Moreton Bay Photo 1

To mark National Family History Week in Australia (4-12 August 2007) is launching the Moreton Bay Family History Challenge.

The Moreton Bay was the first of the Australian Commonwealth Government Line Ships designed to facilitate a state sponsored emigration of British subjects to Australia.

View a free two-minute movie entitled “Passenger Lists: People on the move” on the homepage of our sister site, The movie contains original footage of passengers boarding the Moreton Bay for its maiden voyage from Tilbury, East London to Brisbane in 1921.

The accompanying full-colour 20-page passenger list will be made available free to view on the site from early August until the end of September.

Once you’ve seen the movie and viewed the images we want your help!

If you can identify anyone on the film or the list please email us at with the details of your research.

View an alphabetical list of the passengers’ surnames included on the list

To help you pick out individuals we’ve provided some stills from the movie. This entry is for photo 1 – if you recognise anyone in the photo please leave a comment here.

We’re giving away a free Voyager subscription to the first 50 people who can identify an ancestor within the 762 people who travelled on the Moreton Bay. If you think that someone on board is one of your ancestors, show us them in your family tree.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply upload your GEDCOM using the family tree builder on or start a tree from scratch using this new, free software. Once this is done email us at to let us know the details of your intrepid ancestor.

Use the family tree builder now

Please tell any of your family and friends that you think might be able to trace their ancestors emigrating to Australia aboard the Moreton Bay and present them with this exclusive way of researching their family trees.

Search the rest of the passenger lists

If you recognise anyone in this photo add your comments here.

Take the Moreton Bay Challenge today!

Good luck.


10 Responses to Moreton Bay Photo 1

  1. Sarah B. says:

    How cool is that! The woman in square I5 looks just like my friend Lisa Macdonal (nee Henley). I’ll email her to see if she has any Aussie rellies.

  2. J Carole says:

    Strewth, that fellow in 4J looks like my good buddy Hugh Grant

  3. Marlene D'Silva says:


    Rosemary R

    “My husband knew his father Horace John Richards came to Australia from England but knew little else. On the passenger list for the ship “Moreton Bay” a passenger Horace J. Richards age 22, is recorded with a correct age and occupation and last address known to be Berks. Although originally in Sydney where he disembarked and known to have worked in N.S.W. he ended up living most of his years in Queensland near Moreton Bay. It is exciting to find a record as Jack was very reticent about details of his past…Thank you for releasing these records.”

  4. Christine Gainsborough says:

    I can confirm that my father Cecil Gainsborough is on the passenger list (page 7 item 133), but unfortunately we have no pictures of him at the age of 16, so are unable to state if he is on the film or not.

    If you do find someone who identifies him, can you please let me know??? I would love to know what my father looked like at 16 years old.

    He went to Australia by himself and worked on numerous farms in Australia. Unfortunately I have been unable to find out if there are any records of the farm labourers that went to Australia on the Moreton Bay as I would love to know where he worked and what he got up to!!!

  5. Marg Rundle says:

    Hello there,
    I’ve just read your latest email with interest, as I have relatives who arrived on the Moreton Bay in 1922. They were John and Elizabeth Smylie Tipping, and their daughters Isabel and Mary ( known in the family as Maisie). They were relatives of my maternal grandfather John James Henderson – Elizabeth was a Henderson before her marriage to John Tipping.

    The family lived in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. My mother was a niece to Elizabeth Tipping. Her name was Audrey Victoria Henderson. She was born in Melbourne in October 1922. It would be good to find out some more about my Irish relative – the records there seem to be hard to find at times.

  6. Allen Linning says:

    Thanks for providing the passenger lists for these ships.

    My mother Ruth Harris, then aged 9 arrived in Brisbane with her parents Frederick and Matilda Harris and her siblings on the Moreton Bay in July 1925.

    When I checked I found my grandfather Frederick James Harris was recorded as Frederick C. Harris. It just proves you can’t always rely on the written word for accuracy.

    My aunt Myra now 90 is the only surviving member of her family and was interested to learn of your passenger lists. She has many memories of her time aboard the Moreton Bay even though she was only 8 at the time. She told me today how she and her younger brother went past the rope barrier with the sign ” No passengers abaft this sign” and ended up in the officers dining room. They were treated to many sweets by the officers before being ushered out of the area. She has many happy memories about the voyage and a very sad one of the burial at sea of a young child which distressed all on board.

    I look forward to other stories about the Bay ships.

  7. Hugh Jones says:

    One family was the Blunsdons John and wife Ellen and children Henry James, Francis,Christina and Bridget Mary aged one. Mary is my aunt and is still alive and well and resides in Southport on Queensland’s Gold Coast. She was a pioneer in the sawmilling in Numinbah Valley with her husband Henry Winchester in the 1940s and has a line of descendants who proudly surround her .

  8. helen McShane says:

    My Great G-Father was Hugh Murray. A Hugh Murray arrived 1859 age 19 aboard the Shackamaxon and another Hugh Murray age 17 arrived on the Blenheim . My hugh ended up in NSW Gold Mining. How I would love to know more of his life

  9. Sarah Duce says:

    My Great grandmothers husband Joseph Rayner was a steward on the Moreton Bay. He had several brothers who were also at sea. Although Joseph never emigated he had relations that lived in Australia, who I have recently contacted. Joseph retired with my G grandmother , to run a pub, The Feathers, in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, England. I have a photo of him (he looks like an old seadog!)

  10. dr james king

    Man i love reading your blog, interesting posts !

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