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The Female Convicts Research Centre promotes interest in the female convicts of Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania), by encouraging and facilitating research.
From 1803 to 1853, 12,500 female convicts were transported to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania), as punishment for crimes, mainly theft. After serving their sentences they were released into the community. Their transportation left a lasting legacy.
The Female Convicts Research Centre encourages research into these female convicts, mainly through its database, website and twice-yearly seminars.
When you become a member of the FCRC, you gain access to our database where you will find information entered by our volunteers as we attempt to reconstruct the life course of each female convict.
The Female Convicts Research Centre warmly invites members and friends to register for our 2016 Spring Seminar: Prologue: women’s lives before transportation, on Sunday 23 October at the Hobart Town Hall. Cost $40 a head includes morning tea and light lunch.
During the morning the Governor of Tasmania, Professor the Honourable Kate Warner, will launch the latest book from Convict Women’s Press: Repression, Reform and Resilience: a history of the Cascades Female Factory. Programme and further details here.
We are interested in any old photos you may have of the Cascades Female Factory or female convict ancestors - please contact us if you have some images you would like to donate to FCRC.
Following the November 2015 Launch of their latest paperback "From the Edges of Empire: Convict Women from beyond the British Isles", Convict Women's Press have now launched the book's companion website: Edges of Empire Biographical Dictionary. with accounts of over 160 female convicts who were tried or born outside the British Isles, compiled by Female Convicts Research Centre members.
This project is a fully searchable edition of 240,000 manuscripts from eight archives and fifteen datasets, giving access to 3.35 million names. You can access it by following this link. http://www.londonlives.
has just aired in the UK. It tells the story of three sisters tried in the 1830s and traces their descendants.
One of the Gadbury sisters arrived in VDL on the Majestic in 1839 as Sarah Cope (ID7910 in our database). Her aliases included Sarah Cape, Caroline Gadbury, Bradbury, Gadley and Gantry. She married Charles Chapman in 1854 and he died in 1855. The couple had had three daughters, two of whom died in infancy.
In 1860, Sarah married George Ogilvie, a blacksmith and a widower with one surviving son, James. George’s first wife, and the mother of his two sons, was also a convict named Caroline Justin. (ID9720) She arrived on the Navarino in 1841. She died in 1855.
Sarah Cope died as Caroline Cissy Ogilvie, at the home of her daughter, Sarah Ann, in New Town, in 1895. George Ogilvie died in 1894.
The work of FCRC is praised in an article by Janet McCalman et al: 'Building a Life Course Dataset from Australian Convict Records: Founders & Survivors: Australian Life Courses in Historical Context, 1803–1920' in the recent release of Gerrit Bloothooft et al. (eds), Population Reconstruction, Springer International Publishing, Switzerland, 2015. The article is a great overview of how the FCRC gather data and how it's used by the Founders and Survivors project.