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Immigration

The records we hold contain lists of immigrant ships and their passengers travelling directly to Queensland from Europe from 1848. In the earlier records the information is usually fairly limited and may be confined to the name of the immigrant, the date of arrival and the name of the ship. However, in later records, particularly those created in the 20th century, there is more comprehensive information.

How do I find the records?

Search the indexes

If you know the name and approximate arrival date of the person you are looking for, you can search our indexes below.

Passenger lists

  • Search Assisted immigration 1848–1912—Passenger lists of immigrant ships with departure and arrival dates and ports, surgeons and masters on board and types of passage; includes links to scans of the registers
  • Search Immigration 1922–1940—Passenger lists of immigrant ships carrying passengers bound for Queensland, including ship's name, number, as well as departure and arrival dates
  • Search Oronsay immigration 1925–1972—Records of migrants created by the Immigration Department and the State Migration Office relating to voyages of the Oronsay

Immigration agents and depots

Immigration schemes

  • Search Land orders 1861–1874—Registers of land orders issued to immigrants on the completion of their obligations under the law at the time, as well as land orders issued to employers of immigrants
  • Search Land orders 1862–1878—Registers recording land orders issued to immigrants on the completion of their obligations under the law at the time; the head of the family, businesses and Shipping and Immigration Agents could act as nominators
  • Search Card index to nominated immigrants 1908–1922—Information regarding people who enquired about immigration, or who were nominated or sponsored to immigrate to Queensland between 1908 and 1922
  • Search Assistant Immigration Agent Maryborough 1884–1907—Immigration Book of prospective immigrants nominated for passage and their details, kept by the Assistant Immigration Agent, Maryborough

Please note: QSA does not hold records referring to all immigration schemes.

Travel documents

  • Search Passage certificates 1887–1906—Applications by sponsors of immigrants kept by the Sub-Immigration Agent in Warwick
  • Search Passport register 1926–1940—Register of passport clearances showing file number, name, schedule number, vessel name and date of arrival, state disembarked, vessel and date of departure, reason for leaving, whether returning, government contribution, number and date of clearance

Search the catalogue

ArchivesSearch provides access to QSA’s collection of records, including documents, letters, land orders, maps, plans and images. For help searching, read the ArchivesSearch help guide.

Why can’t I find what I’m looking for?

There are a number of reasons why you may not find a record at QSA.

  • Not all passenger lists have survived, especially lists created before the 1860s. Many pre-1893 immigration records were damaged or destroyed by the 1893 floods.
  • Some records damaged by the 1893 floods were late re-written by the Immigration department and may contain transcription errors including incorrect dates for voyages.
  • Our records usually only include people classified as migrants—those receiving land orders or assisted or free passages from the government. If your ancestor paid their own way there may be no record. Try searching the National Archives of Australia.
  • We don’t hold records of immigrants who disembarked at another colony and then travelled to Queensland. See Start your research for links to other archives websites.
  • Some records are restricted or closed to public access and may not be immediately available to view.
  • Our lists are mainly for immigrants from Europe. If the person you’re looking for travelled from the United States, New Zealand, India, South Africa, or anywhere in Asia or Africa, they may not be recorded.
  • The name may have been written in the record phonetically as the clerks wrote the names as they heard them. Think about how it could be spelt as it was heard. Also, spelling of all names was not as consistent as it is today.
  • The name may have been incorrectly indexed as the handwriting is sometimes difficult to read or the ink has faded. The capital letters L, T, F and S are often confused as are lower case letters n, m, u and w. Taylor may indexed as Laylor or Brum may be indexed as Bruin. Also, the use of double ‘s’ (ss) often looks like fs, so Ross will be indexed as Ross but may appear in the record as Rofs.

Contact us

Contact us if you need further help.

Archival research terms

Record—information of permanent and historic value, often in paper-based form (e.g. a letter, photograph, a map), but can also be a CD, a film or a digital file

Item—a single record or many records, e.g. an item may be a single architectural drawing, a 500-page leather-bound book, or a bundle of correspondence (letters, telegrams, reports)

Series—a group of related items created, received, or used in the same activity

Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
3 February 2017
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