Author: Public Record Office Victoria
Many researchers are unable to find evidence of their ancestors' passage to Victoria as there are gaps in the Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) holdings of Inwards Passenger Lists. VPRS 115 Inwards Correspondence [Immigration Branch] 1849-1852 might be a way of alleviating that problem. VPRS 115 consists of inward correspondence received by the Immigration Branch of the office of the Superintendent of the Port Phillip District. This series includes:
- Applications for Free Passage using Form A Immigration Deposits which were used when nominating particular individuals for free passage to Victoria
- Applications for Immigration of Servants using Form B Immigration Deposits which were used when nominating servants to be selected by agents in the United Kingdom. This procedure required payment of money to the Treasury in Melbourne.
- Applications for passage using Form C Immigration Remittances when passage for a particular individual was desired
- Correspondence from Sydney and Melbourne officials such as the Colonial Secretary and the Colonial Treasurer
- Correspondence from Immigration Agents
- Emigration Boards reporting on immigrant ships
- Surgeon Superintendents of immigrant ships reporting on the health of immigrants and discussing special inquiries
- Correspondence from the Health Board
- Correspondence from officials includes instructions and discussions on Immigration regulations and procedures, reports on various ethnic groups of immigrants and passenger lists.
The applications for passage and immigration contained in VPRS 115 consist of genealogical gems such as family units being sponsored to Victoria with information such as names, ages, occupations, addresses (in Ireland and Britain) and the name and address of the person sponsoring them. The names listed in VPRS 115 (on a quick cross-check) did not appear in the Assisted Passenger List so, it is not confirmed that these people did actually arrive in Victoria. However, given that a Bond was paid, it is very likely that these people did immigrate. Of course, names of ships (at this stage) are not known and passage is not confirmed but it does give an indicator as to the time period an ancestor may have arrived.