As historians we might wish there was a definitive source confirming precisely those on board the earliest ships arriving in South Australia, but unfortunately that is not the case. Many of the early records of the Province were lost in a serious of disastrous fires in 1839. The Government Resident’s office and Surveyor-General’s residence and office were destroyed first in January and the Emigration Agent’s house and office in September, forcing us to rely on the records kept in England and such accounts as were published in the newspapers or other sources in South Australia at the time. All have their problems.
While both the South Australian Company and South Australian Colonization Commissioners’ offices in London maintained records of intending emigrants for example, and these records are a starting point, there was obviously slippage between those ‘intending to emigrate’ and those who actually did so. Similarly newspaper accounts of arrivals were often inconsistent, or simply inaccurate. Inevitably the lists we present here may differ from others available. We do not claim that they are definitive and advise caution in their use. We also indicate some alternative sources readers may wish to consult. More detailed notes are attached to the individual passenger lists associated with each ship explaining how they were compiled and where they may differ from others.
Individual passenger lists will be provided for each vessel as they appear in the weekly posts.
- Duke of York passenger list
- John Pirie passenger list
- Cygnet passenger list
- Lady Mary Pelham passenger list
- Emma passenger list
- Rapid passenger list
Diane Cummings We’re Bound for South Australia, lists from vessels arriving in South Australia from 1836-1851: http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/fh/passengerlists/BoundforSouthAustralia.htm