Victorian Genealogy

Finding People and Places in Victoria, Australia.

 


Convict Records

 

Convicts were people who were convicted of crime in Britain, Ireland or other places in the British Empire and transported to Australia. For people convicted of crime locally see Prison Records.

There was a convict settlement on Sullivan Bay at Sorrento in 1803 to 1804. This settlement was short lived and the settlers moved to Tasmania. Aside from this occasion there were no convicts serving their sentences sent out directly to Victoria. The convicts' records can be seen in the Tasmanian convict records.

There were however convicts serving their sentences in Victoria from 1826 to 1828 at Rhyll and Corinella. After permanent settlement begun in 1836 there were convicts serving their sentences in Victoria. All of these convicts were originally sent to New South Wales; Victoria was then the Port Phillip District of New South Wales. Transportation of convicts to New South Wales ended in 1840. The Port Phillip District government no longer employed convicts on government works from about 1843. The convicts' records can be seen in the New South Wales convict records.

Between 1844 and 1849, 1727 ex prisoners who had served their sentences were sent to Victoria. They were known as "Exiles". They were also referred to as "Pentonvillians" because most of them came from Pentonville Probationary Prison in England. Their immigration records can be found under Assisted Immigration Records. See Passenger Arrival Records. The dates of arrival, names of ships and numbers of ex-prisoners on board are listed below:

11 November 1844 - Royal George (21 landed at Melbourne)
20 March 1845 - Sir George Seymour (175 landed at Geelong)
27 January 1846 - Stratheden (51 Landed at Melbourne)
9 November 1846 - Maitland (291 Landed at Melbourne)
4 May 1847 - Thomas Arbuthnot (288 Landed at Melbourne)
24 Sept 1847 - Joseph Somes (248 Landed at Geelong)
25 January 1848 - Marion (292 Landed at Melbourne)
22 June 1848 - Anna Maria (163 Landed at Geelong)


GENERAL CONVICT RECORDS


ANCESTRY - AUSTRALIAN CONVICT COLLECTION

This is a general search across numerous Australian and British data collections relating to convicts.

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/group/auconvicts#databases


ANCESTRY - AUSTRALIA, CONVICT INDEX, 1788-1868

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=5517

 

ANCESTRY - AUSTRALIA, LIST OF CONVICTS WITH PARTICULARS, 1788-1842

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=1251

 

FINDMYPAST - NEW SOUTH WALES AND TASMANIA: SETTLERS AND CONVICTS 1787-1859

https://search.findmypast.com.au/search-world-Records/new-south-wales-and-tasmania-settlers-and-convicts-1787-1859

 

TASMANIAN CONVICT RECORDS


LIBRARIES TASMANIA TASMANIAN NAMES INDEX - TASMANIAN CONVICTS 1803-1893

https://librariestas.ent.sirsidynix.net.au/client/en_AU/names/?

 

FAMILYSEARCH - INDEX TO VARIOUS COLONIAL SECRETARY OFFICE'S FILES

These are in the catalog under Convicts Australia Tasmania. These include passage of convicts' families, convict assignments, convict marriages, and marriage allegations.

https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/232593?availability=Family%20History%20Library


ANCESTRY - TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA, CONVICT COURT AND SELECTED RECORDS, 1800-1899

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=60920

 

FINDMYPAST - TASMANIA CONVICT RECORDS 1800-1893

https://search.findmypast.com.au/search-world-Records/tasmania-convict-records-1800-1893


NEW SOUTH WALES CONVICT RECORDS


NSW STATE RECORDS - CONVICTS INDEX 1791-1873

A single searchable database containing certificates of freedom; bank accounts; deaths; exemptions from Government Labor; pardons; tickets of leave; and, tickets of leave passports. The records are not digitised. These are under Online Indexes; Convicts.

https://www.records.nsw.gov.au/archives/collections-and-research/guides-and-indexes/convicts/indexes


ANCESTRY - NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA, SETTLER AND CONVICT LISTS, 1787-1834

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=1183


ANCESTRY - NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA CONVICT RECORDS, 1810-1891

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=8992

 

FAMILYSEARCH - NEW SOUTH WALES CONVICT RECORDS 1831-1853

These are in the catalog under Convicts Australia New South Wales. They are sourced from the Library of New South Wales, Sydney. They are Colonial Secretary records showing the transfer of prisoners to Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania).

https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/80656?availability=Family%20History%20Library

 

FAMILYSEARCH - NEW SOUTH WALES CONVICT RECORDS 1843-1845

These are in the catalog under Convicts Australia New South Wales. They are sourced from the Mitchell Library, Sydney. They are Principal Superintendent of Convicts records which include an alphabetical list of convict release dates, including their date of arrival.

https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/227305?availability=Family%20History%20Library

 

VICTORIAN CONVICT RECORDS

 

PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE VICTORIA - REGISTER OF CONVICTS 1842-1854 (VPRS 110)

The register has been digitized.

http://access.prov.vic.gov.au/public/component/daPublicBaseContainer?component=daViewConsignment&breadcrumbPath=Home/Access%20the%20Collection/Browse%20The%20Collection/Consignment%20Details&entityId=110&consignment=P0000


FINDMYPAST - VICTORIA, CONVICT REGISTER 1842-1854

These records were provided by Public Record Office Victoria. They are searchable.

https://search.findmypast.com.au/search-world-Records/victoria-convict-register-1842-1854

 

IRISH CONVICT RECORDS

 

NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF IRELAND - PENAL TRANSPORTATION RECORDS DATABASE: IRELAND TO AUSTRALIA, 1788–1868

All transportation registers compiled before 1836 were destroyed in 1922. The database may also include records of members of convicts’ families transported as free settlers.

The database includes:

https://www.nationalarchives.ie/article/penal-transportation-records-ireland-australia-1788-1868-2/

 

NATIONAL LIBRARY OF AUSTRALIA - ARCHIVES RELATING TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF CONVICTS FROM IRELAND TO AUSTRALIA (AS FILMED BY THE AJCP), 1788-1868.

https://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/2004646

 

TRANSPORTATION REGISTERS


STATE LIBRARY OF QUEENSLAND - CONVICT TRANSPORTATION REGISTERS DATABASE 1787-1867

British convict transportation registers 1787-1867 database compiled by State Library of Queensland from British Home Office (HO) records which are available on microfilm as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project. This is accessed through the One Search catalogue.

http://onesearch.slq.qld.gov.au/primo-explore/search?vid=SLQ&search_scope=FHCOMBINED&query=any,contains,INDCONVICT&offset=1&lang=en_US


ANCESTRY - WEB: AUSTRALIA, CONVICT RECORDS INDEX, 1787-1867

Entries in the British convict transportation registers 1787-1867 database compiled by State Library of Queensland from British Home Office (HO) records which are available on microfilm as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project.

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=70852

 

NSW STATE RECORDS - CONVICTS INDENTS 1788-1801

Convict Indents list the convicts transported to NSW. Early indents provide name, date and place of trial and sentence; later indents usually contain more information such as a physical description, native place, age and crime. These are fully digitised. These are under Online Indexes; Convicts.

https://www.records.nsw.gov.au/archives/collections-and-research/guides-and-indexes/convicts/indexes

 

ANCESTRY - AUSTRALIAN CONVICT TRANSPORTATION REGISTERS - FIRST FLEET, 1787-1788

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=1177

 

ANCESTRY - AUSTRALIAN CONVICT TRANSPORTATION REGISTERS - SECOND FLEET, 1789-1790


https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=1178

 

ANCESTRY - AUSTRALIAN CONVICT TRANSPORTATION REGISTERS - THIRD FLEET, 1791


https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=1179

 

ANCESTRY - AUSTRALIAN CONVICT TRANSPORTATION REGISTERS - OTHER FLEETS & SHIPS, 1791-1868


https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=1180

 

FINDMYPAST - CONVICT TRANSPORTATION REGISTERS 1787-1870


https://search.findmypast.com.au/search-world-Records/convict-transportation-registers-1787-1870

 

FINDMYPAST - AUSTRALIA CONVICT SHIPS 1786-1849


https://search.findmypast.com.au/search-world-Records/australia-convict-ships-1786-1849

 

ANCESTRY - NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA, CONVICT INDENTS, 1788-1842


https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=2024

 

ANCESTRY - NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA CONVICT SHIP MUSTER ROLLS AND RELATED RECORDS, 1790-1849


https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=1211

 

FINDMYPAST - NEW SOUTH WALES CONVICT ARRIVALS

https://search.findmypast.com.au/search-world-Records/new-south-wales-convict-arrivals

 

FAMILYSEARCH - NEW SOUTH WALES INDENTS OF CONVICT SHIPS 1830-1833

These are in the catalog under Australia New South Wales.

https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/80690?availability=Family%20History%20Library

 

ANCESTRY - NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA, WIVES & CHILDREN OF IRISH CONVICTS, 1825-1840

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=2377

 

CONVICT MUSTERS


ANCESTRY - NEW SOUTH WALES AND TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA CONVICT MUSTERS, 1806-1849

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=1185

 

FAMILYSEARCH - NEW SOUTH WALES MUSTER OF ALL FEMALES IN THE COLONY 1806

These are in the catalog under Australia New South Wales.

https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/80433?availability=Family%20History%20Library

 

CONVICT SENTENCE RECORDS

A Ticket of Leave allowed convicts to work for themselves provided that they remained in a specified area, reported regularly to local authorities and attended divine worship every Sunday, if possible. They could not leave the colony. For lists of Ticket of Leave holders also see Court Records.

A Certificate of Freedom was issued at the completion of a convict's sentence, as proof he/ she was a free person. They were free to travel anywhere, and could return to the United Kingdom.

A Conditional Pardon allowed convicts with life sentences freedom of the colony, but they were not allowed to return to the United Kingdom.

An Absolute Pardon gave a 'lifer' complete remittance of sentence. The convict had freedom of the colony and could return to the United Kingdom.

 


ANCESTRY - NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA, CONVICT REGISTERS OF CONDITIONAL AND ABSOLUTE PARDONS, 1788-1870

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=1657

 

FINDMYPAST - AUSTRALIA CONVICT CONDITIONAL AND ABSOLUTE PARDONS 1791-1867

https://search.findmypast.com.au/search-world-Records/australia-convict-conditional-and-absolute-pardons-1791-1867

 

FAMILYSEARCH - CONVICT TICKETS OF LEAVE 1824-1874

https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/3499251

 

SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIAN GENEALOGISTS MIDAS - NEW SOUTH WALES CONVICT TICKETS OF LEAVE BUTTS 1827-1867

http://midas.sag.org.au/

 

ANCESTRY - NEW SOUTH WALES AND TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA, CONVICT PARDONS AND TICKETS OF LEAVE, 1834-1859

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=1184

 

ANCESTRY - NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA, TICKETS OF LEAVE, 1810-1869

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=1781

 

FINDMYPAST - AUSTRALIA CONVICT TICKETS OF LEAVE 1824-1874

https://search.findmypast.com.au/search-world-Records/australia-convict-tickets-of-leave-1824-1874

 

FAMILYSEARCH - NEW SOUTH WALES CERTIFICATES OF APPLICATION FOR TICKETS OF LEAVE 1822-1825

These are in the catalog under Australia New South Wales.

https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/80681?availability=Family%20History%20Library

 

GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY OF VICTORIA GENEALOGICAL INDEX OF NAMES - MARION BUTTON TICKETS OF LEAVE AND CERTIFICATES OF FREEDOM 1840-1851

These are extracted from the Port Phillip Herald and The Argus. A list of exiles in January 1848 is included.

https://www.gsv.org.au/article/our-collection

 

ANCESTRY - NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA, CERTIFICATES OF FREEDOM, 1810-1814, 1827-1867

https://www.ancestry.com.au/search/collections/certfreedom/

 

FINDMYPAST - NEW SOUTH WALES, BUTTS OF CONVICTS' CERTIFICATES OF FREEDOM 1827-1867

https://search.findmypast.com.au/search-world-Records/new-south-wales-butts-of-convicts-certificates-of-freedom-1827-1867

 

FAMILYSEARCH - NEW SOUTH WALES REGISTER OF SENTENCES REMITTED OR COMMUTED 1838-1841

These are in the catalog under Australia New South Wales.

https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/78329?availability=Family%20History%20Library

 

FAMILYSEARCH - NEW SOUTH WALES PETITIONS FOR MITIGATION OF SENTENCE 1810-1826

These are in the catalog under Convicts Australia New South Wales.

https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/80365?availability=Family%20History%20Library

 

CONVICT PERMISSION TO MARRY RECORDS

The consent of the Governor was required before convicts could marry. It should be noted that just because permission to marry was granted it means that the marriage actually took place.


NEW SOUTH WALES STATE ARCHIVES AND RECORDS - INDEX TO NEW SOUTH WALES REGISTERS OF CONVICTS' APPLICATIONS TO MARRY 1825-1851

There is an index to the registers of convicts' applications to marry 1825-1851 which can be seen on the New South Wales State Archives and Records website. The years 1825-1851 have been indexed so far and other registers dated 1831-1837 have not yet been indexed. The records are not digitised. These are under Online Indexes; Convicts.

https://www.records.nsw.gov.au/archives/collections-and-research/guides-and-indexes/node/1621/browse

 

ANCESTRY - NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA, REGISTERS OF CONVICTS' APPLICATIONS TO MARRY, 1826-1851

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=1504


ANCESTRY - NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA, CONVICT APPLICATIONS FOR THE PUBLICATION OF BANNS, 1828-1830, 1838-1839

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=9094


FINDMYPAST - NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA, REGISTERS OF CONVICTS' APPLICATIONS TO MARRY, 1825-1851

https://search.findmypast.com.au/search-world-Records/new-south-wales-registers-of-convicts-applications-to-marry-1825-1851

 

CONVICT DEATH REGISTER

A death register recorded the deaths of convicts who died while still serving their sentence.

 

ANCESTRY - NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA, CONVICT DEATH REGISTER, 1826-1879

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=1202

 

FINDMYPAST - NEW SOUTH WALES, CONVICT DEATH REGISTER, 1828-1879

https://search.findmypast.com.au/search-world-Records/new-south-wales-convict-death-register-1828-1879

 

CONVICT BANK BOOKS


ANCESTRY - NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA, CONVICT SAVINGS BANK BOOKS, 1824-1886

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=1245

 

SOCIETIES

 

DESCENDANTS OF CONVICTS GROUP VICTORIA INC.

https://www.docs.org.au/

 

FIRST FLEET FELLOWSHIP VIC INC.

https://firstfleetfellowship.org.au/

 

 

 

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