Family history sources held in Adelaide – Fact sheet 87

Family history sources held in the Adelaide Office of the National Archives consist mainly of records created by Commonwealth agencies located in South Australia. Most of the records date from Federation in 1901, although some records – naturalisation, post and telegraph, lighthouse and mercantile marine records – also cover the colonial period.

The Adelaide Office also has microfilm copies of selected genealogical research records that are located in other offices of the National Archives.

Sources held by the National Archives Adelaide Office

The main categories of genealogical information located in the Adelaide office are listed below. Reference staff can assist in directing you to particular records of interest.

Description of recordsDate range
Citizenship and naturalisation
Pre-1904 (colonial) naturalisation certificates and memorials, Commonwealth certificates to 1937 (microfilm) and later applications (case files)

1848–1937
Commonwealth employees
Commonwealth staff list (microfiche)
Commonwealth of Australia Gazettes

1903–72
1901–50
Customs service
Correspondence files (including some early immigration records)
Record of officer’s service

1845–1996
1865–1953
Defence services
Boer War
Attestation papers of the 5th South Australian Contingent
Veterans’ funeral benefit files
World War II
Army pay files for those who enlisted in South Australia


1901
1939–60

1939–46
Electoral
Printed electoral rolls for South Australia (microfiche)

1905–75 and 1994
Immigration
Alien registration documents – non-British arrivals
Migrant case files
Migrant accommodation – registers and index cards for migrant hostels
Migrant selection documents – assisted migrants (British)
Migrant selection documents – assisted migrants (non-British)
Passenger lists – overseas arrival and departure lists

1917–80
1946–91
1947–87
1947–81
1947–54
1941–76
Indigenous people
Index cards for deceased and exempt Aboriginal people – South Australian Aborigines Department

1917–57
Internment and investigation
World War I – includes nominal rolls of prisoners of war/internees at Torrens Island, index cards of prisoners of war/internees (incomplete) and investigation case files
World War II – includes index cards (incomplete) and case files related to Loveday internment camp as well as investigation case files

1910–87


1910–87
Land
Acquisition and disposal of Commonwealth land in SA

1895–1996

Lighthouses
Log books for South Australian lighthouses – beginning in the colonial period
Correspondence files – related largely to lighthouse properties


1852–1973
1915–92
Mercantile marine (Maritime records)
Agreements and account of crew – oversees and local vessels
Competency and service – registers of certificates (officers) Port Adelaide*
Crew discharged – Port Adelaide and other SA ports#
Deaths at sea – reported at Port Adelaide*
Deserters – Port Adelaide and other SA ports#
Engagements – at Port Adelaide and other SA ports (with index)#
Register of British Ships – Various Australian ports (with index)*
Vessel arrivals and departures – Port Adelaide and other SA ports#
* Available as microform
# Portion available as microform

1895–1983
1851–1921
1852–1942
1893–1922
1852–1975
1852–1942
1838–1982
1874–1957
Patents, trademarks and copyright
Including registers, applications, correspondence and graphic material such as invention specifications and trademark designs

1867–1969
Post and telegraph
Staff registers
Postal guides (including lists of personnel)
Correspondence files – mostly relating to property

1872–1936
1868–1977
1872–1990
Railways
Staff cards – Commonwealth Railways employees (incomplete)

1912–59

Sources held in other locations

Further information relating to family history research will be found in other offices of the National Archives.

Many records that complement holdings of the National Archives (such as passenger lists for arrivals in Adelaide before 1941) are held by State Records of South Australia.

Access to the records

Records held by the National Archives become eligible for public access once they enter the open access period.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2014