Who Do You Think You Are

Some readers might have seen the recent Who Do You Think You Are episode on the singer Tina Arena.  Tina’s father migrated to Queensland from Italy in 1955, arriving in Cairns and working as a sugar cane cutter in the area.

Queensland State Archives holds records relating to Italian immigrants in its collection.

Some examples are:

Dossiers on Assisted Immigrants 1909 to 1941: Queensland State Archives Series ID 13090

These dossiers consist of forms and some correspondence relating to intending immigrants who applied for and were granted assisted passages to Queensland. The forms consist mainly of applications for assisted migration and include personal details and advice of passage bookings with names of ships and dates of departure. They may also include related documents such as medical certificates and certificates of identity, along with photographs of the intending migrants.

Rizzo family Romano family

Examples of documents from the files for: Andrea, Pasquala, Giovannina and Maria RIZZO along with Guiseppe and Concetto PUNTURO (on Left); and Margherita, Angelo and Valerio ROMANO (on  right).

Register of firms This register records the registration of firms on the Ingham petty sessions district 1934 to 1937. Details noted include the certificate number; the registered name of the firm; full names of firm members; date of registration; fee paid; description and location of the business; private address and description of any other occupation of the firm’s members, year of registration renewal and any remarks regarding the firm, such as the dates on which it commenced and ceased business. Queensland State Archives Item ID 282270

Register of liquor licences This is one of three registers of Liquor Licences issued in the Ingham courts covering 1913 to 1974. They provide details for each licence including date of hearing; name and address of licensee; type of licence; whether the license is new, transferred or temporary; name, description and locality of premises for which the license is granted; details of previous convictions against licensee; and transfers of the licence. Queensland State Archives Item ID 282294. In this example page you can see the various Italian names listed and the associated hotels.

Niles Elvery

Manager, Public Access
Queensland State Archives