Many researchers into the early history of Victoria will have heard of the "Hall Manuscripts" but who created them and what are they?

These records were compiled by William Alfred Hall (1857-1937) whose grandfather William Hall (1800-1870) arrived at Melbourne with his wife and family on 21 June 1840 per "Andromache" and settled at Williamstown. William Alfred Hall was active in a number of organisations including the Royal Historical Society of Victoria and the Early Pioneers Association. He also lectured and wrote articles about early Victoria.

Though Hall's manuscripts are held by the State Library of Victoria, the "Hall Manuscripts" is the name usually given to an index and partial transcription that was prepared under the supervision of Mrs. Marjory Morgan FGSV. The data was checked by Mrs. Valma Fell and the typing organised by Mrs. J. Pata. It contains the following records:


St James Church of England, Melbourne - baptisms 1830's (p.272).
St Francis Roman Catholic Church, Melbourne - baptisms (pp.199-230) with a separate index of the child's father (pp.231-262).
Independent Church, Melbourne - baptisms (p.197).
Various births (pp.273-279).


St. James Church of England, Melbourne - marriages 1837-1891 - indexed by groom's name (pp.1-173).
St. Francis Roman Catholic Church, Melbourne - marriages (p.281).
Methodist Church, Melbourne - marriages (p.282).
Independent Church, Melbourne - marriages (p.280).
Various marriages (pp.265-271).


St. James Church of England, Melbourne - burials (pp.174-196).
Roman Catholic Church, Melbourne - burials c1839-c1842 (pp.424-428).
Presbyterian Church, Melbourne - burials c1838-c1843 (pp.410-418).
Wesleyan Church, Melbourne - burials c1840-c1843, 1850 (pp.420-421).
Independent Church, Melbourne - burials c1840-c1844 (pp.422-423).
Baptist Church, Melbourne - burials 1843 (p.419).
Jewish burials (pp.263-264).
Williamstown Cemetery - burials (pp.297-299).
Notable deaths (pp.408-409) and various deaths (pp.284-291).
Old Melbourne Cemetery - history (pp.429-436).


Ship arrivals at Port Phillip 1802-1840 (pp.300-326) with an index of captains (pp.327-357) and passengers (pp.358-359).
Ship arrivals in Bass Straits 1797-1803 (p.366) with an index of captains (p.367).
Ship arrivals at Western Port 1798-1840 (pp.368-369) with an index of captains (pp.370-371).
Ship arrivals at Portland Bay and Port Fairy 1828-1840 (pp.372-380) with an index of captains (pp.381-387) and passengers (p.388).
Emigrant ship arrivals at Port Phillip 1839-1841 (pp.389-390) with an index of captains (pp.391).
Wrecks in Port Phillip Bay c1840-c1861 (pp.392-394) and at Port Phillip Heads c1845-c1860 (pp.395-397).
Ship arrivals at New South Wales 1770-1800 (pp.398-405) with an index of captains (pp.406-407).


Port Phillip Census 1836 - list of names (pp.484-485).
Port Phillip Census - March 1846 - population numbers. (p.486), data for each county, etc. (pp.489-491) and comparison with South Australia (p.488).
Port Phillip District - births, marriages & deaths - numbers registered in 1845 (p.487) and 1847 (p.492).
Port Phillip District - housing c1847 (p.492).


Derwent Bank Agency, Melbourne - list of customers, mainly February 1838 (pp.292- 296) and cash book & ledger accounts (pp.437-442).
Melbourne's first land sales - section/block numbers (pp.443-455) and buyers, etc. (pp.456-483).
Items of interest - firsts; foundation stones laid; notable deaths; land sales; etc. (pp.360-365) and miscellaneous events 1825-1839 (p.283).

A separate volume contains the following:


Vessels which passed through Port Phillip Heads from 1 February 1802 - 31 December 1838 (pp.1-15) with an index of captains and passengers (pp.16-31).
Numbers of ship arrivals for various periods (p.32) and a list of overseas ships 1839- 1840 (p.32a).
Vessels which arrived in Portland Bay and Port Fairy from November 1828 - 18 March 1837 (pp.33-35).

The State Library of Victoria also holds 15 volumes of Hall's newspaper cuttings, handbills, etc., many of which relate to the early history of Victoria. Most are in a fragile condition and each volume contains a very basic index.

Contributed by Alexander Romanov-Hughes ( PPPG Member No. 52 )

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