These stories have been submitted by members of the Female Convicts Research Centre, researchers and descendants of female convicts.

If you have a story to share for publication here, please complete a submission form.


Recent  additions:

Ann Margaret Wright (Providence II 1826)

By Don Bradmore (11/12/2019). In 1825, Ann Margaret Wright was convicted in England of stealing money from her employer and transported to the colony - and she was still a prisoner there thirty four years later!  In that time, she had been sentenced to death on two separate occasions, had absconded from the colony and fled to India where she had suffered terribly before being recaptured and returned to VDL, had married twice and had spent many years in gaol.

Charlotte Harris 'The Orange Woman' (Anna Maria 1852)

By Rhonda Arthur (4/12/2019).  Charlotte Harris was convicted of murdering her husband at a time when there was a groundswell of people calling for the abolition of capital punishment as being cruel and immoral.  Charlotte was to be hanged but the sentence was suspended until she gave birth. In the meantime, an abolitionist, Charles Gilpin, was active in organizing  petitions for clemency on behalf of Charlotte and on 8 November 1849 he presented petitions with 15,000 signatories to Sir George Grey at the Home Office.

Eleanor Lyons (Blackfriar 1851)

By Don Bradmore (26/11/2019)

Catherine Adams (Sir Robert Seppings) and the Dean Poisoning Case

By Colette McAlpine (17/11/2019). Not many convicts appeared before a Royal Commission, not many were sketched as often as Catherine, and few had photographs taken due to giving evidence. This woman's story also shows how convicts kept in touch with each other, changed partners, names and identities, but also how the past caught up with some of them in the strangest ways.

Rosannah Cavanagh (Abercrombie 1841)

By Don Bradmore (16/11/2019)

Julia Mills (Providence 1826)

By Don Bradmore (16/11/2019)

Elizabeth Wicks (Brothers 1824)

By Don Bradmore (28/10/2019)

Sarah Leggatt (providence II, 1824)

By Don Bradmore (28/10/2019)

Sarah Bennett, (America 1831)

by Don Bradmore (6/10/2019)

Elizabeth Jones (Nowlan), (Siren 1835)

By Don Bradmore  (6/10/2019)



Please note:  The links below for conduct record, indent and description list will take you to the Archives Office of Tasmania website.



Further stories:

Edges of Empire Biographical Dictionary: 

Edges of Empire is a Biographical Dictionary offering accounts of nearly 200 female convicts who were tried or born outside the British Isles. All were transported to the Australian colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land between 1788 and 1853. Their life stories have been tracked from numerous sources around the world, sometimes in detail and sometimes with the merest trace of their existence.

Our Genealogy page also contains some interesting female convict stories researched and written by our genealogists, transcribers and researchers.

The Founders and Survivors project newsletters also contain interesting stories on convicts.
(Scroll down toNewsletter subscription and Previous issues on the left hand side of the page.)