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.
We update this website and our database regularly and sometimes daily, as our volunteer transcribers continue to provide new information. Please bookmark this page and return soon.
FCRC Autumn seminar, Sunday 22 April 2018: Call for papers
Topic: 'The Hobart Town Female Factory and the move to the Cascades, 1828'
In 1828 women convicts were transferred from the old Hobart Town Female factory to the new Factory at the Cascades. To mark the 190th anniversary, our next seminar explores the old Factory and the move to the new one.
Would you like to give a 15-minute paper on any aspect of the Hobart Town Factory or the move? Possible topics include conditions, rebellions, escapes, staff, individual stories of convicts in the old Factory, and the establishment of the new one.
If you are interested, please contact Alison Alexander on Alison.Alexander@utas.edu.au by 1st January 2018.
Registrations for the seminar will open in January 2018.
Captured: Portraits of Crime
Captured: Portraits of Crime is a new exhibition produced by State Archives and Records NSW that explores the stories of men, women and children who were incarcerated in NSW gaols from 1870 to 1930. The exhibition engages with photographic portraits and descriptions of prisoners sourced from the State Archives Collection of Gaol Photographic Description Books. These historic records have been digitised, and interpreted through research within and beyond the archives to illuminate events and contexts that led ordinary people to commit crimes. But as the ordinary unfolds, so, too, does the extraordinary. The exhibition’s set of compelling case studies of individuals captured in the criminal justice system as a result of choice or circumstance provides a unique perspective that makes a new contribution to the history of NSW.
The latest addition to our website is Scottish Prisons of the 18th and 19th Century, available under Convict Institutions at http://www.femaleconvicts.org.au/index.php/convict-institutions/the-prisons. This page has been kindly contributed by Lilian MacDonald.
Recently Digitised Material from TAHO Collections - July to September 2017
You may find some of the new material available on line useful for your convict research. A list is available here.
New Postal Address for FCRC
Female Convicts Research Centre Inc
PO Box 550
South Hobart TAS 7004
One of the main aims of the Cornwall Family History Society is encouraging research into Cornish family history. Another aim is the co-ordination, transcribing and indexing of original records by volunteer members.
In 2014, The Cornwall Family History Society was approached by the FCRC to help research Tasmanian female convicts from their area. They have now launched their new website which includes a page on Tasmanian female convicts. Their research is available in pdf format, free of charge. To find out more, please visit their new website at http://www.cornwallfhs.com/female-convict-records/
FCRC appreciates the research contributed by the volunteers at the Cornwall Family History Society and encourage you to visit their very modern and informative website.
- The East London - The Gang from Clonmel. Chapter 8 of the East London story by Colleen Arulappu. Mary Spillane, Mary Cavanagh and Mary Harrowhill, Catholic women, were tried in Clonmel, County Tipperary, on 1 April 1843. Charged with them was James Cavanagh. Mary Spillane was born in Templemore and at nearly seventy years of age was the oldest woman aboard ship, and did not survive the voyage. (17/11/2017)
- Petitions - Catherine Oliver, Elizabeth Sidnell, Mary Ann Somerville per Woodbridge 1843; Mary Kelly per Emma Eugenia 1842 (15/11/2017)
- Petitions - Eliza Cleveland, Harriet Budd, Harriet Rowe, Mary Ann Savery per Angelina 1844; Ellen Hill, Ellen Mortimer, Margaret Hayes per Woodbridge 1843; Ann Purvis per John Calvin 1848; Mary Murray per Waverley 1847 (11/11/2017)
- Genealogy - Update to the story of Amelia Hough with photographs contributed by Robert Chesterman.(9/11/2017)
- Petitions - Mary Ann Harryman, Catherine Connor, Jane Keane, Jane Garside per Asia 1847; Sarah Guy, Ann McCormick, Elizabeth Mary Jones per Angelina 1844 (2/11/2017)
- Petitions - Charlotte Roberts per Asia 1847; Eliza White, Ann Adams, Mary Best, Ann Bradshaw, Harriet Young, Jane Castings per Sea Queen 1846 (25/10/2017)
- Ships - William Bryan Surgeon's Journal transcript.
Seven women died from cholera before the ship sailed. Sadly two were sisters, one of whom became ill after nursing her sister and they died only hours apart. The surgeon gave detailed descriptions of the symptoms and the suffering of the women. Once the ship left the Thames there were no further cases of cholera. The only other death was a woman who suffered from mania . The surgeon described her distressful behaviour. Contributed by Rhonda Arthur. (19/10/2017)
- Petitions - Anna Smith per Stately 1849; Ann Smith (Revised) per Tasmania 1844; Ruth Richardson, Mary Doyle, Ann Glaze per Sea Queen 1846 (19/10/2017)
- Convict Stories - (16/10/2017)
- Mary Dove per William Bryan 1833, written by Margaret Walsh;
- Mary Dockerty per Hydery 1832, written by Kay Buttfield;
- Ann Paget per Asia 1847, written by David Edwards;
- Sarah Holley per Majestic 1839, written by Peter Brennan;
- Mary Donovan per Rajah 1841 , written by Erica Orsolic.