Transportation, as a punishment for convicted criminals in England and other parts of the British Empire, came about in the seventeenth century. At first transportation was primarily to America. However, this stopped with the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War in 1776 and a new penal colony in Australia was developed. The First Fleet left for Australia in 1787, the Second Fleet in 1789-1790, and the Third Fleet in 1791. Transportation was formally abolished in 1868, but had not been practiced for nearly a decade before that. By the time transportation was discontinued, approximately 160,000 people had been sent to Australia.
This database contains the convict transportation registers for ships that arrived between 1791 and 1868 (not including the Third Fleet). Information available in these registers includes:
- Name of convict
- Date and place of conviction
- Term of sentence
- Name of ship on which convict sailed to Australia
- Departure date
- Name of colony in which sent to
Please note that not all of this information may be available for each record. Some of this information may also only be available by viewing the register images.
Having Trouble Finding a Passenger?
Given the nature of record keeping in England during the period covered by this collection, convict passenger lists for certain ships do not appear within this collection. Ancestry is currently sourcing the missing material from local archives. Should you be unable to find reference to a particular convict in this collection, please search within the related data collections listed on this page as individual convict records will in most cases exist elsewhere in this collection.