|Description on FindMyPast as at 12 March 2015|
The description on FindMyPast currently says, 'The records show... reason that the vessel was leaving, whether it was returning...' - and (elsewhere) - 'ship and date of departure as well as the time it was expected to be away'.
That's wrong! (UPDATE: I mentioned this to FindMyPast and they fixed it promptly.)
The records actually show the passenger's reason for returning overseas, whether he/she was planning to return to Australia, and how long he/she expected to be away.
I've used these records many times; and when clients ask about passport records for people leaving Queensland, my answer is:
Queensland State Archives do hold a few records relating to departures. They include:
* Immigration Department: passport clearance register 1926-1935 (series 7149; one item). This gives the passenger's name, ship and date of arrival, State of disembarkation, ship and date of departure, passenger's reason for returning overseas, and whether he/she was planning to return to Australia.
* Immigration Department: passport receipts 1930-1939 (series 10222; thirteen items). These are duplicates of passport clearances issued to assisted immigrants. They give the passenger's name, ship and date of arrival. Some also give the ship and date of departure and how long the person expected to be away.
Other passport records are held by the National Archives of Australia. This is an extract from my book Tips for Queensland Research:
After the Passports Act 1920, Australian residents over sixteen years of age needed a passport if they left the country. This did not apply to those going to New Zealand, Papua or Norfolk Island. Others who were exempt included merchant seamen and defence force personnel on duty. The National Archives Brisbane Office holds passport registers 1915-1974 and various other records of people departing Australia. Some of those passport registers have been indexed by the Queensland Family History Society as 'Queensland Passports Index 1915-1925'. Most applicants lived in Queensland but some gave an interstate or overseas address.
If a person 'vanished' (either temporarily or permanently), passport records are definitely worth a look. They can also reveal interesting information about overseas holidays or trips to visit relatives.
NOTE! The transcription on FindMyPast is a useful finding aid, but it does not include all details, so it is essential to get a copy of the original records from Queensland State Archives. If you can't do that in person, the Archives will supply copies for a fee, as explained on FindMyPast (scroll down to 'ordering copies'), or you could use my professional services.
A British source that may be of interest is the Index to Register of Passport Applications 1851-1903.
(This post first appeared on http://qld-genealogy.blogspot.com.au/2015/03/queensland-passport-registers-1926-1939.html.)