Biographical Database of Australia

BDA 7th Release – 14 New Datasets, 287,000 new records

 NEWS FLASH 3 July 2019

 

14 NEW datasets, nearly 2,000,000 records now online

 

BDA is pleased to announce Update No 7 comprising 14 new datasets containing 287,000 records newly added to BDA. The online database now contains just under 2 million records of deceased Australians from the 18th, 19th & 20th centuries. Dedicated volunteers are currently transcribing & collating material for future updates. The 14 datasets just added are:

 

Major updates uploaded for:

Passengers to Sydney NSW & Port Phillip Vic: Entitlement Certificates for Bounty Immigrants 1838-1841

The bounty immigration scheme had been adopted in New South Wales in the 1830s to supplement existing government assisted immigration programs. The bounty system, though regulated by government, involved more significant funding of immigration by the colonial private sector in return for tax credits. Employers and employer groups funding the selection and conveyance of the immigrants (mainly at this period from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales) were required by colonial regulations to keep records of the immigrants who arrived. The government and bounty systems were revised and expanded in 1837 and added Melbourne in the Port Phillip District as a new destination in 1839.

From about 1838 very detailed information has survived for immigrants arriving at Sydney based on answers and documents they provided to immigration agents and government officials to establish their identity and suitability as immigrants. These included age, birthplace, names and occupation of parents, literacy, names and ages of children and names of respectable persons who had recommended the immigrant for an assisted or bounty passage. Sometimes relatives or guardians on the same ship are also referenced. Immigration peaked at this time before falling as a result of an economic depression in the early 1840s.

This dataset contains 38,378 primary entries and, with cross referenced people added, has a total of 38,746 entries. It extracts details recorded for immigrants landing at Sydney 1838-1841 and at Melbourne / Port Phillip 1839-1841 (with less surviving biographical detail recorded by Port Phillip authorities, lacking in particular names of parents). The two record sets combined in this dataset are:

– Entitlement Certificates of persons on bounty ships 1838-1841: Entries record the names of the shipping agent, master and medical superintendent; and for each immigrant, name, age, calling, religion, education, native place, parents and bounty paid. Source: State Archives NSW refs: 4/4827 to 4/4891.

– Persons on bounty ships arriving at Port Phillip: Entries record the name of the shipping agent, master and ship surgeon; for each immigrant: name, age, calling, religion, education, native place and bounty paid. Source: State Archives NSW refs: 4/4813 & 4/4814.

Passengers on Government Ships, New South Wales 1838-1840 (assisted immigrants)

Government ships were directly engaged and funded by colonial authorities to supply local employers, in contrast to bounty ships which were engaged directly by employer interests under government supervision. The two systems operated in tandem in the late 1830s. This dataset was compiled by State Archives New South Wales as ‘Persons on government ships’ and has been added to BDA with their permission. The data has been extracted from SANSW NRS 5313, piece numbers 4/4780 and 4/4781, detailing 44 ships containing 11,085 entries.

Entries record the immigrant’s name, age, native place, calling and religion. Each entry usually also notes the name and address of the employer engaging the immigrant and the terms of employment, usually a wage.

Passengers Arriving in Victoria 1846

This dataset was compiled by Pastkeys and is reproduced with their kind permission. Compiled by Aileen Trinder and Pat Fearnley, its full title is ‘Passenger Arrivals at Port Phillip and other Victorian Ports index 1846′. It contains 2,052 entries for passenger arrivals into Port Phillip and other Victorian ports and has been compiled from the following State Archives New South Wales source: Immigration; NRS 5327, Passengers Arriving at Port Phillip 1846 [X632; microfilm reel 1408], 1 vol.

The records were compared with the ship arrivals reported in the Port Phillip Herald and any name variants were noted, mainly in the remarks column as a binocular search for the surname will find all instances in the index. Many of the ship passenger arrivals at ports other than Port Phillip were not reported in the Port Phillip Herald. The indexed records have been listed in the original order, then separate alphabetical lists in order of the passengers, ships with passengers, ships only and departure ports with passengers.

The index lists Name [SURNAME First Name], Age, Ship, Status [M=Master, C= Crew, P=Passenger, O or O(M)= Other person signed obo Master], D.O.Arr [Date of Arrival], Dep. Port/s [Departure Ports], Remarks. The Remarks include, where given, type of ship [noted with Master entry only], Arrival port if other than Port Phillip, Native County and Country [NP], Occupation [Profession, Calling, or Trade], Whether intending to become a Settler in the Colony, or a Visitor only, and any other comments noted in the records. If a name was not recorded such as the Master’s name, it has been entered as ‘Unnamed’. The spelling of names has been maintained as in the original record. BDA has corrected the spelling of some ship names wrongly spelt in the original record. In addition secondary people have been indexed resulting in a total of 2,261 entries.

ARRIVAL PORTS: Port Albert, Port Fairy, Port Phillip, Portland or Portland Bay, Williamstown.


Bench of Magistrates Cases NSW 1822-1836

Shirley Doolan (1930–2015) extracted details from State Archives NSW registers of prisoners tried in Bench of Magistrates courts for the years 1822-1836.

Colonial Secretary, Special Bundles (1794-1825):

NSW, Bench of Magistrates.

– Sydney Bench book, 1815-16 (ref 7/2643)

– Parramatta, Return of proceedings at Magistrates’ Court , 1822 (ref X643).

– Bathurst Return of prisoners punished, 1823-24 (ref 4/​6671).

– Parramatta Return of proceedings, 1826 (ref 4/​1917).

– Police reports of prisoners, 1827-28 (X821).

Colonial Secretary, Special Bundles (1833-1845), 1827-33 Police reports of persons tried and summonses issued

– Bathurst Dec 1829 ([X826].

– Hyde Park Barracks Jan – Jul 1832 ([X825]; Reel 661); see also 13-18 Feb 1832 ([2/8284]pp.121‑26; Reel 2756).

– Parramatta Dec 1829 ([X826]).

– Penrith Jan – Nov 1833 ([X826].

– Sydney 16 Jan 1827; Feb, Jul – Sep 1828 ([X821]; Reel 660); Mar, Apr 1830 ([X822]; Jan, Mar – May 1831 ([X823]; Apr 1833 ([X824].

– Windsor 12-17 Aug 1833 ([X826].

– Wollongong Jan – May 1833 ([X826].

Ms Doolan published these as basic indexes of names, dates, places and offences in three volumes:

– Index to the Bench of Magistrates returns New South Wales, 1822-1828. Bardwell Park, NSW: S. Doolan, 2002 [‘records of cases heard in Sydney, Appin, Bathurst, Campbelltown, Liverpool, Parramatta and Penrith’].

– Index to the Bench of Magistrates returns New South Wales 1830-1831: court records of cases heard at the Police Station and Magistrates Court, George Street, Sydney / compiled by Shirley Doolan. Bardwell Park, NSW: S. Doolan, 2006 [‘records of cases heard at the Police Station and Magistrates Court, George Street, Sydney’].

– Index to Bench of Magistrates Courts 1829-1836. Bardwell Park, NSW: S. Doolan, 2011 [‘records of cases heard at Bathurst 1829 and 1835, Bong Bong 1836, Brisbane Waters 1836, Bungonia 1835, Campbelltown 1836, Cassilis 1836, Cox’s River 1833, Goulburn 1836, Hyde Park Barracks 1832, Parramatta 1829, Penrith 1833, Sydney 1832-1833, Windsor 1833, Wollongong 1833’].

The BDA version includes cross references to additional persons not published in the Doolan volumes. The dataset contains 19,212 principal persons and with cross referenced persons has a total of 31,737 entries.

Court Cases NSW 1840-1856

Between 1994 and 2006, Mrs Pamela Sheldon, then of McMahons Point, Sydney, published the following four volumes under the title ‘Guilty or Not Guilty':

v. 1. Those people who were brought before the Suprme Court criminal quarter sessions assizes police court 1841-1845

v. 2. Those people who were brought before the Supreme Court: Criminal Quarter Sessions Assizes Police Court 1846-1850

v. 3. Those people who were brought before the Supreme Court: Criminal quarter sessions, assizes, Police court, Water Police Court 1851-1853

v. 4. Those people who were brought before the Supreme Court-Criminal Quarter Sessions Assizes Central Police Court Walter Police Court 1854-1856.

Pamela Sheldon has kindly provided an electronic version of these publications and gave permission for this dataset to be added to the BDA database. The data has been extracted from court reports published in the Sydney Herald and Sydney Morning Herald in the period 1840-1856.

There were initially 35,441 entries. With aliases and other people cross referenced, the dataset now contains 37,289 entries. The entries usually contain the name of the prisoner, the court, its location, the sentence and a brief description of the crime and other matters brought before the court. BDA has indexed the entries in a format where crime and other fields will be able to be searched on when the Advanced Search facility becomes available.

Brisbane Newspapers: Index of Birth, Death, Marriage & Funeral Notices 1846-1875

This dataset indexes birth, death, marriage and funeral notices from the years 1846-1875 published in ten Brisbane newspapers, including the Brisbane Courier, Queensland Free Press, North Australian, Moreton Bay Courier, Queensland Guardian and Queensland Express. As of March 2019 none of these newspapers has yet been covered for this period by the Ryerson Index. Some notices were repeated in more than one paper, sometimes with the names of the individuals spelt differently. The original version of this dataset was compiled by Lynn Aberdeen and has been kindly supplied by her to be added to the BDA database. Part of her work covering the period 1846-1870 was published as:

Lynn E Aberdeen, Births, marriages & deaths, etc. in Brisbane newspapers, 1846-1870. Oxley, Qld: L E Aberdeen, 2006.

This BDA dataset includes additional entries for the period 1871-1875. For the period 1846-1875 there are 22,996. BDA has been cross indexing other people mentioned in the notices and to date this has resulted in a total of 35,646 entries. The dataset now on BDA is not complete and further cross indexing by John Ross will be added at a later

Sydney Newspapers: Extracts of Birth, Death & Marriage Notices 1825 & 1827

The two newspapers used for this small dataset were Howe’s Weekly (1825) and The Gleaner (1827). Both publications survived for less than one year. Keith Johnson transcribed the notices and cross indexed all persons mentioned resulting in a dataset of 127 people. Notices in these papers have not been transcribed by the Ryerson Index.

NSW Sydney St James Church of England: Marriages 1832-1856

This dataset is a full transcript of marriage entries from the original registers of St James’ Church of England, Sydney for the years 1832-1856 as microfilmed by the Society of Australian Genealogists.

Convicts sent directly from UK to Victoria 1844-1849

Between 1844 and 1849 nine shiploads of ‘exiles’ landed at Geelong and Melbourne to begin new lives in the Port Phillip District, soon to be known as the Colony of Victoria. The 1,727 mostly young men and boys classed as exiles were English prisoners from Pentonville, Millbank and Parkhurst Prisons given pardons granting them freedom in the colonies on the condition that they could never return to the United Kingdom. The scheme was initiated by British Home Secretary Lord Stanley.

The exiles were the subject of Dr Colleen Ruth Wood’s PhD thesis, titled ‘Great Britain’s exiles to Port Phillip, 1844-1849: Lord Stanley’s experiment’ (School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne, 2014). Dr Wood has kindly given permission to BDA to add biographical data on the exiles from the thesis appendices. The thesis, including references and appendices, can be viewed on the university’s website at:

https://minerva-access.unimelb.edu.au/handle/11343/51010

The exiles were not strictly convicts because the courts had not actually sentenced them to transportation. In his book The Convict Ships 1787-1868 Charles Bateson notes that some of the convicts were landed at Geelong, with most landed at Melbourne. There are 2,253 exiles named in the thesis (some names appear several times in various tables) and with secondary persons mentioned the dataset contains 3,181 entries.

Bonds to the Naval Office by NSW merchants & tradesmen, Port Jackson 1810-1819

The Naval Officer was a customs official with an office at Sydney Cove in the colony of New South Wales between 1801 and 1827. The Naval Office was part of the Civil Establishment and the holder of the office was not actually an officer of the British Navy. He collected customs duties and shipping bonds and was charged with managing port security and the prevention of smuggling. This dataset has been extracted from pp 162-164 of the book Shipping Arrivals & Departures Sydney, 1788-1825 by J S Cumpston, 1977, Canberra. It contains a list of 36 ships, their names, date entered on Naval Office Register, the names and occupations of the owners and bondsmen resulting in a total of 119 NSW shipowners, tradesmen and merchants named.

Frenchs Forest Cemetery NSW 1940-c2008

This is principally a transcript of monuments by Robert (Bob) Pauling done over several years to 2008. It contains details of the deceased individual, the plot and section of the cemetery and other people mentioned on the monument, many still living at that time.

The total of deceased individuals recorded is 14,484. BDA cross indexed other people mentioned on the monuments including parents and spouses of the deceased but not children who may still be living; many children were identified with their nickname only. This increased the number of people recorded to 17,053. A number of monuments were difficult to decipher the date of death and some have been added by BDA from the Ryerson Index.

Mona Vale Cemetery NSW 1914-c.2008

This is principally a transcript of monuments by Robert (Bob) Pauling done over several years to 2008. It contains details of the deceased individual, the plot and section of the cemetery and other people mentioned on the monument, many still living at that time.

The total of deceased recoded is 6,033. BDA cross indexed other people mentioned on the monuments, including parents and spouses of the deceased, but not children who may still be living; many children were named with their nickname only. This resulted in 7,136 people recorded. A number of monuments were difficult to decipher the date of death and some have been added by BDA from the Ryerson Index.

Orphan Irish Girls Employment NSW 1849-1852

Our thanks to Aileen Trinder of Pastkeys for supplying this dataset and giving permission for it to be added to the BDA Database. The listing names 300 girls sent to Sydney from Ireland following the Great Famine there, and, with employers’ names added, totals 681 entries. It gives the exact date and also the place of employment.

The dataset is based on Aileen Trinder’s ‘Wages Paid to Orphans Index 1849-1851 (ISBN 0 947284 53 2)’ but entries from 1852 and 1853 have been added. The original sources for this dataset in State Archives New South Wales are:

– Piece number 4/4676 with cross references or additional entries where applicable, and

– ‘Particulars of orphans monies, 1850-51′, 1 box (part) (piece number 9/6173.6).

Unemployed in New South Wales 1860 & 1884

This dataset contains 494 records of unemployed persons in New South Wales in two years (1860 and 1884) listing the name, age, occupation, marital status, date of interview, address, ship of arrival (where given), any other additional information and reference. Our thanks to the compilers Pastkeys for supplying this dataset which contains 506 entries. Source: State Records New South Wales, Register of unemployed, 1860, 1884, 2 volumes (ref 4/4677, 4/4687)