Indexes and Lists of Convicts
National Archives of Ireland - Transportation Records, 1788-1868. Searchable database of many Irish convicts transported to Australia, compiled from transportation registers and petitions to government for pardon or commutation of sentence.
The Proceedings of the Old Bailey London 1674-1834. A fully searchable online edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing accounts of over 100,000 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court. Hint: Use Advanced Search and select "Transportation" in the Punishment field. Includes Crimes Tried at the Old Bailey: Explanations of Types and Categories of Indictable Offences.
Lancaster Castle - Convicts Sentenced at Lancaster and Transported to Australia. Lists the names and known details of many of the convicts who were sentenced at Lancaster, with further names being researched. The Lancaster Castle Project Team would like to hear from Australian Families who are descendants of these transportees.
Lincolnshire Archives: Convicts of Lincolnshire. The Lincolnshire Archives database of transported convicts has now been expanded to include all convicts known to have been transported to Australia, Bermuda and Gibraltar between 1788-1868 (just under 2000). In addition to basic information including the convicts' names, places and dates of trial and shipping details, over half the convicts also have additional information about their crimes, etc, on the on-line database. Complementing this database are surname indexes of convict aliases and the victims of the crimes. Any comments will be appreciated by the archivist in charge of the database at Lincolnshire.Archive@lincolnshire.gov.uk.
Transportation of Convicts from Nottingham. The convicts on this list were tried at Nottingham Borough Quarter Sessions Court, which tried less serious offences. Includes date of trial, sentence and crime.
West Kent Quarter Sessions Index 1788-1804. Gives Name, Year, Place and Type of Record. Includes transportees.
York Assizes 1785 - 1851. An index to records held in York Reference library of prisoners brought to trial at York Assizes 1785 - 1851. From the City of York & District Family History Society. The Library's records give quite a lot of detail and, in most cases, there are also the results of the trials. It's hoped to publish some of these, at a later time.
Devon Convicts Transported to Australia 1782-1821. Transcribed from Appendix A of "The Last Farewell", by Jack Walton, this list includes names of 574 Devon convicts "abstracted from ships indents and their trial details taken from Quarter Sessions, Assises and the Exeter Flying Post".
Inveraray Jail in Argyll, Scotland. Search the prison database for former prisoners who were transported to Australia.
National Library of Wales: Crime and Punishment Database. Index to the Gaol Files of the Court of Great Sessions in Wales, 1730-1830.
Cape Banks FHS Members' Convicts 1788-1850.
Lists well over 100 names, with details of sentence, offence, ship and year of arrival.
New South Wales
Convict Women to NSW (Part of this web site - see also link at top of each page).
Convict Women arriving in New South Wales from England, Ireland and Scotland 1788-1828. (Search by ship or use our special search engine.)
State Records New South Wales has a range of indexes relating to convicts which will be progressively added to. Click on "Search our on-line indexes" for a list which includes:
Society of Australian Genealogists : Index to NSW Convict Tickets of Leave, 1810-1875. Search the Index online and use SAG's record retrieval service to order on-line a copy of the ticket butt from the microfilm.
- Convict Indexes to Certificates of Freedom, 1823-69 and Tickets of Exemption from Government Labor, 1827-32. Substantial indexes, covering over 40,000 entries, can be searched by name of convict or ship of arrival.
- Index to the Bench of Magistrates, 1788-1820 . This index lists all the cases heard before the Judge Advocate’s Bench of magistrates between 19 February 1788-25 November 1820. Information includes surname, name, charge/nature of document, date, number, page, item identifier, reel, COD, and remarks.
- Colonial Secretary Index, 1788-1825. Included are:
- Letters from Government officials and private individuals, copies of agreements, despatches, general orders, instructions, ordinary regulations, proclamations, memoranda, reports and returns.
- Memorials, which are, for the most part, applications for land grants, leases and Tickets of Occupation but also include requests relating to other matters such as applications for assigned convicts or to be victualled from the Stores. Memorials frequently contain some background history or other details to support the applicant's case.
- Petitions from convicts, or from family members or other persons on their behalf, for some mitigation of sentence such as a ticket of leave or a pardon. These documents often contain information as to the convict's general conduct and history including the name of the ship of arrival, colonial employment and family details.
Irish Convicts to Australia. The Mayberry Home Page has a database of Irish Rebel Convicts transported to NSW during the period 1797 to 1806. There is also a database of shipping indents and other details for Irish Convicts to Australia 1791-1820.
Claim-A-Convict: Home Page of Lesley Uebel. Lists of all convicts, male and female, transported to Port Jackson between 1788 and 1813 and more. Over 20,000 convicts, their trial place and date, age, the ships they came on and some occupations.
First Fleet Online. Resource provided by the University of Wollongong, includes a database of the First Fleet convicts; background notes about the sources of the data in the database; diary extracts, stories and letters of the time.
Women and Female children of the Royal Admiral 1792. Extracts from Ladies of the Royal Admiral 1792. Copyright © Cathy Dunn 1996 ISBN 0 958786 0 3.
Published January 1996 Milton NSW.
Women Convicts featured in Governor Hunter's Assignment Report 1798. Extracts from Governor Hunter's Assignment Report Women Convicts 1798.
ISBN 0 958786 1 1. Copyright Cathy Dunn September 1995.
The Bathurst Convicts: Convict Life and Labour on the Western Pastoral Frontier of NSW. Maintained by David Roberts, UNE Armidale, this site features a database of 1,041 convicts who are known to have been in the Bathurst district, west of the Blue Mountains, in the period 1821-1825. Also includes a database of Irish convicts at Bathurst in the 1820s and a list of 61 convicts who are known to have been at Wellington Valley at some time between 1823-1825.
The Castle Forbes Affair : Records of the 1833 Convict Revolt in the Hunter Valley, NSW Australia. This site is an online archive of documents and materials relating to the Castle Forbes Affair, transcribed by David Andrew Roberts and Sue Wiblin.
Convicts Employed in the Gundaroo Area. Includes year, age, ship, where tried and master. Part of Graeme Challinor's Genealogy Pages.
Milton Ulladulla Convicts. List of convicts compiled by Cathy Dunn.
The Westernport Settlement of 1826-28. Compiled by John Graham. Details of all those who can be identified as having spent some time at the Westernport Settlement (now the site of Corinella, Vic) between its establishment on November 24th, 1826 and its abandonment on February 27th, 1828.
Tasmania GenWeb Convicts Index. Includes lists of Convict Absconders, Convict Pardons 1851, Archived Convicts Indexes.
Indexes of Tasmanian Convicts. Compiled by Jackie Browne, includes lists of Tasmanian Convicts and Convict Ships, Permissions to Marry, Conditional Pardons.
Genseek's Convict Index. Lists mainly Tasmanian convicts, from colonial newspapers.
AUS-Tasmania Genealogy. The Convicts section includes a list of researchers of Tasmanian convicts (listed by convict surname), a list of convict transport ships to Tasmania plus a list of convicts transported from Devon and Cornwall 1851-1856.
The Armagh Five : Irish Ribbonmen in Tasmania 1840-1850. Article by Mel Kennan on convicts who advised the Tasmanian authorities that they had been transported for offences relating to
"ribbonism". Lists names and details of 30 convicts.
Western Australian Convicts (Part of this web site - see also link at top of each page).
Lists of all the English, Irish, Scottish and military convicts transported to Western Australia between 1850 and 1868, with physical descriptions and trial details.
Fremantle Prison. After 136 years as Western Australia's primary place of incarceration Fremantle Prison is now one of Australia's most significant heritage sites. Provides information about its history and continuing use and includes a convict database under the heading "Crime and Punishment".
South Australian Transported Convicts, 1837-1851. List from Adelaide Proformat.
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Guides to Records and Sources
State Library of NSW: Convict Research Guide. This guide takes you logically through the life of a convict, providing you with the best resources to research your convict ancestor.
Society of Australian Genealogists : Basics on Australian Convict Records. A very comprehensivee guide to SAG's holdings and to convict research in general.
National Archives of Ireland Research Guides. Topics include: Transportation to Australia 1791 - 1853 outline and detailed guide; Sources for the Great Famine 1845-1850s.
The following Public Record Office (UK) Research Guides provide excellent information:
Corporation of London Records Office Free information sheets and research guides. Includes Sessions Records, Transportation and Emigration.
Register of Australian Archives and Manuscripts. Searchable database of records describing non-government archives held in Australian archival repositories and libraries. Includes numerous convict records. Designed to provide researchers with sufficient information to enable a decision to be made on whether to follow up on accessing the material.
Censuses in Australian Colonies. Censuses and Musters 1788-1901, listed by State (from Adelaide Proformat).
New South Wales
State Records NSW Archives in Brief - Convict Records is a good outline of the main sources for convict research. The Concise Guide to the State [NSW] Archives is the main finding aid and control guide to the records held as State archives, covers some 255 agencies of government in New South Wales, and lists many thousands of records series, including Musters and Census Records, Convict Records and Convict Classification Board.
Archives Office of Tasmania. Brief Subject Guide 13: Contains a description of most of the series of records referred to in the Index to Tasmanian Convicts on CD-ROM – available now.
State Library of Tasmania. Convict Records. Lists resources available at the Archives Office of Tasmania, Launceston Reference Library and State Library of Tasmania.
Convicts. Subject Guide to Convict Records held by the Public Record Office: Victoria's Archives.
LISWA Convict Indexes
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Convict Ships. Australian National Maritime Museum Pathfinder Series - A list of sources in the Museum library that will help you to answer the following
questions about convict ships: Where was it built and when? What sort of ship was it? Is there a picture available? What happened to it? What other voyages did it make?
The Ships of the First Fleet, 1788. Fay Guthrie's Home Page includes paintings of all the ships of the First Fleet.
The Intolerable Hulks: British Shipboard Confinement 1776-1857, by Charles Campbell. This is a promotional site for the book and includes the Introduction, together with short accounts and pictures of the hulks York, Discovery, Warrior, Success, Defense and Bellerophon.
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Links to Useful Background Information
Convicts and the Colonies, a course at the University of Leicester. Of particular value to researchers are transcripts of many of the primary sources for the course.
International Centre for Convict Studies (ICCS) is an electronic archive of research, course materials, convict narratives and other information relating to the study of penal transportation and convict experience.
Irish Convicts Transported to Australia. Overview of transportation, from the Fianna Guide to Irish Research. Also describes the interior conditions on some convict ships, including the Hougoumont.
The Rule of Law in A Penal Colony - Law and Power in Early New South Wales , by David Neal. (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991), Chapter I : Great Changes.
Pre-1900 NSW Cases: Decisions of the Superior Courts of NSW 1788-1899. Many convicts mentioned here.
The Great North Road Convict Trail. The story of the building of the Great North Road from Sydney to the Hunter Valley, built by convict work gangs in the early 1800s. The Convict Trail Project is developing a list of all the men who worked on the Road. People are encouraged to adopt one of the Great North Road convicts and research his background.
Cascades Female Factory Historic Site. Cascades Female Factory operated between 1828 and 1856. The Colonial Government bought the site of Lowes Rum Distillery in 1827 and extended the existing buildings to house the increasing numbers of female convicts under sentence in the colony.
Archaeology at the Ross Female Factory Historic Site. Excavations of a mid-nineteenth century female convict site in Ross, Tasmania. Built in the early 1840's, this probation station incarcerated female convicts from 1847 to 1854.
Port Arthur Historic Site. Has a convict database. $15 for a brief search (up to 30 mins) for core convict record descriptions list and indents or $30 for full transcription of filmed originals, transcription core records and typed copies. Has links to other sites.
Norfolk Island. A site giving the history of Norfolk Island - set up by the Society of Pitcairn Descendants.
First Fleet Fellowship Victoria Inc.. This group's home page has links to the story of the First Fleet, information and drawings of all the ships in the First Fleet and a list of provisions (includes prickly pear) and livestock.