounty Immigration to NSW 1828 to 1842 or via Ancestry (incomplete) (via the eResources portal)

Assisted Immigrants Sydney, 1838-1896 and Moreton Bay, 1848-1859 (Agents Immigration Lists)
Reels 2134-2145
(Green label)
See also on Ancestry (via the eResources portal)
Wage Agreements and Entitlement Certificates of Persons on Bounty Ships (Sydney) 1844-1845
Reels 2449-2456
(Green label)
See also on Ancestry (via the eResources portal)
Persons on Bounty ships to Sydney, Newcastle, Moreton Bay 1848-1891 (Assisted Immigration. Boards List)
Reels 2458-2498
(Green label)
See also on Ancestry (via the eResources portal)
Immigration Deposit Journals 1853-1900
Reels 2668A-2676
(Brown label)
See also on Ancestry (via the eResources portal)
Unassisted Passengers Arriving in Sydney, 1826-53, 1854-1900
For a name index for the period 1842-1855, see:
online at , or
via eResources, or
microfiche at mc N 1187
Reels 1263-1280 (Yellow label),
Reel 2851,
Reels 399-560 (Orange label)
See also on Ancestry (via the eResources portal), and
Mariners and Ships in Australian Waters (incomplete)
Ships Musters: Passengers Departing, 1816-25 Reels 561-562
(Brown label)
Germans on Bounty ships (Sydney) 1849-52 AO Fiche No. 851
Passenger lists of the Family Colonization Loan Society, 1854-1855 AO Fiche No. 839
Members of the Family Colonization Loan Society, 1854-1857 AO Fiche No. 839
Wives and Families of Convicts on Bounty Ships (Sydney), 1849-55 AO Fiche No. 837-838

Other Microfiche

Title Call Number
Index to the N.S.W. Immigration Deposit Journals 1853-1900
20 microfiche
mc N 751
Immigration Deposit Regulations Supplementary Index 1856-1857 immigrants and depositors
4 microfiche
mc N 1472
Index of Assisted Immigrants from Kent to Sydney, 1844-1859
1 microfiche
mc N 1359
Index to Emigrants from Hamburg to Australia: 1850-1878

mc N 1065

Print version also available in Newspapers & Family History zone Reference Collection at Call number: RX 929.308931094 K83

Irish Immigrants to NSW (index to) 1848-1870
8 microfiche
Fiche 1-3: lists passengers alphabetically by surname, with ship’s name and date of arrival
Fiche 4-8: Lists passengers by county on each ship
mc N 1849

Submit eCall Slip

Free Passengers and Crew on Convict Ships into Sydney 1830-1840
3 microfiche

mc N 1626
Index of Passengers and Crew In and Out of Sydney from Sydney Newspapers, 1830-1841, 7 Volumes
15 microfiche
mc N 1608
Ships & Masters to Sydney Index 1842-1855
Indexed from reports of vessels arrived 1842- 1855, Passengers arriving in Sydney 1846 and Shipping Masters' Office 1854-1855 and supplemented by ... Shipping Intelligence columns of the Sydney Morning Herald 1843-1855
4 microfiche
mc N 1215
Index to Passengers into the Port of Newcastle 1865-1881
2 microfiche
The majority of ships bearing unassisted passengers into Newcastle came from New Zealand ports. The period of index coverage coincides with the end of the NZ gold rush. The index includes ships’ deserters. Information provided includes surname, given name, ship, year of arrival, NAA reel number, frame number and AGEC number. The reels of passenger lists are not held by the National Library of Australia
mc N 1205

Related and other resources

Related Resources

Title Call Number
Miscellaneous (Correspondence) re Immigration, Shipping & Trade (SR/AO 3279-3284) mc N 763
Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List Vol. 1, no. 1-v. 17, no. 869 (Mar. 23, 1844-Dec. 31, 1860) mc N 700
Unclaimed Letters (Noting Ship or Regiment) Index 1836 – 1852 mc N 1881

Other Resources

Registers of Certificates of Competency Masters and Mates: Colonial Trade. (BT 128)
New South Wales 1871-1921
The Registers are arranged by certificate number and entries give name, place of birth, year of birth and date of certification as Master, 1st Mate or 2nd Mate. The pre 1890 entries often give the name of ships on which the individual served. In some case deaths are recorded.
Available on two microfilm reels Call Numbers mfm PRO 6894-6895 - Request via Catalogue

Index to Ships’ Logs found in the Australian Joint Copying Project
Draft booklet available at the Newspapers and Family History zone desk


Malvern, Wm. and Troedel, Charles.  The Orient waltz [music] / composed by Wm. Malvern  1880


Mariners and Ships in Australian Waters is a website that provides a searchable listing of transcriptions of NSW Shipping Master's Office, Inwards Passenger Lists, held by State Archives and Records NSW.

Detail from A life on the ocean wave, S.S. Macedon

Details from McCrae, George Gordon.  A life on the ocean wave, S.S. Macedon [picture] / G.G. McC  [187-?]

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