graphic depicting shipping

Linking CEDT Registers and passenger records

By Sophie Couchman (Chinese Australian Family Historians of Victoria)

While not transcribed in the Victorian CEDT Index, if you examine the digital photograph of CEDT register pages you will often find details of the date of departure and return and the name of ship they travelled on. This information can be cross-referenced and double-checked with inwards and outwards passenger lists. Sometimes you may have found an individual you are researching in one source but not the other. Sometimes you might have information in both sources but it is still valuable to double check that the information matches!

Passenger lists generally provide the name and age of travellers. By examining the original lists you can see whether other family members or close friends also travelled on the same trip who may not have applied for a CEDT (see ‘Born in Australia but travelling on a CEDT?: The O’Hoy and Tong families‘ blogpost for an example of this). By matching passenger information with the CEDT registers it is also possible to obtain information about the occupation and residence and also whether the person returned to Australia or not.

If you examine the digital image of the original Victorian CEDT Registers you will find details of the applicant’s travel – name of ship, date of departure/arrival. Looking closely, you might also notice that although individuals in the registers were generally living in Victoria, they sometimes departed/returned on ships from/to Sydney. Sometimes there is no information about departure or return suggesting that the person did not travel.

For another example of how working with Victorian and New South Wales inwards and outwards passenger lists can be valuable in your research with the Victorian CEDT registers have a look at our ‘Using Victoria, CEDT Book and C&E Numbers and Passenger lists: Mrs Lup Mun‘ blogpost.

Up until 1922 collecting lists of inward and outward passengers was the responsibility of the colonies/states, after this it became a federal government responsibility. Some of this information is available via family history aggregator websites.

VICTORIA (up to 1922)

NEW SOUTH WALES (up to 1922)

AUSTRALIA (1923 onwards)

  • INCOMING) NAA: A907, Ships’ Passenger Lists – Inwards (Form P2), 1924-1964.
    Search by ship name, arrival port and date (# MONTH YEAR), digitised up to around 1935 then sporadically, up to December 1933 is also available on microfilm. There are significant gaps in this series (see series details for information about them) but there are other series that you can access that might fill these gaps.

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