Family and Local History Research Tool- Index of Passengers and Crew In and Out of Sydney from Sydney Newspapers 1830-1841

When your ancestors arrived in Australia they could have come as :

a) Seaman/wife of a seaman or family of a seaman

b) Soldier/wife of a soldier or family of a soldier

c) Convict/ wife of a convict or family of a convict

d) Assisted Immigrant

e) Unassisted immigrant

f) Government Official/ wife of official or family or a servant of an official.

They could only have arrived by ship until after the mid 20th Century when air travel was possible.

Firstly, you need to consider from what port, or via what port, they may have come. Many immigrants did not come directly to Sydney. For example a large number of unassisted immigrants came via Tasmania, where they got off the ship, looked around for several weeks or months before deciding to board a coastal ship to Sydney. Others may have joined the big rush to America before re-emigrating and finally settling in Sydney. Just be aware of possibilities.

I have compiled indexes from the shipping and news columns of at least two and sometimes as many as four Sydney newspapers. The newspaper entries are compared for the most informative entry to be added to the index. If there is a variation of the spelling of the Surname in the various papers, all variations are added. The newspapers used are theSydney Gazette; Australian; Sydney Herald and Sydney Monitor.

Passengers

Incoming passengers- Although shipping passenger lists have survived for incoming passengers into Sydney, for this period can be found on the State Records of New South Wales, they are thought to be incomplete. Many names can be found on these indexes which do not appear on the archive lists.

Outgoing passengers- There are no outgoing passenger lists at the State Records of New South Wales for this period. This is the first known index to fill this important gap in the records.

Crew

In this time period very few crew lists were prepared, only four are known to survive in the State Records of NSW. Included in my index are mention of crew named in inquests, court reports, news items etc. Any additional information on the passengers is also included.

Incoming crew- Although there is at the State Records of New South Wales, an unpublished card index for ship’s captains arriving in Sydney in this period, there are no lists for crew. All mention of members of any ship’s crew through newspaper items such as wrecks, inquests, death reports and court cases are listed in this indexes.

Outgoing crew- The only known lists for ship’s Captains and crew leaving Sydney at this time. Again these lists have been compiled from all sections of the newspapers.

The information includes Surname, Christian name or initials ; Title;Ship; Date of arrival in Sydney; Date of departure from original port and other ports of call; Date of departure from Sydney and destination port; Ship’s status of person named; remarks and notes as well as full references.

Example: Volume 2

Entry

Name

Ship

Date of Arrival

From Ports

Date of

Departure

To Port

Status

Remarks

Reference

Other Notes

2271

FENNELL, Mr Richard

Ann

13/11/33

London/ Hobart Town

01.05.1833/ 28.10.1833

Sydney

Passenger

SMH 14.11.1833

There are in excess of twenty thousand persons in this series of indexes for the 1830-1840 period.

Volume 1 1830-32; Volume 2 1833-35; Volume 3 1835-37 were published in book, microfiche and e-book form. The index is arranged alphabetically by Surname and then Christian name of Passengers and Crew arranged in one table.

Volumes 4, 1838; Volume 5, 1839 and Volume 6 1840 are arranged in two parts. Part 1-arranged alphabetically by Surname and then Christian name of Passengers and Crew.

Part 2-Arranged alphabetically by ship for Crew

Entry

Ship

Name

Date of Arrival

From Ports

Date of Departure

To Port

Status

Remarks

Reference

Other Notes

101

Caledonia

BROWN, William

17/12/38

Madras/King George’s Sound/Port Phillip

20.08.1838/07/12.1838

Sydney

Crew

Seaman

S G 15.01.1839

Court Case

Here is also a special index for 1841. This year didn’t feature in my time original period of my 1830 to 1840 indexes. Pastkeys, a research business based in Sydney had compiled a set of indexes for immigration into New South Wales after 1842, which then left a gap in indexes to surviving records. After consultation with Pastkeys I agreed to fill the gap for 1841 from the Sydney newspapers, so Volume 7 was compiled also following the same guidelines as Volumes 4-6 in two parts.

Example: Volume 7

Entry

Name

Ship

Date of Arrival

From Port

Date of Departure

To Port

Status

Remarks

Reference

Other Notes

7488

YULE, Robert

HMS Erebus

14/07/41

Hobart Town

07/07/41

Sydney

Crew

Second Master

SMH 15.07.1841

On Scientific voyage of magnetic observation

In the last few years the National Library of Australia has scanned these microfilms of each of these newspapers and digitally released them on their website ( https://www.nla.gov.au ) under Trove, in their Historical Newspapers section. In theory this makes my indexes obsolete as the word search facilities of the National Library site makes all the records available at the press of a button.

However, any family historian who relies on the computers facilities to find all their family history entries will often be very disappointed. Often many thousands of possible entries have to be sieved through to see if your family is indeed there. Also, the text recognition program used, although very helpful cannot hope to be 100% accurate. The printing of these early newspapers range from very dark and easy to read print to very faint and impossible to read. It needs the human eye to interpret those dark and smudged, as well as those faint broken text words. I have spent some forty years working with early 18th and 19th Century newspapers from all over the world, and have had much experience in working out those troublesome words.

I would use the National Library of Australia newspaper website everyday, but always consult my indexes if working in the 1830- 1841 time frame, as it saves me many hours of time. I immediately know if there is an entry, and in which newspaper I should be looking in.

These indexes are copyright to me and cannot be found on Ancestry.com, findmypast.com or any other website. Check them out at my website heritagepath.com.au

Why not give these indexes a try, as you just never know, they just may solve your research problem.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Family and Local History Research Tool- Index of Passengers and Crew In and Out of Sydney from Sydney Newspapers 1830-1841

  1. Pingback: ChristianBookBarn.com | Family and Local History Research Tool- Index of Passengers and Crew In and Out of Sydney from Sydney Newspapers 1830-1841

  2. Hi Nola
    I just came across this blog whilst searching for info on my great x 3 grandfather Elisha Penton who was a mariner, born Gravesend, kent in 1816 and arriving in Australia sometime between 1836 (record of him joining the Merchant Navy in England in 1836) and 1845 when his first daughter was born. But he has been very elusive – I have been searching for nearly 30 years!!. But I do know that his brother’s John and William Penton were the mutineering crew on the “Premier” in 1840. By the way the case against these sailors was dropped when Captain Were failed to turn up in court. I also think that a Captain Abraham Barter was somehow also associated with the “Premier”. Elisha Penton’s defacto wife was Elizabeth Baker nee Heir or Ayre. They had three daughters all christened as Penton and lived in ‘The Rocks’. Elizabeth later married Abraham Barter in 1855. I have been unable to find any details of Elisha Penton’s arrival into Australia nor his death. Very interested in your crew indexes. How can I access them as your web site heritagepath.com.au seems to no longer exist?
    Kind regards
    Bronwyn Sims

    • Hi Bronwyn,
      Thank you for contacting me about the Passenger and Crew Lists. You can find them in all the major libraries and Family History Societies. I’m sorry I cannot look them up for you myself,as I’m recovering from emergency surgery, and my brain a bit scatty at the moment. My website is closed.Hope you find your man.
      Regards, Nola

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s