Skip to main content

Immigration to South Australia: Diaries and letters

This State Library of South Australia guide has information on passenger lists, newspaper indexes and immigration schemes. It includes some resources about immigration to other states.

Shipboard diaries and maritime related transcripts

 

Catalogue number   

Writer

Description

D 2968/1

Rev Robert Haining

Diary kept during a voyage from England to South Australia on the Orissa   1841

D 3588

Thomas Elder

Diary of a voyage from Adelaide to London 1849-50

D 4221/1-2

Edward Dowsett

Journal of the Government Schooner Yatala Port Adelaide, which refers to the naming of Port Augusta 1852

D 4619

George Frederick Jeffery

Diary kept while serving on HMCS Protector, 1900-01

D 4885

Captain J I Ellis

Account of a voyage from Kingstown, Ireland, to Swan River, WA on the ship James   describing difficult conditions on an overcrowded immigrant ship 1828

D 5388

Thomas Turner

Diary of voyage to Adelaide on the Baboo 1848

D 6419

Mrs Pollock

Log of the voyage of the Charlotte Jane from Graves End to Holdfast Bay 1851-52

D 6638

Bernard Wilfred Francis

Diary kept as storekeeper aboard the S.S. Despatch whilst handling cargo on the River Murray 1909

D 6769

George Pike

Diary of his arrival as a 13 year old at Holdfast Bay aboard the Fairlie 1840.

D 6872

Charles William Stuart

Five diaries kept on a voyage to Australia, including his trip to South Australia on the True love from the eastern colonies, and while manager of stock for the South Australian Company 1833-43

D 6976

Henry Dudley Melville

Five volumes of reminiscences describing his pioneering work in the Coorong for the South Australian Company; as police trooper protecting overland parties; as Sub Collector of Customs at Robe and Port Caroline involving his assistance to shipwrecks; and as Chief Warden of the Northern Territory goldfields 1840-77

D 7048

John Watson

Diary of a Wesleyan Minister, giving good detail about life as a missionary on the West African coast, and the voyage to Adelaide on the Agincourt 1840-51

D 7126

Carl Schwabe

Journal of a voyage on the Prebislaw from Adelaide to Java, and relating to Adelaide and South Australia 1849

D 7336

 Eliza Burge (nee Springbett)

Diary of an unpleasant voyage aboard the Loevesteyn from London to Adelaide 1854-55, in the course of which the captain died. The diary was also used for recording sales of butter 1864-67

D 7347

William Hancox

Letter describing his voyage out in 1839, his impressions of the colony of South Australia, living conditions and commodity prices, wages paid for work, and his own employment prospects.  1840

D 7370

Charles Marsden

Diary kept by an emigrant labourer of a voyage from Plymouth to Adelaide on the Eastern  Empire1864

D 7371

Samuel Pickering

Diary kept by an emigrant labourer of a voyage from Plymouth to Adelaide on the Matilda Atheling  1864-65

D 7380

Charles Davies

Diary of a voyage to Adelaide, settlement and sheep farming in the Gawler Ranges, and a trip to Mattwarrangalla 1863.

D 7404

William Jnr Giles and Thomas Hudson Beare

Press copies of business letters from partners in the cutter Mary Ann, mostly written from Kingscote, Kangaroo Island 1838

D 7418

Thomas William Craddock

Letter from Tarlee, South Australia, describing his voyage out on the Forfarshire and working conditions in South Australia around Tarlee 1874

D 7506

Esther Pocock

Diary kept by a 29 year old laundry maid on the voyage of the Hesperus, together with a set of verses composed by the sailors 1884

D 7730

Thomas Gemmell

Letter describing a voyage from Scotland to Australia on the India 1839-40

D 7732

William Rooke Creswell

Notes on proposals for the Australian Navy ca 1909

D 7733

Matthew Flinders

Extract from a copy of the log of the Investigator recording the loss of a number of the crew, together with the meeting with Nicolas Baudin in Encounter Bay of 2-25 February 1802

D 7752

Thomas James Haddrick

Account of a voyage from England to South Australia on the Resource 1838-39

D 7776

Stephen Richards

Journal of voyage to South Australia on the Pakenham 1848-49, and subsequent   experiences in Adelaide and the Burra Burra copper mines 1849.

D 7922   

 Emanuel Solomon

181 pages of letters by important trader Emanuel Solomon who arrived in South Australia in 1838, invested in land and buildings, began a business as an auctioneer and merchant, had his own vessel the Dorset trading between Adelaide and Sydney, and in 1840 erected the Queen's Theatre, the first building of any substantial size in Adelaide. He was a prominent member of Adelaide's Hebrew Congregation.

D 8123

Sampson Hosking

Diary kept on the 'Tarquin', Plymouth to Port Adelaide 1864, including description of the rations for meals. The diary is followed by religious writings, words for poems or songs, and an account of his expenses for 1865-1867

D 8193

Bill Hemer

Letters concerning salvage of MS Victoria at Tunkallilla 1934

D 8257

Leopold Judell

Diary of a voyage from Hamburg to Adelaide on the City of Adelaide written in German and with a translation 1870

D 8291

Vivian Family

Letters and a diary of a journey on the Pakenham from Plymouth to Port Adelaide 1848.

D 8303

John Cock Belton

Letters by a steerage emigrant passenger on the Rajasthan 1838 and later in 1839

D 8334

John Reynolds Ewens

Private journal kept by Police Trooper Ewens, at Guichen Bay (Robe), Gawler Town, Port Elliot and Port Lincoln, covering shipping movements, shark fishing and whale catching, trips to local areas, incidents of police interest and social activities and events 1853-62

D 8432

Esther McMichael

Diary of a voyage from Dartmouth to Adelaide on the Argonaut with descriptions of departure scenes, prayer meetings, rough seas and a hurricane, the activities and ailments of fellow passengers and sailors, the trials and tribulations of her numerous pot plants, the ladies' reading group, and the ship's newspaper The Argonaut Times 1878

D 8552

Joseph Mercer

Diary kept during a voyage from England to South Australia on board the Lady Lilford. Pages 3-5 have names of passengers, crew numbers and people on board 1839

D 8683

Adaliza Ann Gower

Diary on the Hooghly 1846 and first impressions of South Australia showing the pastimes, entertainments and invitations offered to a well to do young woman newly arrived in the Colony 1847

D 8704

James Hastwell

Diary of a voyage to Adelaide on the Cotfield 1853

D 8720

Alexander Scott Cameron

Letters written while working on the Ghan railway; on the yacht Beatricethe S.S. Innamincka , the H.M.C.S. Protector, the Bolivia, the S.S. Kolya, and on the Morgan-Kapunda railway line 1896-1900

PRG 101/1

Arthur Hardy

Two diaries: volume 1 covers his voyage in the Platina, his pastoral and agricultural operations at section 335 on the Torrens (Paradise); volume 2 is a record of trips to Port Lincoln and a trip to England on the Medway, his activities there and his return trip to South Australia on the Mary Ann1838-45

PRG 119/48/2

Ann Taunton Scammell

Diary kept on board the William Wilson to Adelaide 1849

PRG 122/1

Percy M Wells

Diary describing voyage to South Africa and Boer War service 1901

PRG 136/11

Thorburn Brailsford Robertson

Diary of a trip by train from Adelaide to Sydney, then by ship to New Zealand, Pago-Pago (American Samoa), Honolulu, then to San Francisco 1905

PRG 218

Captain John Hart

Diary of a pioneer seafarer, merchant and Parliamentarian 1865

PRG 630/2

Sir Charles Todd

Family letters, mainly by his wife Alice, written during Todd's absence on construction of the Overland Telegraph in 1872 and a letter by Todd to his family in England describing his voyage to South Australia in the Irene 1855

PRG 456/13

Henry Watson

Henry Watson was a pharmacist businessman, book lover and wine lover and became the founder of South Australia's first wine industry association. His diary describes his emigrating voyage with his family from England to South Australia on the Katherine Stewart Forbes including a description of a visit to a vineyard in Capetown 1838-39.

PRG 630/6

Sir Charles Todd

Diary of a tour on the Continent and in England and of a voyage out to Australia 1885-86

PRG 1149/8

James Llewelin Lewis

Seven letters describing trips, cargo, freight rates and vessels in port written on board the ketch Prima Donna at Port Victor, Lacepede  Bay, Port Pirie, Wallaroo and Port MacDonnell just prior to disappearing with all hands 1872-80

PRG 1153/1

John Harman Eamer

Letter from Australia to his mother describing voyage aboard the Andromache and settling in Adelaide 1850

PRG 1399/3/1

Charles Algernon Wilson

Diary by 20 year old Wilson, (who became Adelaide’s first entomologist) of a voyage to South Australia on the Duke of Roxburgh with details of steerage conditions on board, and maps and sketches of the countries passed 1838.  

BRG 42/5

South Australian Company

194 pages of general correspondence relating to the Company's affairs in South Australia, including letters by Edward Delius relating to German immigration 1836-51, 1855

BRG 42/6

South Australian Company

General correspondence mainly by Edmund Wheeler, the original Manager 1835-38

BRG 42/9

South Australian Company

Letters received from the Colonial Manager January to June 1838

BRG 42/78

South Australian Company

Log of the South Australian 1836-37

Books in the Library

The following books and pamphlets are a selection of published copies of original diaries or use extracts of diaries and letters held by the State Library.

Archival material in the Library

B4263

View more information about the above image here.
You may order a high quality photographic copy.
No known Copyright restrictions -
Conditions of use.

These are all original letters and diaries held by the State Library. To find others, perform a keyword search on the name of the ship or person and the word 'diaries'.

Useful websites

The following websites contain extracts of diaries and or letters that can be downloaded or viewed as images.