State Records of South Australia holds many records relating to immigration to South Australia from 1836 onwards.
A full set of digitised passenger lists dating from 1845 - 1940 is available online.
Most immigration records at State Records relate to government-run immigration schemes. These schemes provided assistance to passengers by paying a full or partial fare for the voyage to South Australia. Records created as part of these schemes usually refer to 'assisted passage'.
These schemes were originally run by the imperial, and later colonial governmment and funded by land sales in the colony (known as the Emigration Fund). After Federation, the sate of South Australia continued to administer immigration schemes alongside the Commonwealth of Australia. State Records holds passengers lists up to 1940, and after this time these records can be found at the National Archives of Australia.
Most family historians interested in the arrival of their ancestors in the colony start with passenger lists. Passengers lists are sometimes referred to as 'manifests' or 'ships manifests'.
Passenger lists dating between 1845 - 1886 record emigrants selected by the Colonisation Commissioners London, whose passage were paid for out of the Emigration Fund. Those dating between 1888 and 1940 are the official passenger lists for people arriving in Port Adelaide from overseas.
|Series ID||Series Description||Date range||Access|
|GRG 56/68/5||List of Passengers Arriving in South Australia from Overseas Ports||1836 -1845|
Open, Special List available
|GRG 56/68/52||Miscellaneous Passenger Lists||1837 - 1839||Open|
|GRG 41/8||Manifest of incoming ships at Port Adelaide||1838 - 1842||Open|
|GRG 41/10||Manifest of Shipping Departing from Port Adelaide||1840 - 1844|
Open, Special List available
|GRG 56/68/7||Index to Persons Arriving in SA from overseas as recorded in the Newspapers||1846 - 1887|
Open and available online
|GRG 35/48/1||Official Passenger Lists of Emigrants Selected by the Colonization Commissioners||1847 - 1886||Open and available online|
|Source 1531||Immigrants arriving from Hamburg||1855 - 1886||Open|
|GRG 41/34||Official List of Passengers Arriving in SA||1888 - 1892, 1894, 1896 - 1940|
|GRG 41/35||Outgoing passengers Departing from Port Adelaide for Overseas Ports||1888 - 1893, 1896 - 1940||Open|
Applications and nominations
Other records relating to immigraition can also be useful for family history research, as different types of records were created during the process of administering the various schemes regulated by immigration Acts. The schemes which these Acts controlled included:
Early assisted passenger schemes (land-sale funded) 1834-1886
Farm labourers 1911 onwards
Female domestic workers 1911 onwards
Barwell Boys and Big Brothers in the 1920s
Later schemes administered by the South Australian government included those run in the 1950s and 1960s, targeting mostly British migrants. State Records also hold records of schemes run by the State on behalf of the Commonwealth.
See GRG35/39 and immigration related series within GRG7 for records relevant to applications and nominations.