Where might I find records of 19th century shipping from Australia to Britain?

+6 votes
Does anybody have knowledge of any sources for passengers on ships in the 19th century travelling from Australia to the Great Britain?

The first surviving child of my great great grandfather was born in Wallaroo, South Australia in 1863 and appears in the 1871 Wales census living with her maternal grandparents. It is possible she was taken by either her father (after her mother had died in 1866) or nanny, but I have not found any relevant reports or records.

Wallaroo was a site for smelting copper, and there would have been freight ships carrying ore, copper, grain and wool from Wallaroo, and her grandparents lived in Margam, a suburb of Port Talbot in Wales which could have imported these commodities, and maybe exported Welsh coal to run the Wallaroo smelters. Her father would likely have had contacts to use a freight ship rather than a "regular" migrant ship as he worked at the smelters in Wallaroo, and possibly in Margam before he emigrated.
WikiTree profile: Lily Lewis
in Genealogy Help by Scott Davis G2G6 Mach 2 (25.2k points)

3 Answers

+3 votes
Best answer
* Memorial University of Newfoundland - The Maritime History Archive collects and preserves documents relating to the history of maritime activities in Newfoundland and Labrador and throughout the North Atlantic world.  The Maritime History Archive holds approximately 75 percent of the surviving crew lists (also called crew agreements) and official log books of British registered vessels for the periods 1857-1942 (predominantly 1863-1938) and 1951-1976. The crew lists and logbooks for voyages terminating in the years 1857-1942 are indexed and can be searched here. The crew agreements for the years 1951-1976 have not been indexed.

* CLIP is a not-for-profit volunteer project, set up to assist research into the records of British merchant seafarers of the late 19th and early 20th century.

* Maritime & Historical Research Service, Shipping Registers & Databases Links.
by Living Rocca G2G6 Mach 5 (51.6k points)
selected by Scott Davis
+3 votes
by Anonymous Dienelt G2G6 (7.7k points)
Yes, that is how her parents got to Australia. Her older sister died on the journey, a couple days before Christmas. I am trying to find a record or contemporary report for how Jane Elizabeth (Lily) Deer got from being born in Wallaroo to growing up in Wales after Mary died when Lily was 3.

I have made contact with Lily's great granddaughter, who also has no record other than the family story, and her family's story is different than mine. John remarried and I am descended from him and his second wife.

I don't think that her father would have seen her again after she left Australia aged 5 or 6.
Just as incoming passenger lists are in newspapers, so are some out-going but I doubt that's the case for passengers on freight ships. But it would be worth searching newspapers. About 20 years later I've found my grandfather returning to England to marry.

Thank you Cathy. I have tried searching Australian newspapers on Trove. I have not found either the right passenger list nor a social report on either John sending his daughter to grow up with his in-laws, nor to announce a party that whoever took her had returned to Wallaroo. I don't imagine sending an unaccompanied minor on a two month voyage, so figure someone devoted several months of their life to the trip. Family stories are that either her father (the Australian story) or nanny/future step-mother (the Welsh story) took her, so I'd like to find some evidence to confirm if either is true. I haven't found local Neath/Port Talbot newspapers of the period online to find a report of the Griffiths receiving their granddaughter.

Have you looked at Welsh newspapers - free on the National Library of Wales website

Thank you Elaine. Is https://newspapers.library.wales/home a relatively new resource since I first asked the question?

No, been around for years - Nat Library of Wales has wills and marriage bonds and all sorts of good stuff - and all free!
Thank you. I have found some possibly interesting articles. Now I'm working on getting a human to interpret as Google Translate doesn't seem to be doing a good job. My third-cousin apparently has a daughter-in-law who is a native Welsh speaker.
My Welsh is very rusty, but happy to help if you get stuck!
+2 votes

Lots of photos of sailing ships with some descriptive information from Australian ports, hosted but the State Library of South Australia


by Living Rocca G2G6 Mach 5 (51.6k points)

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