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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, 13,500 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  seminars.

When you register with 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.


Search the Female Convicts in Van Diemen's Land Database

Research Seminars

Convict System Administration

Convict Institutions

Convict Ships

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Convict Lives


Latest News:

Congratulations to Don Bradmore

Congratulations to Don Bradmore for winning the Hobart Branch, Tasmanian Family History Society Inc award for Best Journal Article Award for 2022-23. Don, a regular contributor to “Tasmanian Ancestry”, the society’s flagship publication, won the award for an article entitled “The Poor Child’s Nurse: the use of opium-based preparations as infant pacifiers in Tasmania in the Nineteenth Century” and published in the June 2021 issue. The judges described the article as “engaging, clear and concise” and “well-researched and footnoted”. (https://www.facebook.com/TFHSHobart)

Don is also regular contributor of interesting female convicts stories to both Convict Women's Press and FCRC. Don's stories, while weaving in historical context, give the readers some understanding of the factors that might have impacted on the circumstances and the decisions made by female convicts. Thank you Don for all your great stories and research.  You can read Don's latest story on Eliza Johnston (Sir Robert Seppings 1852), here.




By Alison Alexander

The British government was determined to keep getting rid of its criminals to Tasmania; colonists had had enough of them. The Empire used all its weapons against the colonists – lying, intimidation, belittling, threatening, physical force – but in the end the colonists triumphed.

Publisher: Forty South

ISBN 978-0-6454382-3-9

RRP: $50

Available at bookshops or from the author


Save The Date:

Seminar 2023:  More information coming soon


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Other Updates:

Books, Theses & ReportsThe Convict Lassies: Forgotten Exiles? Women sentenced to transportation at the High Court of Judiciary, Perth, Scotland and sent to Van Diemen's Land. By W. Lilian Macdonald (published 2018 by Sea Loch Books).

Petitions - Mary Anne Hennessy per Duke of Cornwall 1851 (contributed by Colleen Arulappu 6/06/2022). Mary Brown per Blackfriar 1851 (contributed by Colleen Arulappu 25/05/2022).

Justice System - An updated web page, replacing the 'Magistrates' page, expanding on the justice system in Van Dieman's Land as it operated during the convict era.  (2/06/2022).

Probation System - Overview and Timeline (contributed by Helen Menard, 20/05/2022).

Petitions - Bridget McMahon, Anne Forbes per Earl Grey, 1850, Catherine Flaherty/Flynn per Duke of Cornwall 1850, Mary Orr per Kinnear 1848,  Bridget Nolan per Lord Auckland 1848. (Contributed by Colleen Arulappu 11/05/2022.)

Convict Image Gallery - Ellen Miles (Gilbert Henderson 1840), Ellen Curley Fitzgerald (Martin Luther 1852)

Seminar Papers - 2021: The Early Years, 1803-1828 most papers are now available along with audio recordings (please contact us for access to audio).





Please acknowledge our work, should you choose to use our research.  Our work may be subject to copyright therefore please check our Copyright Policy, and Disclaimer policy.

For academic referencing (suggestion only) Database: [http address], FCRC Female Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land database, entry for xxxx ID no xxx, accessed [date].

For academic referencing (suggestion only) Website:  Female Convicts Research Centre Inc., accessed [date] from [http address].