Find your ancestors in Emigrants seeking free passage to South Australia 1836–1841


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This collection is an extract from the Register of Emigrant Labourers Applying for a Free Passage to South Australia 1836–1841.

Under this scheme, labouring classes received free passage if they were aged 15 to 30 years of age and had two references.

Preference was given to married applicants.

At this time persons who elected to pay their own passage paid as follows:
• Steerage passengers £15-20
• Middle Berth £35-40
• Cabin class £70.

This index does not include fee-paying passengers of the period. Very few shipping manifests survive and of those that do not all name the passengers and this means individuals paying their own passage in this era remain unknown. State Records of South Australia record series that may name fee-paying passengers in the timeframe include:

• GRG 56/68/5: Lists of passengers arriving from overseas ports 1836-45
• GRG 56/68/52: Miscellaneous passenger lists 1837–39 (11 vessels only listed)
• GRG 41/8: Manifests of incoming shipping at Port Adelaide 1838–42

All children in the scheme under 14 years were charged £3 while those under 1 year were free.

A number of emigrants recorded multiple occupations in their application but only the first of these is listed using a standard listing (that is, all masons are called simply masons). Some extinct occupations are explained within brackets.

Ages recorded in years; years and months (y:m); months (m); weeks (w); days (d); some as under a certain age as (u7).

The list also includes those who made application but never followed through with emigration.

Data provided by Graham Jaunay.