South Australian Passenger Lists
Early shipping arrivals and immigration
Passenger lists for 1,320 ship voyages with 30,500 emigrant families arriving in SA (usually Pt Adelaide) from Germany up to 1854, the UK & Ireland to 1850, other ports to 1847 and 2,200 families by unknown means
Searching the shipping and passenger lists
From the drop-down list, select the required type of search:—
Passenger arrivals to search all of the passenger lists for a particular person or family,
Passenger lists to search for the full passenger list for a particular voyage of a ship, or
Ship arrivals for the arrival dates and details of a particular ship, or all of the ship arrivals for a particular day (yyyy-mm-dd), month (yyyy-mm) or year (yyyy).
If you do not get the expected results, read the more detailed help article on advanced searching of our databases.
If the passenger list you require is not in this database, see our directory of other SA shipping & migration resources.
- E A D Opie, South Australian Records prior to 1841, Adelaide, 1917
- Register of Emigrant Labourers Applying for a Free Passage to South Australia 1836-41, PRO CO 386/149-151
- R Parsons, Migrant Ships for South Australia 1836-66, Gould Books, 1999
- South Australian Birth Registration Certificates Index 1842-1928, Genealogy SA, 2012
- Cemetery and other memorial inscriptions, 5b burial registers
- Newspapers - shipping intelligence, imports, obituaries, etc
- Biographical Index of South Australians 1836-1885, SAGHS, 1986
- South Australians 1836-1885, SAGHS, 1990
- R T Sexton, Shipping Arrivals and Departures South Australia 1627-1850, Gould Books, 1990
- South Australian Death Registration Certificates Index 1842-1972, Genealogy SA, 2012
- H J Finnis, Before the 'Buffalo', Pioneers Association of SA, 1964
- Family and local histories, 12i internet, 12b family bible, 12d diary & family papers, 12o family oral
- Miscellaneous Passenger Lists, South Australian Archives, GRG56/68/52 (fmly A1174)
- SA Literary Association minutes (correspondence), SA Archives, A31
- Schedule of Labourers Wage Advances, SAA, GRG48 (A680)
- Early German Origins, SA Archives, RN 11
- A Lodewyckx, Die Deutschen in Australien, Stuttgart, 1932
- Celebration of the Jubilee Year of South Australia (1886) & other composite photographs, Old Colonists Association, 1887
- Miscellaneous Passenger Lists, SAA, GRG35/202/2 (A608)
- South Australian Marriage Registration Certificates Index 1842-1937, Genealogy SA, 2012
- Manifests of Vessels Arriving from Overseas 1838-42, SAA, GRG41/8 (A743)
- Adelaide Hospital Admission Register, SAA, GRG78/49
- 1841 South Australia Census Returns, SAA, GRG24/13
- South Australian Government Gazette
- Australian Dictionary of Biography, Melbourne, 2006
- Barry Leadbeater, South Australia Marriages 1836-56, Adelaide, 2005-2013
- Royal South Australian Almanack for 1839, Adelaide
- Royal South Australian Almanack for 1840, Adelaide
- Return of sick and destitute emigrants receiving relief 1840, SAA, GRG24/1
- Official passenger lists mainly of immigrants arriving in SA under UK assisted passage 1845-86, SAA, GRG35/48A (A313)
- Official lists of passengers arriving in SA from overseas 1888-1940, SAA, GRG41/34 (A764)
- L J Ewens, The Little Ships of the Pioneer Years 1836-45, PASA, 1952
- Register of cases of destitution, SAA, GRG28/4
- Wilhelm Iwan, Because of their beliefs, D Schubert (Ed), Adelaide, 1995
- David Schubert, Kavel's People, Lutheran Publishing, Adelaide, 1985
- Maureen M Leadbeater, Naturalizations in South Australia 1839-1903, Adelaide, 2008-2011
- Dictionary of Australian Artists Online, Australia, 2007
- Index to Departures 1817-67, Archives Office of Tasmania
- Eric Kopittke, Emigrants from Hamburg to Australia 1850-77, Queensland Family History Society, 1991
- Destitute Asylum Admission Register, SAA, GRG28
- B Leadbeater, South Australia Births 1836-54, Adelaide, 2010-2013
- Colonial Tasmanian Family Links, Archives Office of Tas
- Parliamentary Papers of South Australia, Probates and letters of administration 1844-68, Adelaide, No135/1871
- Miscellaneous shipping records including manifests, SAA, GRG35/301 & 302
- FamilySearch, LDS, 2008-2012
- B Leadbeater, South Australia Deaths 1836-55, Adelaide, 2007-2013
- M M Leadbeater, Whaling in South Australia's early days, Adelaide, 2007
- The sources of passenger lists for this early period are extremely inconsistent - the variations which could not be resolved are included, those in brackets considered less likely. A name in brackets with a question mark is a suggested possibility only, which needs further investigation by the user prior to acceptance or rejection. Please advise us of any errors or omissions, giving the sources of your information so that we can verify your claim.
- Only a few original passenger lists survive, so it has been necessary to use other sources. Even these original lists are only as accurate as the literacy of the recorder and passengers supplying their details allowed. The ship manifests are even less accurate because they are transcriptions of the original lists onto the cargo manifests. Similarly, the newspaper listings are transcriptions. The applications for a free passage suffer from the same problems as the original passenger lists. Then there is the difficulty of reading the old handwriting, which sometimes introduces further errors. Sources 1, 6 and 7 are quite unreliable, but have not been excluded because at times they are the only sources of the information. In addition, 4, 7 and 8 often provide given names and maiden names not found elsewhere. For more information, see the article on the accuracy of family history sources.
- Where feasible, all accompanying offspring including adults are given in each family, unless married. These are listed separately with their own families. Children are listed in chronological order of birth if known.
- Many of the ships returned to South Australia multiple times with passengers. In several cases there was more than one ship with the same name.
- Grateful thanks to those who entered and checked the early local shipping data.
- Thank you to the generous volunteer who has provided numerous additions and amendments over the years from various sources, especially arrival information from obituaries, biographies, and Tasmanian departures for SA.
- Thanks to the SA shipping researcher from Victoria who has supplied additional data and pointed out discrepancies needing attention.
- And thanks to all other contributors of new and corrected data.