Find your ancestors in Queensland, Brisbane Register of Immigrants 1885-1917

What can these records tell me?

Each record includes a transcript. The amount of information listed varies, but Queensland, Brisbane Register of Immigrants 1885-1917 records usually include the following information:
  • Name
  • Year of arrival
  • Date of arrival
  • Ship name
  • State and country

Discover more about Queensland, Brisbane Register of Immigrants 1885-1917

The Queensland, Brisbane Register of Immigrants 1885-1917 index was compiled from Registers of Immigrants per Ship Landed at the Immigration Depot at Brisbane. These records were maintained and used by the immigration department.

The purpose of these registers was to record the arrival of immigrants on each ship that landed at Brisbane’s Immigration Depot. As such, the name of the ship and its date of arrival would be recorded. In addition, though details varied, the registers could include information such as the immigrant’s name, age, marital status, trade or occupation, religion, county and country of origin, date of departure from depot, and whether they could read or write.

Some registers also noted the date when the immigrant departed from the depot, and whether they were under engagement. If so, the name and address of the person by whom they were engaged would also be listed.

The names of some stowaways were included among these records. Transfers to and from Brisbane to other Queensland ports, such as Maryborough and Bundaberg for example, may also have been recorded.

Interestingly, these records contain a large population of Russian immigrants, as they often escaped from the political turmoil in both Russia and China through Japan. Spelling of these surnames varies widely in these registers; you should try searching for these Russian names according to their phonetic spelling, including in cases where these names had been anglicised.

When searching the index, remember to check all possible spelling variations, as the handwriting was particularly difficult to read on the original registers and spelling was often inconsistent. Also keep in mind that all first names are abbreviated as they appeared in the original records.

Ordering copies of the original documents

The Queensland, Brisbane Register of Immigrants 1885-1917 index was sourced from Queensland State Archives; to learn more about how to use the index to order copies of the original documents follow the link to the archives in Useful Links & Resources. To order, you must complete an index order form on the archive’s site. Note that charges apply for these copies.

Copyright BSORI. Data provided by Queensland State Archives and published under Creative Commons Licence 3.0: