Sunday, August 11, 2013

National Archives: Customs Records 1841-1922

I'm doing a project on movement between Sydney and San Francisco during the Californian Gold Rush.
Earlier I did a post on One, but many that won the 2013 GovHack competition using the National Archives’ Passenger Arrivals Index (PAI). The Passengers Arrival list is for Perth post 1920.
There is a list of NAA Fact Sheets here.
The best one (for me) was
Customs shipping records held in Sydney – Fact sheet 65.
Especially Registers of ships, arrivals and departures, Sydney (arranged chronologically)1841–1922, (Series Number SP729/1).
Description of series:
17 bound registers, generally, 19" x 15", titled "Arrivals & Departures", being a chronological register of ships arrivals and departures to and from Port Jackson, Sydney, for the period named. On each open page Arrivals are entered on left hand side and Departures on right hand side. The first volume is a variation as Departures start at one end of register and Arrivals at the other.  Entries in the first register are under Date, Name of ship, Captns. Name, Wherefrom, Remarks (eg. cargo, convicts, emigrants, troops, whaling, etc.), and Burthen (tonnage).  Printed register details (1917-22) are as follows: Date, Name of Vessel, Description of Vessel (eg. Steam, Motor, Sail), Master's Name, Tonnage, No. of Crew, No. of Passengers (Male, Female, and Children), Total No. of Passengers, and in case of "Arrivals" column: "Whence from" and "Departures" "Where bound".
History Prior/Subsequent to Transfer:
Prior to transfer: These registers appear to the forerunner of the Clearing Clerk's Ship's Register, Series 5 and 6. The difference from about 1850 onwards is that the general registers of arrivals and departures are chronological and are chronological to the present, whereas, the Jerquer copy has always been an alphabetical type of index register, chronological under each letter of the alphabet.
A more thorough history of these records is being compiled with the aid of the State Archives Office of NSW and will be issued as a supplement to this accession.
Subsequent to transfer: This series was originally transferred to archival custody in August 1952 as SP70, Series 1 and 2, and has been used quite often for reference. With the microfilming of the Passenger Lists in 1964 it was decided to consolidate all Ships' Registers, Inward and Outward, to make for easier reference by officers in Archives, other Commonwealth Departments, and the general public.
NOTE: On 2 February 1967 Mr. Russel Doust, Archivist, Archives Office of NSW intimated that he had located some 1850's vintage Registers at the Maritime Services Board, Sydney, and would follow-up and advise us further. They were Arrivals and Departures Registers and may well fill in the gaps in this accession.

The Sydney Office is located at
National Archives of Australia,
120 Miller Road,
9am–4.30pm Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
(02) 9645 0110

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