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PROVguide 52: Immigration Records

Transport – Immigration Records

Records held by Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) provide information about the administration of immigration to Victoria, passenger lists, and the arrival and departure of ships.  The records relate to both assisted immigrants and those who came unassisted or were privately sponsored.  For passenger lists created after 1923 please contact the National Archives of Australia.

For detailed information about the administration of immigration to Victoria see the following pages on PROV’s online catalogue: VF 8 Immigration –  Nineteenth Century, VF 99 Immigration – Monitoring Arrivals, and VF 138 Immigration – Twentieth Century.

Online indexes

Inwards assisted and unassisted passenger lists have been indexed and the indexes are available online.  Outward passenger lists are in the process of being indexed by PROV volunteers. The online index to outward passenger lists is updated with new entries annually.  The term “unassisted” was used to describe passengers that paid their own fare, to distinguish them from passengers that migrated under sponsorship schemes, known as “assisted” passengers. 

The following online database indexes provide references to microform inwards and outwards passenger lists held by PROV and genealogical collections around Australia.  For detailed information about using these indexes to access microform passenger lists see PROVguide 50 Locating and Copying Ships’ Passenger Lists.

Index to Inward Overseas Passenger Lists from British, Foreign and NZ Ports 1852 – 1923

Index to Registers of Assisted Immigrants from UK 1839 – 1871

Index to Outward Passengers to Interstate, U.K. and Foreign Ports, 1852 – 1908

Additional online indexes

State Records New South Wales – Assisted immigrants arriving at Port Phillip, 1839-1851: www.records.nsw.gov.au/indexes/searchform.aspx?id=3

Macbeth Genealogical Services – Assisted Immigration to Victoria 1836 to 1879 Ships: www.macbeth.com.au/indexes/assimmsearch.html

Ships’ passengers lists: a select list

VPRS 8794 Microfiche Register of Inward Shipping [Overseas and Intercolonial Ports] 1846 – 1852

This register records the arrival and departure of ships at the Port of Melbourne between 1846 and 1852.  Passengers are named in lists from January 1846 to October 1847.

VPRS 8795 Microfiche Index to Register of Inward Shipping Overseas and Intercolonial Ports 1846 – 1852

VPRS 7666 Microfiche copy of Inward Overseas Passenger Lists (British Ports) 1852 – 1923

VPRS 7667 Microfiche copy of Inward Overseas Passenger Lists (Foreign Ports) 1852 – 1923

VPRS 13439 Microfiche copy of Inward Overseas Passenger Lists  (New Zealand Ports) 1852 – 1923

VPRS 944 Inward Passenger Lists (Australian Ports) 1852 – 1923

VPRS 3506 Microfilm copy of Outward Passenger Lists (Interstate, UK and Foreign Ports) 1852 – 1923

Assisted immigrants

VPRS 7310 Microfiche copy of Register of Assisted Immigrants from United Kingdom 1839 – 1871

VPRS 8811 Assisted German Immigrants. Passenger Lists 1849 – 1850

VPRS 11402 Assisted German Immigrants. Index 1849 – 1850

Registers and indexes of ships

VPRS 3504 Microfiche copy of Inward Shipping Index 1839 – 1900

VPRS 22 Miscellaneous Shipping Registers 1839 – 1898

VPRS 954 Registers of Inward Shipping 1869 – 1924

VPRS 3503 Index to Inward Shipping 1880 – 1924

Correspondence and administrative records

VPRS 2142 Outward Letter Books to Local and Sydney (Superintendent, Port Phillip District)

1839 -1851

VPRS 19 Inward Registered Correspondence (Superintendent, Port Phillip District) 1839 – 1851

To access the correspondence use VPRS 2138 Index to Inward Registered Correspondence 1839 – 1843 and VPRS 2139 Registers of Inward Correspondence 1839 – 1851

VPRS 2877 Inward Registered Correspondence (Superintendent,Port Phillip District, Land Branch) 1847 – 1851

To access the correspondence use VPRS 47 Registers of Inward Correspondence 1847 – 1851

VPRS 2878 Inward Registered Correspondence II (Colonial Secretary’s Office, Land Branch) 1851 – 1852

To access the correspondence use VPRS 2879 Registers of Inward Correspondence 1851 – 1852

VPRS 115 Inward Correspondence I (Superintendent, Port Phillip District, Immigration Branch) 1849 – 1851

VPRS 116 Inward Registered Correspondence II (Colonial Secretary’s Office, Immigration Branch) 1851–1852

To access VPRS 115 and VPRS 116 use VPRS 2876 Register of Inward Correspondence [Immigration Branch] 1849 – 1851

VPRS 117 Outward Letter Books to Local and Sydney (Superintendent, Port Phillip District, Immigration Branch) 1849 – 1851

VPRS 1189 Inward Registered Correspondence [Colonial Secretary’s Office] 1851 – 1863

To access this correspondence series use  VPRS 1411 Index to Inward Registered Correspondence 1851 – 1962 and VPRS 1186 Registers of Inward Correspondence 1851 – 1863

Further information

PROV holds a range of records about immigration on microfiche and microfilm.  These records are available in PROV reading rooms and do not have to be ordered.  See PROV’s guides to Microfilm, Microfiche and Online Resources at the Victorian Archives Centre, and Microfilm, Microfiche and Online Resources at the Ballarat Archives Centre for more information.

Related PROVguides

PROVguide 54 Ships and Shipping Movements

PROVguide 49 Ships’ Crew

PROVguide 53 British Post World War II Immigration

PROVguide 50 Locating and Copying Ships’ Passenger Lists

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