Posted by on July 14, 2011 in Australia, Content, Famous Faces, New records

We are very excited to announce the launch our new Australian Immigration Collection, 1788 – 1923, the largest online collection of historic Australian immigration records in existence.

The new collection documents the names and journeys of more than 14.5 million people who travelled to Australia between 1788 and 1923 in search of a new life.

With almost a third (29%) of Australiansⁱnot knowing the details of their ancestors’ arrival in Australia, these new records will help millions of Aussies in uncovering information about how and when their family came to land on these shores.

These records include a wealth of information which can help you build or grow your family tree, including

• Name
• Age
• Occupation
• Ship Name
• Date and port of arrival and departure

Many early immigrants and their descendants went on to achieve fame and notoriety in Australia. Notable examples found in these records include –

  • Heath Ledger’s great -grandfather Edson Ledger arrived in Fremantle with his family around 1881 aboard the Fitzroy. Edson and his brother Joseph went on to create a successful engineering company, manufacturing many of the pipes used in the 550km long Goldfields Pipeline.

     
  • Nicole Kidman is descended from assisted Irish settlers Bridget and James Callachar, who arrived in Sydney in 1842 (on board the Agnes Ewing). Listed as agricultural labourers, they settled in Port Macquarie where they had a son, Nicole’s great great-grandfather. Thousands of Irish refugees arrived on Australian soil during the 1840s, many coming over in ‘coffin ships’, fleeing the Irish potato famine.

     
  • Donald Bradman’s grandfather, Charles Bradman, was an assisted immigrant who arrived in April 1855 on the Rose of Sharon. The records show that he was a labourer from Withersfield in Suffolk. Donald went on to become one of Australia’s most popular sporting heroes, widely acknowledged as the greatest batsman of all time with a career average of 99.94!

Although Australia has strong convict roots, many early European settlers made their way here of their own free will to join convict relatives, to own land for the first time, find gold or simply escape life back home.

To discover where your ancestors came from and start to uncover their personal stories, visit www.ancestry.com.au/immigration.

ⁱ The Australians’ attitudes towards family history survey was commissioned by Ancestry.com.au and was conducted by The Online Research Unit (ORU) who polled a nationally representative sample of a 1000 people across Australia aged 18 and over, October 2010.