Shipping and Immigration

The Dilemma, Sailing Ship, Merchant Sailor


As many of us are living in countries that our ancestors travelled to we are always on the lookout for records to tell us where they came from.  Passenger lists are a valuable source of information to find these people, although some of the records do not have as much information as others.





  • Arrival or departure, Tasmania – The Tasmanian Goverment LINC site has a guide to records available and where to find them online.
  • Australian Shipping and Passenger Records – The National Library of Australia has a listing of the records they hold in relation to the different states of Australia.  The records they hold cannot be accessed online but they are a great resource for you to look through and see what records exist.  You can then try contacting your local State Library or Family History Society to see if they hold these records.
  • Immigration to South Australia – search through their range of arrivals and departures from 1836.
  • NSW Immigration and Shipping – The NSW State Archives and Records holds a range of a range of records in their collection.  Some are digitised, however, most are still just indexes.  You can search the indexes to see what records may exist.
  • Passenger Arrivals – the National Archives of Australia has a record search that allows you to search for passenger arrivals.  The search will give you which organisation created the record and whether the record is open access yet.
  • Northern Territory Shipping and Immigration – the Northern Territory Library search page to their wealth of resources.
  • Queensland Immigration and Shipping – the State Library of Queensland holds a range of microfiche records for immigration around Australia.  Early records for Queensland will be found in NSW collections. This link has a number of guides on various topics for your to explore.
  • Victoria Passenger records and immigration – Public Record Office of Victoria holds records as they relate to inwards and outwards bound ships from Victoria.
  • WA Passenger Lists and Immigration Records – the State Record Office of Western Australia holds a range of resources in their office.  They have a list of the records they hold on their site.



United States

  • Castle Garden – this site has records for over 11 million immigrants to the USA from 1820-1892.
  • Ellis Island Family History Center – search for your ancestors who arrived in America through Ellis Island from 1892-1957 with more than 50 million records.
  • National Archives – the archives contain information pertaining to immigration into the USA from 1820-1982.
  • Pilgrim Ship Lists – this site contains transcriptions of 290 Pilgrim ships containing over 7100 families from the early 1600’s.



  • Ancestry – with your subscription look through the many thousands of records from around the world including:
    • Passenger Lists
    • Citizenship & Naturalization Records
    • Border Crossings & Passports
    • Crew Lists
    • Immigration & Emigration Books
    • Ship Pictures & Descriptions
  • Findmypast – with your subscription you can look through thousands of records worldwide including:
    • Passenger Lists
    • Immigration and Emigration Records
    • Passports
    • Crew Lists
  • Immigrant Ships Transcription Guild – this group has been transcribing immigration records for many years and have records for a range of locations around the world including Australia, Canada, German with new records being added regularly.
  • The Ships List – transcriptions of a range of ship passenger lists with over 3500 pages of information for Canada, USA, New Zealand, UK, South Africa, and Australia.