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Assisted Immigration to Australia

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Assisted Immigration to Colonial Australia

Assisted immigration was an important way that the early colonies in Australia were populated, particular providing men and women with skills and characteristics to build the colonies.

Many people came under Government assistance. Some also came as Bounty immigrants or under another immigration scheme. A key feature of Assisted immigration schemes was that there were age restrictions, and immigrants had to meet health, skill and other suitability requirements.

New South Wales

Bounty Immigrants - 1828 - 1842 [1]
Assisted Immigrants to Sydney and Newcastle - 1844-1896 [2]
Earl Grey Scheme (1848-1850) - Sydney


Assisted Immigration to Port Phillip - 1839-1851 (Records available at NSW State Archives and Records) [3]
Assisted Immigration to Victoria - 1839-1871 (Victorian indexes) [4]
Earl Grey Scheme (1848-1850) - Melbourne


Government sponsored immigration - 1831-1837 [5]:

'The Bounty Scheme' for single females
The '20 Pound Advances' Scheme for skilled married men with young families
Chelsea Pensioner Immigrants - 1832-1833

Other schemes

Irish female immigrants - 1851


Assisted Immigrants to Moreton Bay - 1848-1859 (Records available at NSW State Archives and Records) [6]
Assisted immigration 1848-1912 (Records available on Queensland Govt website)
Queensland Immigration Society (Irish Immigrants) - 1860s [7]

South Australia

Colonization Commissioners, London, Emigration Fund (1845-1886) - only 10-15% of records still survive. [8] [9]
Earl Grey Scheme (1848-1850) - Adelaide

Western Australia

The records Iocated to date don't document any Assisted Immigration to Western Australia. [10]

Use of Voyage Type Categories

Immigrant Voyages

  • South Australian arrivals pre 1845
  • Any voyages not included in any State Records / Archives


  • NSW Assisted Immigration ships from 1843 - 1896
  • Victorian Assisted Immigration ships - Assisted Immigration to Victoria 1843-1871
  • Queensland Assisted Immigraton ships 1848 - 1912, plus NSW Assisted Immigration ships to ports that would become Qld 1843-1847


  • As per Colony / State databases


  • Selected from the NSW Assisted Immigration ships from 1828 - 1842 (Relevant to NSW, the Port Phillip Settlement and early Queensland)

To be clarified

  • NSW Assisted Immigration ships from 1828 - 1842 (? Bounty or Assisted)
  • Earl Grey Scheme
  • Tasmania - Bounty Scheme for Young Females
  • Tasmania - The '20 Pound Advances' Scheme for skilled married men with young families
  • Tasmania - Chelsea Pensioner Immigrants - 1832-1833
  • SA Assisted Immigration 1845-1886

Other Resources

Bounty Immigration to New South Wales:


  1. Australia, New South Wales, Index to Bounty Immigrants, 1828-1842. Familysearch NSW Bounty Immigrants Collection
  2. NSW State Archives and Records. Assisted Immigrants Index
  3. NSW State Archives and Records. Immigraton and Shipping
  4. State Library of Victoria. Victorian Assisted Immigration - 1839-1871
  5. Libraries Tasmania. Immigration to Tasmania - 1803-1946
  6. NSW State Archives and Records. Immigraton and Shipping
  7. Queensland Open Data Portal. Assisted Immigration - 1848-1912
  8. South Australia State Records. Passenger Lists - 1845-1940
  9. State Library of South Australia. Passenger Lists 1846-1887
  10. State Records Office of Western Australia. Passenger Lists and Immigration Records

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Comments: 4

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As far as I could see the voyage list doesn't include 'Palmyra' which arrived in Sydney September 26, 1838. I would like to assist in the project but not clear as to how to go about it. I have names and details of a family that arrived on this voyage.
posted by Greg Hayes Mr
Note as way to cross check whether an Assisted Voyage to NSW covered in the period 1828-1842 were infact Bounty Voyages; it may help to check the FAMILY SEARCH's Australia, New South Wales, Index to Bounty Immigrants, 1828-1842 at: https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1542665 .

The NSW Assisted Immigration ships from 1843 - 1896 individual passenger lists in many cases include a column designated "Bounty" as well.

Danny in canberra

posted by Danny Stapleton
Good work! This page helps clarify the Assisted Immigration discussion a lot. I note that this page still refers to "Government assistance". My understanding is that for at least the first 5 years of SA colonisation the less financial settlers were assisted by the South Australian Company, not the government.

Please note the comment inside Buffalo, Arrived 28 Dec 1836: "It was the ninth ship sent by the South Australian Company to arrive in South Australia." More information can be found on https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:The_South_Australian_Company

posted by Steve Thomas
Yes, this page helps clarify the structure, but it doesn't lead anywhere. It is a dead end.
posted by Doug Laidlaw