A blog for researching Australian convicts
Convicts letter writing at Cockatoo Island, N.S.W., 'Canary Birds', by Philip Doyne Vigors, 1849
Image courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales (Location number: SSV/39)
The aim of this blog is to help researchers, in particular, family historians, find their way through the maze of original sources and other research material about Australian convicts.
Convicts were the most administered group of people in Colonial Australia, and this has left us with a rich historical record. For this reason, convict research can be extremely rewarding, but it can also be confusing. This blog aims to help you to find your way through the records in a systematic way that will also save you time and help to place your ancestor within the context of their times.
This blog is not an attempt to write a history of convicts in Australia, although in some cases the historical background may be discussed if it will be useful to the research process.
This blog is also not about specific convicts and their details.
The aim is to give some order to researching a complex variety of sources, whilst keeping in mind that people discover their convicts through a myriad of different means.
Sources will be both Australian and overseas (mostly UK) and will include:
- Other blogs
- Databases (some of which you can only access either at a public library or by purchasing a subscription)
- Magazine articles
- Original manuscripts (unpublished material)
- Government publications
I will also be directing you to some wonderful archives and libraries that hold information and records about convicts, because not everything is available on the web.