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Hospital Admission Records

People born in many parts of the world (United Kingdom, Ireland, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, West Indies, South Africa, India, China etc), including sailors from ships in port, were admitted to hospitals in Queensland, Australia. Hospital admission registers contain superb biographical details, which, if supplied by the patient, are often more accurate than details on certificates. A hospital register is sometimes the only surviving source of information about ship of arrival.

For patients born before civil registration, the age, birthplace and parents' details may break down brick walls in your genealogy (especially if you research your ancestors' siblings).

The printed registers have space for these details:

  • name
  • date admitted
  • age
  • birthplace
  • occupation
  • religion
  • ship of arrival
  • how long in the colony (and sometimes other colonies)
  • place of residence
  • marital status
  • place of marriage, at what age, and name of spouse
  • names and ages of children living
  • number and gender of children deceased
  • father's name and occupation
  • father's present residence if living (or 'father dead')
  • mother's maiden name
  • disease or reason for admission
  • date of discharge, or date and cause of death
  • remarks (which sometimes include medical history, social circumstances, property, employment, wages, other sources of income, other wage-earners in the family, membership of clubs or benefit societies, etc).

Note the provision for ship of arrival, place of residence, marital status, and father's present residence (details that you will not find on a Queensland death certificate).

Only a small number of these superb registers have survived. Follow the links below to see descriptions of the contents of each series, and patients' names. NOTE: many people were in a hospital far from their home.

For historical context, read rules, costs and conditions for hospital patients.


BRISBANE, Queensland

Brisbane Hospital patients' names from my indexes to admission registers for part of 1887, 1901 and 1902, and patient charts for part of 1900. Some patients lived a long way from Brisbane (including Cairns, Charters Towers, Adavale, Tambo, Goondiwindi, Stanthorpe and Maryborough).

I have also indexed Brisbane Prison Hospital admission registers, and names will soon be on my Web site. Watch for an annoucement on What's New (opens in a new window).


BURKETOWN, Queensland

Burketown Hospital patients' names from my index to the only surviving admission register (16 Dec 1909 - 29 Dec 1923).


COOKTOWN, Queensland

Cooktown Hospital patients' names from my index to admission registers between 1884 and 1901 (with a few gaps). Cooktown was the port for North Queensland goldfields. Patients include many miners, sailors and people who had been in New Guinea or New Zealand. I also have access to a few registers between 1902 and 1915, some of which have a name index at the front (see details of my professional research service).


CROYDON, Queensland

Croydon Hospital patients' names from my index to admission registers between 1888 and 1925 (with a few gaps). This includes the time of the local gold rush. In the early years, about 70% of hospital patients were born in Britain or Ireland, and about 15% in Australia's southern states, with significant numbers from mining areas, especially Victorian goldfields.


INGHAM, Queensland

Ingham Hospital patients' names from my index to an admission register for Aug 1889 to May 1890.


MACKAY, Queensland

Mackay Hospital records (much less informative than those described above) only list the patient's name, age, birthplace, religion, disease, admission and discharge dates, death date if applicable, and remarks. Mackay Library has indexed the records for part of 1891-1899 and 1902-1908. I have a copy of the index, and I can get copies of the original records (see details of my professional research service).


MUTTABURRA, Queensland

Muttaburra Hospital patients' names from my index to registers between 1887 and 1928 (with many gaps).


ROCKHAMPTON, Queensland

When a hospital building was demolished a few years ago, many old patient records were discovered. As far as I know, they are not available to the public.


ROMA, Queensland

I have indexed Roma Hospital admission registers for part of 1904-1905 and 1911, and names will soon be on my Web site. Watch for an annoucement on What's New (opens in a new window). Registers for part of 1914-1918 also exist, but they are not yet open to the public.


TOOWOOMBA, Queensland

Toowoomba Hospital records that I previously mentioned here are no longer open to the public.


Other towns

I have not seen any hospital admission registers for other towns, but you could try contacting the hospital plus local historical societies and genealogical groups. NOTE: Many people were in a hospital far from their home, so search all indexes mentioned above, plus indexes to hospital records for other States (especially Victoria), some of which are listed in Specialist Indexes in Australia: a genealogist's guide.


Rules, costs and conditions for hospital patients in the old days

Rules and Regulations for Burketown Hospital (dated 1903 and still in use in 1911) include:

  • Persons who made annual contributions to the hospital could recommend non-paying or paying patients for admission. A one-pound contribution entitled them to recommend one indoor and one outdoor patient;  two pounds - two indoor and two outdoor patients;  four pounds - four indoor and four outdoor patients;  and six pounds or more - six indoor and six outdoor patients. [My note:  if an admission register says 'admitted by ticket', it means 'admission by contributor's recommendation'.]

  • Paying patients were charged two guineas per week, payable in advance.

  • A patient claiming to be unable to pay, but who actually had the means of paying the hospital charges when admitted, was liable for the sum of ten shillings per day.

  • Emergency cases were accepted, but might be liable for payment later, depending on their means.

  • Prohibited as patients:  pregnant females for the purpose of confinement;  insane, epileptic, or incurable cases;  persons suffering from venereal disease  (but the surgeon had discretionary power to admit prohibited cases subject to the approval of the committee). [My note:  in practice, patients with venereal disease frequently appear in the registers, and some insane or epileptic patients were transferred from the hospital into police custody or to Goodna Mental Asylum; but women almost never appear in the registers at the time of childbirth unless there were complications.]

  • Visitors were permitted only on Sunday and Thursday between 10am and 5pm, with no more than two visitors per patient per day, except on special occasions and with the surgeon's permission. The only male visitors admitted to the female ward were close relatives (subject to the approval of the surgeon), clergymen, or members of the committee.

  • All convalescent patients were required to do light work (unpaid) in the hospital, such as getting wood, clearing up the yard, gardening, and otherwise assisting the wardsman. The medical officer was the sole judge, and he specified the kind and amount of such service. Patients were forbidden to offer any remuneration to the officials!

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