We hold records relating to the care and relief for people who were destitute and had no means to support themselves.

The Destitute Asylum was a place of refuge for:

  • those who were unable to work due to age, infirmity or disability
  • destitute expectant mothers.

There is often an overlap with cases of Children in State based care.

There may be cases also recorded in the records of the Magill Old Folks' Home.

Access conditions

Records relating to destitution are typically restricted from general public access for 100 years, to protect sensitive personal information. People have a right to apply for access to restricted records.

 

Indexes and Digitised Records

Sick and destitute emigrants, 1840

Index to returns of sick and destitute emigrants, 1840 (GRG 24/1)

Alphabetical list of sick and destitute emigrants, who have received relief from the Emigration Department during 1840.

This list also gives name of ship and date of arrival.

Index to GRG24/1 Returns of sick and destitute emigrants, 1840

Cases of destitution, c1846-1857

Register of cases of destitution - Destitute Board, c.1846-1857 (GRG 28/4)

Index to GRG 28/4 - Register of cases of destitution, 1849-1857 - A - H

Index to GRG 28/4 - Register of cases of destitution, 1849-1857 - I - Z

Digitised records on FamilySearch - Register of cases of destitution, 1849-1857

Orphaned and deserted children taken out of the Destitute Asylum, 1855-1861

Nominal list of orphaned and deserted children taken out of the Destitute Asylum, 1855-1861 (GRS 3822)

Index to GRS 3822 Nominal list of orphan and deserted children taken out of the Destitute Asylum, 1855-1861 by name of child

Index to GRS 3822 Nominal list of orphan and deserted children taken out of the Destitute Asylum, 1855-1861 by name of person with whom child placed

Digitised records on FamilySearch -  Nominal list of orphaned and deserted children taken out of the Destitute Asylum, 1855-1861

Admissions to Destitute Lying-in Home, Flinders Street, 1865-1868

Register of admissions to the Destitute Lying-in Home, Flinders Street, 1865-1868 (GRG 28/34)

This series records admissions of pregnant women to the Lying-In Home operated by the Destitute Board in Flinders Street, Adelaide.

Index to GRG 28/34 Admissions to the Destitute Lying-in Home, Flinders Street, 1865-1868 - alphabetical by surname

Digitised records on FamilySearch - Register of admissions to the Destitute Lying-In Home, Flinders Street, 1865-1868

Children forwarded from the Destitute Asylum to the Roman Catholic Orphanage, 1867-1869

List of children forwarded from the Destitute Asylum to the Roman Catholic Orphanage, 1867-1869 (GRG 28/33)

Digitised records on FamilySearch - List of children forwarded from the Destitute Asylum to the Roman Catholic Orphanage

Admissions to the Destitute Asylum, 1870-1924

Register of admission - Destitute Asylum, 1870-1924 (GRG 28/5)

These indexes cover the years 1870 to 1873 and 1881 to 1909. They are arranged alphabetically by the surname of the person admitted to the Destitute Asylum.

To find information during the years 1873 to 1880 try Minutes of the Destitute Board, 1849-1927 (GRG 28/1) at the  Research Centre.

1870 to 1906

Index to GRG 28/5 Register of Admissions, Destitute Asylum, 1870-1906 - A - C

Index to GRG 28/5 Register of Admissions, Destitute Asylum, 1870-1906 - D - F

Index to GRG 28/5 Register of Admissions, Destitute Asylum, 1870-1906 - G - I

Index to GRG 28/5 Register of Admissions, Destitute Asylum, 1870-1906 - J - K

Index to GRG 28/5 Register of Admissions, Destitute Asylum, 1870-1906 - L - N

Index to GRG 28/5 Register of Admissions, Destitute Asylum, 1870-1906 - O - Q

Index to GRG 28/5 Register of Admissions, Destitute Asylum, 1870-1906 - R - T

Index to GRG 28/5 Register of Admissions, Destitute Asylum, 1870-1906 - U - Z

1906 to 1909

Index to GRG 28/5 Register of Admissions, Destitute Asylum, 1906-1909

Digitised records on FamilySearch - Register of admissions, lying-in-home for expectant mothers, and infants born in destitute asylum

Infants born in the Destitute Asylum, from 1883

Register of infants born in the Destitute Asylum, from 1883 (GRG 29/15)

Digitised records on FamilySearch - Register of admissions, lying-in-home for expectant mothers, and infants born in destitute asylum, 1881-1909

Admissions to the Lying-in Home, from 1886

Register of admissions to the Lying-in Home, from 1886 (GRG 28/13)

Digitised records on FamilySearch - Register of admissions, lying-in-home for expectant mothers, and infants born in destitute asylum, 1881-1909

Applications and licences issued to keep lying-in homes, 1900-1910

Register of applications and licences issues to keep lying-in homes, 1900-1910 (GRG 27/14)

This series records licence holders and addresses of lying-in homes from metropolitan, suburban and rural areas of South Australia.

Index to GRG 27/14 Register of applications and licences issued, 1900-1910 - alphabetical by surname of applicant

GRC 27/32, unit 1, Destitute Asylum, with historical notes

Key facts

The first Ordinance relating to the maintenance of the destitute was passed in South Australia in 1843.
The Destitute Board was appointed in 1849. This Board was responsible for giving relief those who had no means or relatives to support them. Two forms of relief were available:

  • “Outdoor” – consisting of rations of food and firewood to those with a roof over their head, and
  • “Indoor” – available to the sick, homeless, widowed and elderly residing in the Destitute Asylum.

The Destitute Asylum also operated the Lying-In Home for destitute expectant mothers.

Records of the Destitute Board and Asylum can be an important source of information for family historians.
These records can give a snapshots of our ancestors at different stages of their lives. 
These records can also provide extra information, such as when someone arrived in South Australia and what ship they travelled on.