Between 1788 and 1868, over 160,000 convicted criminals (male and female) were transported to Australia from England, Scotland, Walesand Ireland to ease prison overcrowding. About half were sent to Sydney, with the others going to Norfolk Island, Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania), Port Phillip (Victoria), Moreton Bay (Queensland) or the Swan River (Western Australia).
Many of these convicts were transported for petty crimes, while a significant number were political prisoners. If a convict was well-behaved, he/she could apply for a Ticket of Leave, which gave limited freedom while still serving out the imposed sentence. A Certificate of Freedom would generally be issued once the sentence had been served and the convict had not committed further crimes.
Most were unable to return to their homeland once granted freedom because of the cost of a passage, and stayed in the colony as settlers, farmers or opened businesses. In Australia today it is almost considered a status symbol to have a convict ancestor, especially one from the First Fleet (1788).
This page records the names and details of family members known to have been Convicts, but because of common names, the use of aliases and spelling errors in shipping lists, it is a "work in progress". Please contact Bruce if you know of another person whose name should be included here.
Click on a person's name to view his/her personal details as recorded.
|Ashley, William||about 1815||1884||Parramatta, New South Wales|
|Benson, John||1811||Nottinghamshire||about 1853||Tweed River, New South Wales|
|Butler, Joseph||about 1767||25 Jan 1836||Sydney Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales|
|Elkins, Matthew A.||26 Jan 1780||5 Feb 1834||Windsor, New South Wales|
|Fisher, Robert||about 1804||Buckinghamshire||1880||Macdonald River, New South Wales|
|Herbert, Thomas||1798||London||9 Sep 1858||the District Hospital, Liverpool, New South Wales|
|Holland, Mary||1 Jul 1775||Surrey||28 Feb 1847||St Lawrence Benevolent Home, Sydney, New South Wales|
|Jones, Ann||9 Jul 1777||Westminster, London||20 Dec 1863||McDonald River, New South Wales|
|Kearns, Bridget||about 1804||Kildare, Co. Kildare||1 Oct 1849||Liverpool, New South Wales|
|Manning, George||about 1812||22 Jul 1907||Sackville, New South Wales|
|McPhie, Catherine||about 1815||Woolwich, Kent||23 Feb 1884||Turners Flat, via Kempsey, New South Wales|
|Moss, Mary||1784||1807||New South Wales|
|Walker, John||about 1773||20 Mar 1853||Wilberforce, New South Wales|