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Queensland Hospital Admission Records for Genealogy

People born in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, America, Canada and other parts of the world appear in Queensland hospital admission registers, which are very useful for genealogy. Biographical details supplied by the patient are often more accurate than those on certificates. A hospital register is sometimes the only surviving source of information about the ship on which a person arrived.

A few series of Queensland hospital records have survived (deposited at Qld State Archives). Many people were in a hospital far from their home. Follow the links below to search lists of names. Queensland Health recently increased the 'restricted period' for hospital admission registers from 65 years to 100 years; but for advice on obtaining Croydon and Muttaburra hospital records from less than 100 years ago, see the 'Copying Service' section of those pages.

To find out whether hospital records exist for towns not listed below, check Qld State Archives' catalogue, and contact the hospital itself and the local Historical Society and Genealogical Society.

Hospital admission registers for Brisbane, Brisbane prison, Burketown, Cooktown, Croydon, Ingham, Muttaburra and Roma are printed volumes with space for details similar to those on a Queensland death certificate plus extra information such as ship of arrival, place of residence, marital status, father's present residence (or 'father dead'), and other details that will delight family historians.

Read the article about rules, costs and conditions for hospital patients in the old days, and follow these links to patients' names and more information about records for these towns:

Indexes to hospital records for other States are listed in Specialist Indexes in Australia: a genealogist's guide.

BRISBANE, Queensland

Some patients lived a long way from Brisbane (including Cairns, Charters Towers, Adavale, Tambo, Goondiwindi, Stanthorpe and Maryborough). For Brisbane Hospital admission registers Jan-Mar 1887, Jan-Feb 1901 and Sep-Nov 1902, and patient charts for 1900, patients' names are on my Web site, and the index (with source references) is also on FindMyPast.

Some Brisbane Prison Hospital admission registers are also at Qld State Archives, and I am currently indexing them.

BURKETOWN, Queensland

I have indexed the only surviving register, 16 Dec 1909 - 29 Dec 1923.

COOKTOWN, Queensland

Cooktown was the port for North Queensland goldfields. Many miners and sailors, and people from elsewhere in North Qld and New Guinea, were admitted to Cooktown Hospital. I have indexed surviving registers between 1884 and 1901. Some registers for later years also exist, and many have a name index at the front.

CROYDON, Queensland

Croydon was declared a goldfield in 1886, and by 1887 its population was over 6,000. During the early years, about 70% of those admitted to hospital were born in Britain or Ireland, and about 15% were born in Australia's southern states, with significant numbers from mining areas, especially Victorian goldfields. Other birthplaces include USA, Canada, West Indies, India, South Africa, China, NZ, Germany, Scandinavia and many other parts of Europe. I have indexed Croydon Hospital admissions 25 Mar 1888 to 26 Feb 1920 and 28 Feb 1920 to 4 Apr 1925. Patients' names are on my Web site, and the index (with source references) is also on FindMyPast.

INGHAM, Queensland

I have indexed the register for Aug 1889 - May 1890. Some registers for 1927 and 1928 exist, but they are not open to the public.

MACKAY, Queensland

Mackay Hospital records are much less informative than those for other towns. An index has been compiled by Qld State Archives.

MUTTABURRA, Queensland

I have indexed all surviving registers from 1887 to 5 Dec 1928, but there are several large gaps in this series. Some registers for 1929 onwards exist, often with a name index at the front, but they are not open to the public.


When a hospital building was being demolished, some old patient records were discovered by a staff member. She arranged for them to be stored safely until Queensland Health could take them. The last time I checked, they had not been transferred to Qld State Archives.

ROMA, Queensland

I am indexing Roma Hospital admission registers for part of 1904-1905 and 1911. (Registers for part of 1914-1918 exist, but they will not be accessible until 2014-2018.)

TOOWOOMBA, Queensland

Toowoomba Hospital records are much less informative than those for other towns. One source for 1 Jan 1913 - 31 Dec 1924 [Qld State Archives A/73219] has annual lists of patients admitted (separate lists for males and females). It gives patient's name and admission/discharge dates, and is alphabetical by first letter of surname.

Within the same source there are also separate lists of old age pensioners admitted to Toowoomba Hospital. Two lists, females 1915-1924 and males 1917-1924, give name, town where pension was payable, and admission/discharge dates.

A register of patients admitted 21 Nov 1936 - 15 Jul 1938 [Qld State Archives B/3079] gives name, age, sex, marital status, religion, address (usually just the town), local authority (or 'travelling'), disease, result, admission and discharge dates, by whom recommended, and transfers to another hospital etc.

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

I discovered a copy of the Rules and Regulations for Burketown Hospital dated 1903 (and obviously still in use in 1911). Some of the more interesting rules are as follows:

  • 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 were:  pregnant females for the purpose of confinement;  insane, epileptic, or incurable cases;  and persons suffering from venereal disease. However, 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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