Finding free family history records of Australian ancestors

Convicts, prisoners and courts

Australian convicts are some of the most well documented people in history. Follow their journeys here with this growing list of resources dedicated to our colonial convict history.  There are also links to prison records for "non-convicts" (people who were not here by means of convict transportation from England.) Also, here you will find many links to databases of court records including both criminal and civil cases.

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Australian Capital Territory

  • link break iconObituaries, Inquests, Indictments, Accidents, Sudden Deaths etc (old link:
  • link break iconConvicts (old link:



Queensland Archives has compiled indexes of their archival records. Use these links to get to the page and search the index database by name.

info Once you get to the Queensland Archives page, here's how to use it:

  1. Scroll down to "Index Categories"
  2. Click on the appropriate radio button for the type of records you are looking for - this will then expand to show what record sets are available.
  3. Click on the appropriate radio button for the records you are looking for - this will then expand (below the list) to show a search area where you can input names etc.

You may also be able to download the full index using a link that will appear on the top right of the page or below the search box (depending on what device you are using, eg: desktop, iPad etc).


New South Wales


  • Certificates of Freedom, 1823-69
  • Convict Bank Accounts, 1837-70
  • Convict Death Register, 1828-79
  • Recommendations for Convict Pardons, 1826-56
  • Tickets of Exemption from Government Labor, 1827-32
  • Tickets of Leave, Certificates of Emancipation and Pardons, 1810-19
  • Tickets of Leave, 1810-75
  • Ticket of Leave Passports, 1835-69




Western Australia


South Australia



Tasmanain government records are accesible vis the LINC names index:

  • Tasmanian Convicts 1804-1853
  • Arrivals (19th Century). Passengers and ships arriving, mainly in Hobart. Contains surnames A-N, O-Z to be added.
  • Bankruptcy (1821-1928). Documents from cases of bankruptcy and insolvency.
  • Births (1803-1933). People born in Tasmania including some baptisms collected by the Registrar General (1900-1933 baptisms only).
  • Census (1837-1857). Householders in the 1840s and 1850s, not complete for all districts.
  • Convict permissions to marry (1829-1857). Convicts applying to marry free people or other convicts.
  • Convicts (1803-1893). Convicts transported to Tasmania and those convicted locally through the convict system.
  • Court (1830-1845). Supreme Court. Minutes of proceedings in criminal cases
  • Deaths (1803-1933). People who died in Tasmania including some burial records collected by the Registrar General (1900-1933 burials only).
  • Departures (1817-1867). People leaving Tasmanian ports, mainly Launceston.
  • Divorces (1861-1920). Petitions for divorce in the Tasmanian Supreme Court.
  • Health & Welfare (1830-1873). Patients and attendants at the New Norfolk Colonial Hospital and applications to the Queens Orphan School.
  • Hotels & Properties (1818-1958). Hotel licensees, inquests into fires, Launceston buildings and demolished hotels.
  • Immigration (1912-1943). Nominations and arrivals of migrants under immigration schemes.
  • Inquests (1828-1930). Inquests into people’s deaths.
  • Marriages (1803-1899). People who married in Tasmania.
  • Miscellaneous (1838-1873). General correspondence of the Comptroller general of convicts and North Fleet shipwreck survivors.
  • Naturalisations (1835-1905). People applying to become citizens.
  • Prisoners (1895-1902). Prisoners in the Hobart gaol.
  • Wills (1824-1989). Wills and letters of administration of estates registered for probate.
  • WW1 photographs and articles from the Tasmanian Mail and Weekly Courier illustrated newspaper (1914-1919) and applications for Crown and leased land under the Soldier Settlement Act 1916.

Other datasets and sites

A number of useful Tasmanian datasets that were once freeely available on the Rootsweb website were lost in early 2016 due to technical issues experienced by the site owner, A significant number of pages are now inaccessible including those listed below. While disappointing for many genealogists - the hard work of dedicated researchers may be gone forever as Ancestry appears to have acknowledged that the information will never be retrieved. You may like to try Google to find related records to the following:

  • Port Arthur Convict Database
  • Tasmanian Convict Index
  • Tasman GenWeb convicts index
  • Asia 2 Convict List
  • Asia 8 Convict Assignment List
  • Convict Absconders
  • Prince of Orange Convict List
  • Harmony Female Convict List
  • Friendship Female Convict List
  • Kangaroo Female Convict shipping list 1814
  • Mermaid Female Convict shipping list 1828
  • Persian Female Convict list 1827
  • Woodford male Convict shipping list 1826
  • Convict Pardons 1851
  • Convict ticket of Leave February 1837
  • Convict Ticket of Leave Deprived February 1837
  • Archived Convicts Index A to K
  • Archived Convicts Index L to Z


Northern Territory

The Nothern Territory Department of Arts and Museums is responsible for the Northern Territory Archives. A list of collections in the archive is available for download in PDF format (warning: 250+ pages) which can then be searched offline.  The archives can also be searced online using the "Archives Navigator" service although it is not straight forward and no indexes are available. 




Last update October 2017