Overview

We hold many records relating to immigration to South Australia from 1836 onwards. This page focuses on a small set of records about mariners and sailors.

We also hold records relating to: 

National Archives of Australia has records of:

  • British and Foreign crew from the 19th and 20th centuries
  • Passenger lists for all Australian ports from 1924, and
  • Passenger lists for arrivals in South Australia from 1941.

For other government employment pages, see PoliceTeachers and Railway Employees.

Access conditions

Given the time that has already passed, most of these records are open for general public access.

Some of the series listed here have unusual access conditions. Ask a staff member to see if access is able to be provided.

Indexes and special lists

Certificates of competency

We hold a range of series which document the licensing and qualifications of masters, mates and engineers, as authorised by the Marine Board or related agencies.

Names within each of the following series can be found through a Name or Keyword search of our catalogue ArchivesSearch. Make a note of the certificate reference and series to order the record.

Masters

  • Certificates of competency as Master, 1862-1922 (GRG 51/124)
  • Masters` certificates of service, 1870-1907 (GRG 51/120)
  • Certificates of competency as Master of a steamer trading on the River Murray and its tributaries, 1874-1913 (GRG 51/137) - ask staff for assistance for access
  • Certificates of competency as master of a coast trade passenger ship or a coast trade ship above eighty tons register, 1874-1923 (GRG 51/125)
  • Certificates of competency as master of a coast trade passenger ship or a coast trade ship under eighty tons register, 1883-1894 (GRG 51/126)
  • Certificates of competency as master for a vessel under fifty tons gross registered tonnage and trading within restricted limits, 1894-1921 (GRG 51/127)

Mates, engineers and engine drivers

  • Certificates of competency as Engineer on the River Murray, 1874-1881 (GRG 51/139) - ask staff for assistance for access
  • Certificates of competency as only mate of an intercolonial ship, 1874-1897 (GRG 51/130)
  • Certificates of competency as First Mate - Marine Board, 1874-1923 (GRG 51/128)
  • Certificates of competency as second class engineer, 1874-1925 (GRG 51/132)
  • Certificates of competency as mate of a steamer trading on the River Murray, 1874-1949 (GRG 51/138)
  • Certificates of competency as first class engineer, 1876-1923 (GRG 51/131)
  • Certificates of competency as engine driver of a steam launch or hoisting machine, 1881 (GRG 51/136)
  • Certificates of competency as third class Engineer, 1883-1932 (GRG 51/133) - ask staff for assistance for access
  • Certificates of competency as second mate, 1895-1920 (GRG 51/129)
  • Certificates of competency as second class engine driver of a ship propelled by other mechanical power than steam, 1908-1939 (GRG 51/135)
  • Certificates of competency as first class engine driver of a ship propelled by other mechanical power than steam, 1910-1947 (GRG 51/134) - ask staff for assistance for access
  • Applications to be examined for a certificate of competency as an engineer, examiner`s authorities for delivery of a certificate of competency, and related papers, 1925-1959 (GRG 51/164)

Licensing

  • Surveyor of ships and cargoes' licences and marine surveyors' licences, 1860-1914 (GRG 51/143)
  • Marine pilots' licences, 1880-1903 (GRG 51/140)
  • Licences to adjust ships' compasses, 1883 (GRG 51/144)

Mariner Deserters, Convict Department, 1856-1860 (from GRG 54/39)

Information in this special list has been derived from a description book of the Convict Department (Dry Creek Labour Prison). It records offences by mariners, usually desertion or refusal of duty 1856 - 1860.

The volume itself contains additional information about the prisoners. See our Gaols page for more information about prisoner records.

Special List to GRG 54/39 Deserter's Index, 1856-1860 - alphabetical by surname