Victorian immigration and emigration

Find passenger lists and other records of migrants arriving in and leaving Victoria.

Assisted passengers

Assisted migrants had their voyage subsidised fully or partially by the colonial government. Assisted passenger lists can include the following information:

  • name
  • age
  • occupation
  • religion
  • native place (place of birth, or sometimes last place of residence)
  • read and/or write
  • intended employers
  • length of work assignment
  • wages/rations
  • if migrant went to work for their employers or left ‘on own account’

After 1871, records of assisted migrants were not kept separately from those of unassisted migrants. Please consult the Unassisted immigration section if you're looking for passenger lists covering the years 1872-1923.

For records after 1923 please see the 1924 onwards page.    

Official indexes and passenger lists


To find an assisted immigrant's arrival into Victoria, search the Public Record Office Victoria's Assisted passenger lists. A digitised passenger list can be viewed for each record.

The passenger lists are also available to view on Ancestry Library Edition (available onsite to Library users) and on microfiche in the Library's Newspapers & Family History Reading Room.


The steps below outline how to access the lists on microfiche in our Newspapers & Family History Reading Room.

Step 1. Search the Index to assisted British immigration 1839-1871 available on the Public Record Office Victoria website. Take note of the ship name, year, book and page number.

Step 2: Find the correct fiche number of your passenger list by consulting the information booklet Assisted immigration to Victoria. List of vessels (available in the Newspapers and Family History Reading Rooms reference collection at call number G 994.5 B777P) checking the alphabetical listing of ships for the name of the vessel and corresponding date.

Step 3: Once you have obtained the correct fiche number, you can then look up your passenger list.
Consult Register of assisted immigrants from United Kingdom 1839-1871 located in the Newspapers and Family History Reading Rooms at call number GMF 106 Box 2. Each book of passenger lists is clearly labelled in the box of microfiche. 


Fergusson 1841 passenger list

Additional resources:

You may also wish to search the Index to assisted immigrants arriving at Port Phillip, 1839-1851 which is available on the State Records New South Wales website. This indexes a separate but similar set of records and you may find slight differences in information (for example slight name variations). Once you have obtained the name of the ship, the date, the reel, record and page number, you can then browse the digital copies of the passenger lists on the State Records NSW website. Microfilm copies are also available in the Newspapers and Family History Reading Rooms.

Additional resources:

  • Land and Emigration Commission (U.K) records  
    Embarkation register. Land purchases & labour (1835-1841) AJCP 987
    Register of applications for passage to the colonies for convicts' families (1848-1873) AJCP 987
    Entry books of correspondence. Letters to the Colonial Office from Queensland & New South Wales:
    - 1854-1869 AJCP 2127
    - 1870-1876 AJCP 873
    Register of emigrants:  labourers applications for a free passage:
    Index (1836-1841) AJCP 6885
    Certificate numbers  
    - 1836-1838 AJCP 874
    - 1838-1841 AJCP 875
    For further detail consult AJCP handbook Part 2 Colonial Office pp.166-169 (ask at the Newspapers and Family History Reading Rooms Service Point).

For child migrant information, please see the Library's guide to Adoption and Forgotten Australians