We present consistent annual mean atmospheric histories and growth rates for the mainly anthropogenic halogenated compounds HCFC-22, HCFC-141b, HCFC-142b, HFC-134a, HFC-125, HFC-23, PFC-14 and PFC-116, which are all potentially useful oceanic transient tracers (tracers of water transport within the ocean), for the Northern and Southern Hemisphere with the aim of providing input histories of these compounds for the equilibrium between the atmosphere and surface ocean. We use observations of these halogenated compounds made by the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE), the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of East Anglia (UEA). Prior to the direct observational record, we use archived air measurements, firn air measurements and published model calculations to estimate the atmospheric mole fraction histories. The results show that the atmospheric mole fractions for each species, except HCFC-141b and HCFC-142b, have been increasing since they were initially produced. Recently, the atmospheric growth rates have been decreasing for the HCFCs (HCFC-22, HCFC-141b and HCFC-142b), increasing for the HFCs (HFC-134a, HFC-125, HFC-23) and stable with little fluctuation for the PFCs (PFC-14 and PFC-116) investigated here. The atmospheric histories (source functions) and natural background mole fractions show that HCFC-22, HCFC-141b, HCFC-142b, HFC-134a, HFC-125 and HFC-23 have the potential to be oceanic transient tracers for the next few decades only because of the recently imposed bans on production and consumption. When the atmospheric histories of the compounds are not monotonically changing, the equilibrium atmospheric mole fraction (and ultimately the age associated with that mole fraction) calculated from their concentration in the ocean is not unique, reducing their potential as transient tracers. Moreover, HFCs have potential to be oceanic transient tracers for a longer period in the future than HCFCs as the growth rates of HFCs are increasing and those of HCFCs are decreasing in the background atmosphere. PFC-14 and PFC-116, however, have the potential to be tracers for longer periods into the future due to their extremely long lifetimes, steady atmospheric growth rates and no explicit ban on their emissions. In this work, we also derive solubility functions for HCFC-22, HCFC-141b, HCFC-142b, HFC-134a, HFC-125, HFC-23, PFC-14 and PFC-116 in water and seawater to facilitate their use as oceanic transient tracers. These functions are based on the Clark–Glew–Weiss (CGW) water solubility function fit and salting-out coefficients estimated by the poly-parameter linear free-energy relationships (pp-LFERs). Here we also provide three methods of seawater solubility estimation for more compounds. Even though our intention is for application in oceanic research, the work described in this paper is potentially useful for tracer studies in a wide range of natural waters, including freshwater and saline lakes, and, for the more stable compounds, groundwaters.