My Great Grandmother emigrated to Australia from the UK after the death of her husband so that she could be closer to the majority of her children who had travelled there earlier.

My Grand father stayed in the UK and remembers very little these days, but would like to know what happened to them all so I am trying to wrap my head around searching out some records.

My father remembers her vaguely and he was born in 1956.

What I know:

  • Her name was Annie Smith (formerly Newton)
  • Her Birth date was 26th Jan 1893
  • Her Husband died in 1948 and she died around 1977
  • She must have travelled between 1960 and 1977
  • I think some of her children that lived there were called Marion, Ronnie & Lillian. But my grand father can't remember their birth dates or their names exactly.

What is my best avenue for searching for her travel records? I have tried outward passenger lists on Ancestry.com but these only seem to go up to 1960.

1 Answer 1


The definitive source for arrivals in Australia is being developed by the National Archives of Australia at Passenger arrivals index, 1921-1949. As you can see from the title, it does not (yet) include even all those we can confirm leaving the UK.

However, there is a broader name search facility that will run over all immigration and naturalisation records (including those not yet in the Fremantle Index). My quick search suggests there are less than 100 Annie Smiths for you to work through.

Note that all you can see of many records is a one or two sentence summary. But there is a scheme for you to pay to have a record digitised. You get a copy and it becomes available online to everyone else.

EDIT 7 May

Sometimes a wild stab in the dark pays off, although it is not a search strategy to be encouraged.

There was a death registered in Queensland (1978/B89422) in 1978 for Annie Smith the daughter of Thomas Joseph Newton and Alice August. If that is your great grandmother, then she may have migrated directly to Queensland - in which case the Migrant Ship and Aircraft Files held by the Queensland State Archives could show her arrival. I have not checked the files themselves, but can tell you that she does not appear to be in the recently-published index (which you can check on-line).

In the full QSA Catalogue, there are nine migration files for persons called Annie Smith. Given your presumed time window for the migration and that she was widowed, there appears to be just one strong candidate.

Series: 4227
Item: 1151910
Record type: Personal file - nominated immigrants
Description: SMITH, Annie G
Departmental Numbers: 37115/1958
Start Date: 7/4/1958
End Date: 28/1/1959

Be very cautious that Queensland is just one of seven jurisdictions in Australia recording BDM. Given how common the surname Smith is, I would be very surprised if I had hit the jackpot first time. But if you can confirm her mother's name was Alice August...

  • I have tried this, but every time I try to log in with the credentials I have just entered when signing up, it gives me a log-in error and sends me back to the sign in page. Am I the only one this is affecting or is it a build error with the site?
    – AvieRose
    May 4, 2013 at 20:02
  • No trouble with my login, but if you continue to have difficulties try searching as a Guest. Go back to the home page and select Begin your search above the registration panel.
    – Fortiter
    May 5, 2013 at 1:44
  • That seems to be absolutely bang on the money. The names I have listed for her parents were Thomas Newton and Alice Maude August.
    – AvieRose
    May 7, 2013 at 19:22

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