See also Criminal and Court Records
State Library of Western Australia - Digitised books - Convict System. This collection of miscellaneous official documents relates to the transportation of convicts to Australia 1810-1865. There are eight volumes covering:
• Further correspondence on the subject of convict discipline and transportation, 1852-1855
• Papers relative to transportation and assignment of convicts, 1810-1846
• Copies of extracts of any correspondence between the Secretary of State and the Governor of Van Diemen's Land on the subject of convict discipline, 1810-1846
• Further correspondence on the subject of convict discipline and transportation, 1855-1857
• Correspondence on the subject of convict discipline and transportation, 1847-1849
• Further correspondence on the subject of convict discipline and transportation, 1859-1865
• Further correspondence on the subject of convict discipline and transportation, 1849-1850
To access this resource enter convict system under Title in the catalogue and select State Library Online from the drop-down box. Select a volume and browse through the pages by placing your cursor on the edge of a page and clicking. If you want to search for names, scroll down and select the Download button. This will save a searchable PDF version to your PC.
Ancestry.com.au - Australia Convict Collection offers access to 22+ convict databases. The records are fully indexed with a free surname search. A variety of subscription options offer access to digitised copies of the original records. Records include: Updated
• Australia - Convict Savings Bank Books, 1824-1886
• Australia, List of Convicts with Particulars, 1788-1842
• Australian Convict Transportation Registers – Other Fleets & Ships, 1791-1868
• Australian Convict Transportation Registers – First Fleet, 1787-1788, (free index)
• Australian Convict Transportation Registers – Second Fleet, 1789-1790
• Australian Convict Transportation Registers – Third Fleet, 1791
• England & Wales, Criminal Registers, 1791-1892, (free index)
• New South Wales and Tasmania, Convict Musters, 1806-1849
• New South Wales and Tasmania, Convict Pardons and Tickets of Leave, 1834-1859
• New South Wales, Convict Ship Muster Rolls and Related Records, 1790-1849
• New South Wales, Certificates of Freedom, 1810-1814, 1827-1867
• New South Wales, Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1825, (free index)
• New South Wales, Convict Death Register, 1826-1879
• New South Wales, Convict Indents, 1788-1842 (free index)
• New South Wales, Convict Registers of Conditional and Absolute Pardons, 1788-1870
• New South Wales, Gaol Description and Entrance Books, 1818-1930
• New South Wales, Registers of Convicts' Applications to Marry, 1826-1851
• New South Wales, Settler and Convict Lists, 1787-1834
• New South Wales, Tickets of Leave, 1824-1867
• New South Wales, Wives & Children of Irish Convicts, 1825-1840
• New South Wales, Convict Registers of Conditional and Absolute Pardons 1791-1867
• UK Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857
• UK Surgeon Superintendents' Journals of Convict Ships, 1858-1867
Convict Transportation Registers Database 1787-1867 held by the State Library of Queensland. This database, compiled from British Home Office (HO11) records, details over 123,000 of the estimated 160,000 convicts to Australia. It lists name, sentence details, ship, departure date, arrival date and place for those convicted in England, Wales and Scotland, not Ireland. Court-martialled soldiers from British colonies (West Indies, India, Pakistan and Canada.) sentenced to transportation are also included. It also offers the facility to post comments on the convict records as a way of sharing information. The dates of conviction are being added to each record as an ongoing project. This site also includes an extensive list of convict resources including websites, books and more.
ConvictRecords.com.au is based on the British Convict transportation register, compiled by the State Library of Queensland. This site can be searched by name or browsed by surname, year or ship. Information available includes name of convict, known aliases, place convicted, port of departure, date of departure, port of arrival and source data. Users can contribute extra information that is linked to individual convicts.
Convicts to Australia A Guide to Researching your Convict Ancestors by the Perth DPS. This site contains information on many aspects of the convict system and includes a glossary, bibliography and extensive online convict databases.
The National Archives (UK) Digital Microfilm allows you to search and download some of the most popular records. These files are large (some up to 800 pages) so a broadband connection is essential. These documents are currently free of charge to download. These records have not been indexed and so you will need to scroll through the pdfs, much as you would when using a microfilm. The following series of records on microfilm have been digitised and are available to download as pdf files.
• HO 9: Registers of the convicts in the hulks and a letter book relating to the establishment of the hulks, 1847 to 1849. Registers of the convicts in the hulks and a letter book relating to the establishment of the hulks, 1847 to 1849.
• HO 10: Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania: Records. Lists of the male and female convicts and former convicts in the colonies.
• HO 11: Home Office: Convict Transportation Registers. Lists of convicts transported in various ships, giving the dates of their convictions.
• HO 40: Home Office: Disturbances Correspondence. Home Office original correspondence, military and other reports, precis of information, impounded pamphlets and other papers relating to riots, disturbances, and political activities and writings.
Convict Ships – Medical Journals 1816-1867. This index by Grahame Thom is designed to help you access medical journals that were kept by surgeons on convict ships, 1816-1856 (mostly to Australia) and on emigrant ships 1825-1853 bound for Australia and New Zealand. The original records are held by the National Archives (Kew) at Admiralty 101 and Ministry of Transport 32. They are available on film through the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP). Note that there are 671 journals for, mostly convict ship, voyages to Australia available on Ancestry.com. Updated
Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP). Use this site for details of the AJCP and how to access records.
Surgeons at Sea - Royal Navy Medical Officers' Journals (ADM 101). This project is indexing all the names mentioned in the journals and diaries compiled by Royal Navy surgeons and assistant surgeons who served on HM ships, hospitals, naval brigades, shore parties and on emigrant and convict ships 1793 to 1880. Digital copies of some of the journals are available online (free) and include these convict ships to New South Wales: Albion 1828, Eliza 1822, John Barry 1821, Ocean 1817/1818 and Juliana 1838/1839 (emigrant ship). There are 671 journals for, mostly convict ship, voyages to Australia available on Ancestry.com New
Ship's Medical Journals. Ancestry.com has two collections available. Both contain indexed images of the original journals and there are a variety of subscription options available to access these images.
• UK Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 (ADM 101). ). Ships' medical officers were required to keep a record of patients, treatments and outcomes during a voyage. The 671 journals record patient details but they can also include details of other passengers, crew and day to day happenings on board. Most of the journals are for convict ship voyages to Australia but there are 29 journals for emigrant ships 1825-1853.
• UK Surgeon Superintendents' Journals of Convict Ships, 1858-1867 (MT32). There are 11 journals for convict ship voyages to Western Australia 1858-1867. The information varies from journal to journal but can include name, age, crime, sentence, point of embarkation, native country, education, death date, cause of death, sick lists, lists of ship's stores, and day-to-day happenings aboard ship. Crew members may also be mentioned.
Note: You will find an index to the ships from both these series on Grahame Thom's site listed above.
Convicts Australia by Jenny Fawcett offers access to many useful online convict indexes even though this site is no longer being maintained.
Swing Riots & Rioters.com by Jill Chambers includes detailed information on the Swing Riots of 1830 and 1831. There are details on the machine breakers, rioters and protestors many of whom were transported to Australia. The site also includes the name, age, place & date of trial, and sentence of those on board the Eliza to Tasmania 1831, the Eleanor to New South Wales 1831 and the Proteus to Tasmania 1831.
Ancestry.com.au - Australia Convict Collection offers access to the England & Wales, Criminal Registers, 1791-1892 . These registers list those charged with a crime and provide details of the charge, trial, and sentence (if convicted) and other outcomes such as transportation or execution. These records are fully indexed (free) and a variety of subscription options offers access to the original images.
Judges' Reports on Criminals (1783-1830). Use the National Archives (UK) Catalogue to search these reports which include original letters and reports from judges on cases and criminals plus petitions for commutation of sentence or free pardon. Enter a surname, place or crime committed plus HO47 for access. Detailed information on a case is available from the catalogue file description.
Ireland-Australia Transportation Database (1791-1868) is an online index to a series of records held by the National Archives of Ireland. In 1988 the Archives presented Australia with a set of these records, on 105 reels of microfilm, as Ireland's Bicentennial gift to Australia. This set of records is held by the National Library of Australia, State Library New South Wales, Society of Australian Genealogists and the Kiama Family History Centre. Note: The database is currently available as a pdf download.
Ireland-Australia transportation database .csv download.
Bedfordshire Gaol Register 1801-1901. This ongoing project currently has 1801-1879 (with gaps) available. New updates are added on a weekly basis. Details given vary but can include name, age, hair colour, height, crime, dates of commital and trial, sentence and means of disposal e.g. release, death, transportation etc.
Victorian Crime and Punishment searchable database of 20,000+ prisoners from Bedford, Huntingdon, Cambridge and Ely gaols. Digitised images of original archive material and photographs are included if available. There is background information on the gaols, life inside a nineteenth century prison and the justice system.
Cornwall Court of Quarter Sessions 1736-1852 on the Access to Archives site. Enter Quarter Sessions in the search box. On the next screen use the select repository box to select Cornwall Record Office. Records listed include the Quarter Sessions Records [QS/1/1-QS/1/12].
Index to the Last Farwell: Devon Convicts Transported to Australia 1782-1821 by Jack Walton. This list includes names of 574 Devon convicts.
Down County Museum's online database of 400+ Gaol Convicts held in Down gaol plus the details of 1300+ convicts from County Down who were transported to New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land.
Inveraray Jail, Argyll, Scotland. The Prison Database provides extensive details on those who were transported.
Kent Genealogy by Maureen Rawson includes indexes to East Kent (1682-1701) and West Kent (1734-1746; 1758-1804) quarter sessions; Maidstone gaol records and prisoners transported from Kent (1851-1852), listed under Miscellaneous.
FamilySearch free, searchable Historical Record Collections. The record collections for the United Kindgom and Ireland include:
• Kent, Quarter Sessions and Court Files, 1600-1883
• Ireland, Prison Registers, 1790-1924
Lancaster Castle Convict Database lists those tried and sentenced at Lancaster Assizes including those transported to Australia. The database lists name, age, trial date, offence and sentence.
Lincolnshire Convicts to Australia, Gibraltar and Bermuda. This site has an online database which details all Lincolnshire convicts known to have been transported between 1788-1868.
Transportation of Convicts from Nottingham by Philip Westwood. This site has an alphabetical list of convicts tried at Nottingham Borough Quarter Sessions Court and transported to Australia.
Calendars of Prisoners Database by Warickshire County Record Office. Select Online Catalogue and Databases for access. This database lists prisoners held at Warwick, Birmingham and Coventry awaiting trial at the Courts of Assize and Quarter Sessions courts held in Warwick 1800-1900. Search by surname, crime, year of crime, location of crime and residence.
York Assizes 1785-1851 Index by the City of York & District Family History Society. This is an index to records held in York Reference library of prisoners brought to trial at York Assizes.
National Library of Wales - Crime and Punishment Database with data about crimes, criminals and punishments included in the gaol files of the Court of Great Sessions in Wales (1730-1830).Hulks
Basics on Convict Hulks by the Society of Australian Genealogists. This guide covers: history, conditions on the hulks, the hulks and the records and further reading
Australian Capital Territory
List of Convicts Canberra and District by Canberra History Web . This list includes those known to have been assigned to the Canbera district while either serving their sentence, or after gaining their ticket-of-leave. This developing site has individual convict profiles online where available and contributions are welcome.
New South Wales
Indexes Online - Convicts at State Records New South Wales includes a combined convict database search (120,000+ entries) which currently includes:
• Certificates of Freedom, 1823-1869
• Convict bank Accounts, 1837-1870
• Convict Death Register, 1828-1879
• Recommendations for Convict Pardons, 1826-1856
• Tickets of Exemption from Government Labor, 1827-1832
• Tickets of Leave, Certificates of Emancipation and Pardons, 1810-1819
• Tickets of Leave, 1810-1875
• Ticket of Leave Passports, 1835-1869
Other indexes available include:
• Convict exiles, 1846-1850
• Applications to marry, 1825-1851
• Pardons 1791-1825, 1837-1841.
Other indexes that may relate to convicts include Bench of Magistrates (1788-1820) and the Colonial Secretary Index (1788-1825).
Claim a Convict. This site, established in 1998, by the late Lesley Uebel, is now being maintained by her friends who have updated the user interface and search capabilities. There are details of 21,000+ convicts arriving at Port Jackson from 1788. The site enables descendants of convicts to make contact and share information. Updated
Free Settler or Felon is a searchable database of 170,000+ references to convicts, settlers, townsfolk, bushrangers, innkeepers, soldiers land owners, medical practitioners and magistrates. Areas covered include Newcastle, Maitland, Paterson, Muswellbrook, Singleton, Raymond Terrace, Dungog, Morpeth, Wollombi, Central Coast, Murrurundi, Scone and more. There is information about the voyages of 350+ convict ships and the Surgeon Superintendents who accompanied and much more. This site can be searched by first name, last name, ship or all three. This site is a must to visit if you have Newcastle or Hunter Valley ancestors. Updated
Index to NSW Convict Tickets of Leave, 1810-1875 is part of the Society of Australian Genealogist's online databases. This index can be searched on last name, first name, ship, year, trade or calling, or district. This site is currently unavailabe. It will return as part of the MIDAS catalogue.
Tocal’s Convicts 1822-1840. This extensive site provides detailed information on 150 convicts who were assigned to the Tocal estate in the Hunter Valley of NSW at some stage during their sentence. It also details Tocal's Irish rebels and English rioters plus much more.
From Terra Australis to Australia an online collection by the State Library of New South Wales that includes a First Fleet archive with access to 450+ original documents and illustrations.
First Fleet Online has a searchable database of 780 First Fleet convicts plus many other resources.
Arrivals in Sydney on the First, Second and Third Fleets can be found on Patricia Downes Australian Pioneers site.
Convict Trail Caring for the Great North Road includes a detailed history of the road built (1826-1836) to connect Sydney with Newcastle and the Upper Hunter Valley. There is a database of convicts who worked on the road plus a location list of the road gangs and details of the overseers.
Queensland State Archives - Indexes include:
• Chronological register of convicts at Moreton Bay 1824-1839
Convicts Transported from South Australia 1837-1851 This index by Graham Jaunay lists convict's name, crime, date and sentence.
Convict Expirees arriving from other colonies on Family History South Australia's Persons Lost and Found 1838 to 1915 database by Maureen Leadbeater. This database has been compiled from South Australian Police Gazettes and early SA Government Gazettes.
LINC Tasmania online name indexes include:
• Convict applications for permission to marry - index of convicts applying to marry free people or other convicts (1829-1857)
• Tasmanian convicts - index of all convicts transported to Tasmania and those convicted locally through the convict system
Most of the convict records for Tasmania have now been digitised and are available online (free). This ongoing project will place any remaining records online as they become available. Further information about these records and how to view them online is available at this site.
Founders & Survivors is a partnership between historians, genealogists, demographers and population health researchers. It seeks to record and study the founding population of 73,000 men women and children who were transported to Tasmania. The site is searchable by name with links to digital images if available.
Female Convicts Research Group maintains theFemale Convicts of Van Dieman's Land Database which aims to record all female convicts who spent time in Van Diemen's Land. This site also offers access to an extensive collection of lists relating to female convicts.
Tasmanian Convict Record Abbreviations by Maree Ring includes names, occupations and place names plus other useful information.
Convict Ships List by M Yost. An alphabetical list (incomplete) of ships to Tasmania with departure and arrival details convict numbers, remarks and sources. Convicts listed by researchers on the Tasmanian Convict Index are also listed with their ship's voyage in this index, plus contact details.
Convicts who Settled in the Sorell Area of Van Diemen's Land by Sue Wyatt.
Indexes of Tasmanian Convicts includes a Tasmanian Convict Index, permission to marry; conditional pardons; free males who became prisoners and assignment lists.
The Cascades Female Factory Historic Site. The Cascades Female Factory was officially opened in 1828. It was the female equivalent of Port Arthur housing female convicts and children.
Ross Female Factory on the Parks & Wildlife Service Tasmania site.Victoria
The Westernport Settlement 1826-1828 (Corinella VIC). John Graham's list of military personnel, convicts and civilians involved in this experimental settlement. Includes biographical information.Western Australia
Fremantle Prison - Convict Database. This database is searchable by surname or ship. A search returns detailed information on the convict including ship and arrival date, alias, birth date, marital status, occupation, literacy, religion, sentence details, crime and ticket of leave date.
State Records Office of Western Australia The Collection > Convict Records details the records held including the downloadable indexes, by Anne and Bruce Buchanan, to a series of convict related letters in the correspondence of the Governor of Western Australia 1851-1858.Home