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Convicts

The first convicts arrived in Tasmania in 1804 aboard the Calcutta. Apart from one direct convict ship arriving in 1812, most arrivals were small irregular shipments from Sydney, mainly of secondary convicted men. This continued until 1818 when a steady stream of convicts began to arrive directly from England.

The Index to Tasmanian Convicts is a comprehensive index of all convicts transported to Tasmania and those who were convicted (through the convict system) in the colony. It was created by indexing original records held by the Archives Office of Tasmania from the beginning of transportation in 1804 until 1853 when transportation ceased. The latest entry in the database for locally convicted convicts is 1893. About 76,000 are indexed in total.

Search the Index to Tasmanian Convicts database now.

Further information about convicts can be found in the Index to Convict Applications For Permissions to Marry 1829-1857 database.

The following guides, published by the Archives Office of Tasmania, are available online:

Guide to the public records of Tasmania. Section 3 - Convict Department

Brief guide 13- records most frequently used for personal information about convicts

Brief guide 20- convict records-explanation of format and frequently used abbreviations

Brief guide 6- records relating to the movement of convict ticket of leave holders

Related links: Recommended websites

Listed here is a selection of further resources.

Convicts
Date range Title Resource type
1782-1821 The last farewell: Devon convicts transported to Australia, 1782-1821 / Jack Walton
Print
1787- A bibliography of the First Fleet / Victor Crittenden
Print
1787- The founders of Australia: a biographical dictionary of the First Fleet / Mollie Gillen; with appendices by Yvonne Browning, Michael Flynn, Mollie Gillen)
Print
1787- The First Fleet families / James Hugh Donohoe
Print
1787- First fleet families of Australia: containing genealogical details of four hundred & fifty six first fleeters, their children & grandchildren / compiled by C.J. Smee
Print
1787-1868 The convict ships: 1787-1868 / by Charles Bateson
Print
1788 The crimes of the First Fleet convicts / compiled and with a preface by John Cobley
Print
1788-1842 Index to convicts who arrived in NSW, 1788-1842 and an index to the ships that transported them / the Genealogical Society of Victoria, Inc
Microfiche
1788-1868 Archives relating to the transportation of convicts from Ireland to Australia: [M2125-2229]
Microfilm
1788-1872 Tasmanian colonial index / comp. by C. Blessington ... [et al]
Microfiche
1788-1840 Lincolnshire convicts to Australia, Bermuda and Gibraltar: a study of two thousand convicts / C.L. Anderson
Print
1788-1842 Port Jackson convicts 1788-1842 / indexed by Lesley Uebel
Print
1788-1793 James McClelland's Index no. 1 to all readable names of convicts and free persons arriving Australia, 1788 to 1793
Print
1790 The crimes of the Lady Juliana convicts, 1790 / John Cobley; with a foreword by the Honourable P.M. Woodward
Print
1790 The women of the 1790 Neptune: the seventy-eight convicts named on the cover and those who came free / Anne Needham; with Laurel Riddler ... [et al.]; illustrations Phyllis Scott
Print
1790 The Second Fleet: Britain's grim convict armada of 1790 / by Michael Flynn
Print
1790 The Second fleet convicts: a comprehensive listing of convicts who sailed in HMS Guardian, Lady Juliana, Neptune, Scarborough and Surprise / edited by R.J. Ryan
Print
1790- Second Fleet families of Australia: containing genealogical details of three hundred & forty nine second fleeters, their children & grandchildren / compiled & edited by C.J. Smee
Print
1791 The Third fleet convicts: an alphabetical listing of names giving place and date of conviction, length of sentence and ship of transportation / [edited by] R.J. Ryan
Print
1791- Third fleet families of Australia containing genealogical details of three hundred & eleven third fleeters, their children & grandchildren / compiled & edited by C.J. Smee
Print
1791-1820 The Convicts and exiles transported from Ireland, 1791-1820 / James Hugh Donohoe
Microfiche
1791-1820 The Convicts and exiles transported from Ireland, 1791-1820 / James Hugh Donohoe
Print
1791-1853 From places now forgotten: an index of convicts whose places of trial were outside the U.K. & Ireland / compiled by Marie Jones
Print
1792- Fourth fleet families of Australia containing genealogical details of two hundred & five fourth fleeters, their children & grandchildren / compiled & edited by C.J. Smee
Print
1793 A nimble fingered tribe: the convicts of the Sugar Cane, Ireland to Botany Bay, 1793 / Barbara Hall
Print
1794-1800 Readable names of all convicts and free persons, not naval or military, arriving Australia 1794 to 1800: Index no. 2
Print
1796 A desperate set of villains: the convicts of the Marquis Cornwallis, Ireland to Botany Bay 1796 / Barbara Hall
Print
1801-1805 James McClelland's convict, pioneer and immigrant series of Australia. Book no. 25. Readable names of all convicts and free persons arriving Australia, not naval or military, 1801-1805. Index no. 3
Print
1803- Convicts unbound: the story of the Calcutta convicts and their settlement in Australia / Marjorie Tipping
Print
1803-1829 Notorious strumpets and dangerous girls: convict women in Van Diemen's Land, 1803-1829 / Phillip Tardif
CDROM & Print
1803-1849 Convicts of the Port Phillip District / Keith M. Clarke
Print
1803-1853 Tasmanian convicts: the complete list from the original records / produced by the Archives Office of Tasmania with the Genealogy Society of Victoria
CDROM
1806-1810 Readable names of all convicts and free persons, not naval or military, arriving Australia 1806-1810: Index no. 4
Print
1807-1813 Van Diemen's Land records: Exiled three times over! and Land musters, stock returns and lists / reproduced with permission of Irene Schaffer
CDROM
1807-1813 Exiled three times over!: profiles of Norfolk Islanders exiled in Van Diemen's Land 1807-1813 / [Irene Schaffer, Thelma McKay]
CDROM
1807-1813 Exiled! three times over: profiles of Norfolk Islanders exiled in Van Diemen's Land 1807-13 / by Irene Schaffer and Thelma McKay
Print
1807-1813 Norfolk Island embarkations to Van Diemen's Land, 1807-1813 / research by Irene Schaffer; checked by Thelma McKay; computer compile by Bruce Woods)
Print
1807-1813 The Lady Juliana convict women who came to Van Diemen's Land from Norfolk Island, 1807-1813 / Irene Schaffer
Print
1814-1845 Index to more Tasmanian convicts: shipping lists from papers re convict ships 1814-1845 / compiled by the volunteers of the FHC Resources Group
Microfiche
1812, 1814 Journey to a new life: the story of the ships Emu in 1812 and Broxbornebury in 1814, including crew, female convicts and free passengers on board / written by Elizabeth Hook
Print
1827-1853 Index to colonial convict movements 1827-1853 / indexed by volunteers of the Descendants of Convicts' Group Inc
CD-ROM
1827-1873 Convict applications to bring out families to Van Diemen's Land (also NSW, Vic & WA): index 1827-1873 / compiled by Coralie Mesecke
Print
1828, 1832-1833, 1838-1844 Convicts & employers (NSW) index: 1828, 1832-1833, Jan. 1838-Jan. 1844 / compiled by Aileen Trinder & Pat Stemp
Microfiche
1832-1854 Campbell Town, Tasmania, Convict Department - list of prisoners, 1832-54 / [Convict Department, Tasmania]
Microfilm
1834-1838 Maids, masters and magistrates: twenty women of the convict ship New Grove: maidservants in Van Diemen's land / Jeanette E. Hyland
Print
1835, 1846-1853, 1845-1870 Miscellaneous convict records including convicts on the Norfolk, 1835, Norfolk Island convict returns, 1846-53, n.d. and miscellaneous Tasmanian convict returns, 1845-70
Microfilm
1838-1931 Dictionary of Western Australians: Volume X: Far from home, Aboriginal prisoners of Rottnest Island 1838-1931 / Neville Green and Susan Moon
Print
1841-1843 Unnamed Irish boys on convict ships 1841-1843, sent to Queen's Orphanage, Hobart, Van Diemen's Land / Joyce Purtscher
Print
1845-1857 Tasmania - ticket of leave register, 1845-1857
Microfilm
1849 A drift of 'Derwent ducks': lives of the 200 female Irish convicts transported on the Australasia from Dublin to Hobart in 1849 / Trudy Mae Cowley
Print
1850 Uncollected convict pardons / compiled by Pamela Sheldon
Print
1850-1868 Convict records of Western Australia: a research guide / by Gillian O'Mara
Print
1850-1887 Dictionary of Western Australians: Volume IX: Convicts in Western Australia 1850-1887 / Co-authors, Rica Erickson and Gillian O'Mara
Print
1850-1900 Victorian prisoners index, c1850-1900 (Males) / Marion Button
Microfiche
1855-1918 Victorian prisoners index (females) 1855-1918 / [compiled by] Marion Button
Microfiche
- Abbreviations used in convict records of Van Diemen's Land and New South Wales / compiled for Descendants of Convicts Group Victoria Incorporated
Print
- Convict records in Australia / Cora Num
Print
- Convict records of Van Diemen's Land: interpretation and explanation of abbreviations / compiled by Maree Ring
Print
- Criminal ancestors: a guide to historical criminal records in England and Wales / David T. Hawkings
Print
- Guide to New South Wales State Archives relating to convicts and convict administration
Print
- A guide to tracing convict free settlers and family history / written and researched by James McClelland
Print
- How to trace your convict ancestors: their lives, times & records / Janet Reakes
Print
- Transcribing Tasmanian convict records / Susan Hood
Print

Convict records

Tasmania's records of the convict system document the lives of over 75000 individuals while under sentence, from the beginning of transportation in 1804. These records have been added to the UNESCO International Memory of the World Register and many can now be viewed online.

More about convict records

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