Thursday, 12 March 2015

Passport Records

It's great to see more Queensland records being added to Findmypast - for example, the indexes to passport registers 1915-1925 and passport registers and receipts 1926-1939. Most applicants lived in Queensland but some gave an interstate or overseas address including England, Canada, Papua, Ceylon, Fiji and China.

The National Archives of Australia and Queensland State Archives hold various series of passport records. They include:

  • Immigration Department: passport clearance register 1926-1935 (Qld State Archives series 7149; one item). This register gives the passenger's name, ship and date of arrival, State of disembarkation, ship and date of departure, passenger's reason for returning overseas, and whether he/she was planning to return to Australia.

  • Immigration Department: passport receipts 1930-1939 (Qld State Archives series 10222; thirteen items). These are duplicates of passport clearances issued to assisted immigrants. They give the passenger's name, ship and date of arrival in Australia. Some also give the ship and date of departure and how long the person expected to be away.

  • Passport registers 1915-1974 (National Archives of Australia, Brisbane Office). After the Passports Act 1920, Australian residents over sixteen years of age needed a passport if they left the country. This did not apply to those going to New Zealand, Papua or Norfolk Island. Others who were exempt included merchant seamen and defence force personnel on duty. The National Archives Brisbane Office holds passport registers 1915-1974 and various other records of people departing Australia. Some of those passport registers have been indexed in the Queensland Passports Index 1915-1925.

  • If a person 'vanished' (either temporarily or permanently), passport records are definitely worth a look. They can also reveal interesting information about overseas holidays or trips to visit relatives.

    NOTE!  The transcription on Findmypast is a useful finding aid, but it does not include all details, so it is essential to get a copy of the original document. If you can't go to the Archives yourself, ask about my copying service.

    For other countries, these links take you to lists of passport records on:

    (This post first appeared on


  1. thanks Judy...probably too late for my globetrotter.

    1. That's a pity, Pauleen. Incidentally, I have not yet used the earlier records (starting 1915) that Qld FHS indexed.


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