We are currently working on a project to identify the convicts who came through the Port Arthur penal settlement, as not every convict who came to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) came here. To produce a more accurate figure, every conduct record in existence for Van Diemen’s Land (more than 75,000) must be read and recorded. The records are held under the custodianship of the Archives Office of Tasmania.
Records of those who came to Port Arthur include details such as their original trial place, transportation offence and sentence, place of origin, age on arrival, trade, offences committed after arrival in the colony, locations they were at and freedoms gained. These details are now being entered into a database.
The database does not solely consist of the details of male convicts. Female convicts were also at Port Arthur as assigned servants, but not under secondary sentence as were the men. Those who arrived free, as well as others with some association with Port Arthur, will also be included in the database. We are also identifying those convicts who spent time at other stations on the Tasman Peninsula.
The database is not yet complete, but limited fields can be searched by the public at two computer terminals located in the Convict Study Centre in the Asylum.
If you are seeking further information on convict ancestors, see the Convict Enquiry Service.