Pioneering Families of Australia


Bounty Immigrants



Female immigration was not persevered with and the Colonial Government sent Surgeon-Superintendents to act as Commissioners' selecting agents; while in 1835, employers acting through agents and the Commissioners brought out people with special skills.


In 1847, the second Bounty system of immigration was set up. The Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners were entrusted with the selection and conveyance of migrants, while the Immigration Board in Sydney decided whether or not shipping companies were entitled to payment for immigrants brought to the Colony.


After 1852, most immigrants who received assisted passages did so through relatives and friends. For a short period after 1859, shipowners bore the costs of conveyance and were remunerated by the Board, and the small amount of government assistance that was provided was allotted by Legislative vote. In 1861, the Immigration Office was abolished and unassisted immigration which had been growing apace over the previous 10 years came into its own. People were, however, still receiving assisted passages in 1896.


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The table below is an example of the occupatons that were in demand in the colonies.  These immigrants were all Scottish and arrived during the 4 years 1838 to 1842.

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Extracted from the:- "Concise Guide to State Archives of New South Wales"


Few free settlers were attracted to the penal colony of New South Wales during the first thirty years of its existence, despite the free passages, land grants and other incentives offered at various times during this period. As settlement spread and the proportion of emancipists and native-born increased during the 1820s, however, immigrants began arriving in greater numbers. With increasing prosperity came a growing demand for skilled labour, and the Government responded to this need (and to the problem of the great numerical inequality between the sexes) by introducing a number of assisted immigration schemes from 1832 onwards.


The first of the assisted migration schemes began in 1832 when eight single women and eight mechanics and their families left England aboard the "Marianne". Each single woman received a bounty of £8 and each mechanic was advanced £20 against his future wages. From 1832 to 1835, 3074 people received assistance at a cost to the colony of £31,028-6-9. They were selected and ships chartered for them by Emigration Commissioners in the United Kingdom, and during the voyage they were in the charge of the ship's master. In Sydney, emigration was administered by the Colonial Treasurer, Collector of Internal Revenue (and, for a short time) the Superintendent of Emigrants and the Immigration Board.