Researching the Convict in your Family!

By Susie der Kinderen from the Queensland Family History Society

Recently I walked past a local liquor shop and saw a promotion of a new wine label, 19 Crimes.  The wine label has used the original gaol photographs of a number of convicts transported to Australia for their crimes. This put me in mind of my research for my convict ancestors.  How I would have loved to see one of my bad boys or my bad girl on a wine label.  

If you have convicts in your family history there is so much digitally available for you to research them thoroughly, although not everything is on the internet. If they were convicted at The Old Bailey you can download the transcript of the court case listing the crime, the names of the police and witnesses and personal details. 

There are numerous websites that list the ship name, the departure and arrival dates and the names and number of convicts that were transported. The destination of the ships include NSW, Norfolk Is, Moreton and Tasmania.  The NSW Colonial Secretary records often show who and where the convict was assigned to. There are records of a convicts Permission to marry and their TOL (tickets of leave).

Queensland Family History Society has a print library that contains a number of resources that include the Log of Logs, Musters and Lists of NSW 1800-1802 and many published local histories that are very useful for researching your convict or early settler. Give us a call on 3355 3369 or come and visit at 58 Bellevue Avenue, Gaythorne. More information available on

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