Drawing of convicts on boat being taken to convict ships

Thomas Rowlandson (1756–1827), Convicts embarking for Botany Bay  180-?, nla.obj-135232630


A round figure of 162,000 can be taken as a good approximation for all convict arrivals between 1788 and 1868, when the last shipment went to Western Australia.

The Australian Government webpage on Convicts and the British colonies in Australia provides a brief description of the convict system.

There are a number of indexes and records of convicts available on the internet, you can find a list of these in our Family History research guide.

If you need further information there are several good websites devoted to convict matters, including:

There have also been numerous books published on convicts and the convict system - try searching the National Library catalogue or Trove to find these resources.

Family history and genealogy History