Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - FROM THE SHOW -

The first con­victs who ar­rived in the 1780s and 1790s suf­fered greatly from mal­nu­tri­tion, ex­po­sure and dis­ease. The First Fleet web­site ( first­ uses orig­i­nal doc­u­ments to ex­plore their lives and in­cludes a data­base of their names. By the early 19th cen­tury, con­victs ar­riv­ing in the es­tab­lished colonies en­tered a strictly reg­i­mented sys­tem.

Bri­tish trans­porta­tion records de­scribed at na­tion­ help-with-your-re­search/ re­search- guides/crim­inal­trans­portees should re­veal the colony to which your an­ces­tor was ini­tially sent. Anne Reid’s an­ces­tor John Reid was found in the Tas­ma­nian Ar­chives’ In­dex to Tas­ma­nian Con­victs ( linc­tas.ent.sir­si­ AU/names) show­ing when he ar­rived in Van Diemen’s Land.

Re­search the his­tory of the colony to which your an­ces­tor was trans­ported to un­der­stand the unique way it op­er­ated at var­i­ous points in time.

John Reid ar­rived a few years af­ter the Pro­ba­tion Sys­tem was im­ple­mented in Van Diemen’s Land. Con­victs were seg­re­gated into labour gangs and forced to work at one of over 80 prooba­tion sta­tions, or at a pe­nal sett­tle­ment if they had a life sen­tence. Af­ter sev­eral years’ hard labour they could earn a pro­ba­tion pass and be hired by free set­tlers

In­for­ma­tion about life asa a con­vict can be found on Tas­ma­nia’s Her­itage page (­i­lyhis­tory/Pages/de­fault. aspx), and use­ful back­ground in­for­ma­tion for the whole e of Aus­tralia is on­line at aus­­tralia/aus­tralian-sto ory/ con­victs-and-the-bri­tish-colonies.

Con­victs are in­spected at Syd­ney Cove on their ar­rival in 1788

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