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Source Information

Ancestry.com. New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia Convict Musters, 1806-1849 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.
Original data: Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania; (The National Archives Microfilm Publication HO10, Pieces 5, 19-20, 32-51); The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England.

About New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia Convict Musters, 1806-1849

Musters were conducted periodically as a means for keeping track of and enumerating convicts in the colony. The first muster was held in 1795. General musters usually included both convicts and ex-convicts and were generally conducted under the order of the Lieutenant Governor and an officer of the Commissary.

This database contains the following muster lists and convict registers:

  • 1806 General Muster for New South Wales

  • 1811 General Muster for New South Wales: A return of the names of the convicts taken at the General Muster agreeable to the order of His Excellency the Governor and Commander in Chief by Lieut. Governor O’Connell and Mr. William Broughton acting Commissary between the 5th February and 5th March 1811. As also those who are not actually convicts but have been so and are at present in the Colony.

  • 1822 General Muster for New South Wales

  • 1823-1825 General Muster for New South Wales: A General Muster List of all the inhabitants (with the exception of the military) of the colony of New South Wales for the years 1823, 1824, 1825.

  • 1837 General Muster for New South Wales: General Muster of male and female convicts in the Colony of New South Wales & Norfolk Island on 31st December 1837.

  • 1811 Muster or Convict Lists for Tasmania (Van Diemens Land): Return of settlers who have been convicts and are at present in His Majesty’s settlement Hobart Town River Derwent, Van Diemans Land, and one of the dependencies of the Territory of New South Wales from a general master held the 21st day of March 1811 and also of Norfolk Island on the 6th day of August 1811 and of Port Dalrymple on the 30th of June 1811.

  • 1808-1849 Muster or Convict Lists for Tasmania (Van Diemens Land): Miscellaneous Convicts

  • 1817-1821 Muster or Convict Lists for Tasmania (Van Diemens Land): Return of seven hundred and twenty nine male convicts bonded in Van Diemens between April 1817 and July 1818 from the ships Sir William Bensley, Chapman, Almorah, Minerva, and Lady Castlereagh, shewing the conduct of each convict since arrived for a period of upwards of three years. The offences brought down to the first of September 1821.

  • 1823 Muster or Convict Lists for Tasmania (Van Diemens Land): Convicts mustered in Van Diemens Land October and November 1823.

  • 1825 Muster or Convict Lists for Tasmania (Van Diemens Land): Annual return of the convicts in Van Diemens Land from the 1st January to the 31st December 1825.

  • 1830 Muster or Convict Lists for Tasmania (Van Diemens Land): Van Diemens Land. Nominal return of convicts for 1830.

  • 1832 Muster or Convict Lists for Tasmania (Van Diemens Land): Van Diemens Land. Nominal return of male convicts shewing how each is appropriated for the year ending 31st December 1832.

  • 1833 Muster or Convict Lists for Tasmania (Van Diemens Land): Van Diemens Land. Nominal return of male convicts shewing how each is appropriated for the year ending 31st of December 1833.

  • 1835 Muster or Convict Lists for Tasmania (Van Diemens Land): Van Diemens Land. Nominal return of male convicts shewing their distribution for the year ending the 31 December 1835.

  • 1841 Muster or Convict Lists for Tasmania (Van Diemens Land): Van Diemens Land. Return of male and female convicts shewing their distribution throughout the colony on the 31st December 1841.

  • 1846 Register of Convicts for Tasmania (Van Diemens Land): Register of the names of all convicts transported from Great Britain and Ireland and British Possessions in the Colony of Van Diemens Land on 31 October 1846 with a statement of their condition on that day – including the names of all who were convicts in January 1842 when a similar register was prepared.

  • 1849 Register of Convicts for Tasmania (Van Diemens Land): Triennial return of male convicts transported from the United Kingdom to Van Diemens land, including all those who have become free, or been pardoned since the transmission of the last returns in 1846 shewing the place and date of trial, sentence, and position of each at the end of the year 1849.

Information available on these records can include:

  • Name of individual

  • Arrival ship name

  • Date of arrival

  • Where tried

  • Date of trial

  • Sentence

  • Remarks

Many of these records are organized alphabetically according to first letter of the convict’s surname. Some of the above information may only be obtained by viewing the image of the original record.

Abbreviations used in Musters and Censuses:

B.C. = Born in the Colony
C.F. = Came Free
F.S. = Free by Servitude
A.P. = Absolute Pardon
C.P. = Conditional Pardon
T.L. = Ticket of Leave
C. = Convict
C.S. = Colonial Sentence
G.S. = Government or Assigned Servant
O.S. = Orphan School
C.P. = Clearing Party

Related Databases:

New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia, Convict Pardons and Tickets of Leave, 1834-1859

New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia, Settler and Convict Lists, 1787-1834

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.

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