Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority are glad to announce that the publication Transcribing Tasmanian Convict Records by Susan Hood is now available for purchasing on Kindle/Amazon.


The book has been updated and the new electronic version of this helpful resource will make transcribing Tasmanian convict records a more efficient experience and reach to more audiences in need.

The link to purchase and download the e-book is http://amzn.to/2M61tX7.


Tasmania has the most thorough and complete set of records of transported convicts in the world, in the custodianship of the Tasmanian Archives. Now digitized and indexed, these records are a data source for intense academic research and family historians.  This excellent guide by Susan Hood will assist anyone who has attempted to decipher and interpret Tasmanian convict records.


Isabella Hutchinson, a 44-year-old woman from County Tyrone was sentenced, along with her 14 year-old son, Thomas Ford, for receiving stolen goods. Isabella, a widow, took the journey on the Kinnear 1848 with three of her children: Jane aged about 15, Isabella aged 6 and James aged 4. The oral history is that the family were allowed to bring two baskets on board with their belongings. Only one basket has survived.

Isabella’s story was presented at the 2018 seminar A Great Blessing? Convict Women and Orphan School Children: Second Generation Orphans: Isabella Hutchinson’s children by her 3x great-granddaughter Caroline Haigh.

The surviving basket with lid

basket and lid


Clements Hall Local History Group’s current project, ‘Making ends meet on Nunnery Lane: revealing local poverty in the Victorian period’  investigates poverty and hardship in the mid-19th century in a part of the area of York to the south of the City Walls, Nunnery Lane. 

Dick Hunter has written an update report for the Poverty Project: April 2020 'Paupers and York Poor Law Union, 1837-42'.  His research provides a case study of Ann Shipton, 43 and single, who lived in Swann Street. She was unable to support herself as a char and washerwoman due to an accident in 1841 and applied for welfare, or relief as it was known. She was awarded four shillings a week for eleven weeks; and two shillings for the twelfth week. Relief was then discontinued as she had improved sufficiently to earn again. This account looks at how she applied for relief. Who was responsible for its provision? And how did the system work? 

The article provides a background to the circumstances affecting the lives of many convicts transported from all parts of Britain in the 19th century. It researches circumstances that would have eventually contributed to transportation, and the affect transportation of the wage earner would have had on those left behind.



The Family and Community Historical Research Society (FACHRS) is based in the U.K. with membership mainly coming from England.  It aims to help those who wish to discover more about the day-to-day lives of their ancestors; to promote research by professional and nonprofessional historians into family and community history; and encourage links between institutionally based and independent researchers. FACHRS membership consists of both amateur and academic historians.

Over the years, major projects have resulted in books on the Swing Riots (agricultural riots 1830 and 1832), 19th century Allotments, and Almshouses and a number of mini-projects based around a different occupation each year alternating between male and female occupations. 

The latest FACHRS newsletter has featured an article on transportation of convicts to the Swan River region of Western Australia.  The author, Christine Seal, has followed convict  life stories from one part of Britain to Australia.  After convict transportation ceased in the eastern states of Australia, transportation to Western Australia continued for another 15 years with the condition that no female convicts be sent there. FCRC have been given permission to share the extract from the FACHRS newsletter with our readers.  The FACHRS newsletters are available to paid-up members.  For more information please visit their website at http://www.fachrs.com


Our Criminal Ancestors is a public engagement project, led by the University of Hull in collaboration with Leeds Beckett University, that encourages and supports people and communities to explore the criminal past of their own families, communities, towns and regions.  This website is a wonderful source for family historians and researchers.


The Assizes and Quarter-sessions.

Our Criminal Ancestors website gives an explanation of the different court systems, with links to archives and other great resources.

Read more: Our Criminal Ancestors

Exploring the Scarcroft, Clementhorpe and South Bank areas of York

The Clements Hall Local History Group was founded in 2013, following a series of local history events at Clements Hall in York. They are a group of people with wide-ranging interests in the local history of their neighbourhood - the Scarcroft, Clementhorpe and South Bank areas of York, to the south of the city walls and west of the River Ouse.

You can visit their interesting website here: http://www.clementshallhistorygroup.org.uk/

Their website has some interesting blog pages, including an excellent article Dick Hunter has written on: Petitioning for mercy in mid-19th century Yorkshire: The case of Sarah Ann Hill, convicted of infanticide at York Assizes.

Read more: Clements Hall Local History Group


Two Hundred years ago the Morley sat at Gallions Reach on the River Thames and female convicts from various prisons in England and Scotland commenced embarking in April.  On the 20th May the ship set sail on a voyage to New South Wales and arrived in Hobart Town, Van Diemen’s Land on  29th August 1820. Two days later, fifty women disembarked, forty-four were immediately assigned positions. The six remaining women were placed in safe comfortable lodgings until ‘proper places could be procured in which to employ them'.

Read more: The Morley's arrival in Hobart Town 200 years ago.


The Local Historian contains articles and features for the general reader that may be of a wide, perhaps national, application or may reflect a local subject.

There is emphasis on applying principles and methods to local research and study, so that you can benefit from the work of others. Family historians can learn about the local world in which their forebears lived and worked. There are extensive reviews and lists of publications. Published in January, April, July and October.

Of interest to FCRC readers is the following article: The Local Historian Volume 41, Number 1 February 2011

Petitioning For Mercy In Mid-nineteenth Century Yorkshire

By Dick Hunter

Read more: The Local Historian. Journal of the British Association of Local History




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].