For most European ships, Fremantle, Western Australia, was the first port of call in Australia. This is a collection of passenger records of arrivals at Fremantle, Perth Airport, and other Western Australia ports. The lists, which are arranged chronologically, recorded passengers arriving from other Australian states and overseas and can include names of passengers passing through those ports en route to other ports within, and nearby ports outside, Australia.
The collection includes ship passenger arrivals, crew lists, air arrivals, and quarantine lists. The records were kept on a variety of forms, with varying degrees of information, but can include:
- passenger names
- date of arrival
- ship name
- name of ship master and/or other ship officers
- port of embarkation
- port of debarkation
- residence (sometimes including address)
- travel class
- forwarding address for correspondence
- marital status
- rank and where engaged/discharged (for crew members)
- births and deaths on the voyage
Please note that initials were often used in place of first and middle names (e.g., Mr. R. J. Smith), and women may be listed under their husbands' names (e.g., Mrs. Robt. Smith or Mrs. R. J. Smith). So if you’re having difficulties locating your ancestor, try searching with only a first initial.
Before Fremantle Harbour was deepened and the limestone bar and sand shoals removed in 1898, Albany was the major port of call for ships arriving from overseas and Australia’s eastern states. During the gold rush, many people arrived in Albany before heading to the goldfields or Perth by train.