Convicts: Life in the colony

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Key to library resources

Access anywhere with a library card In the Library (or anywhere with a Library card for NSW residents)
Available to access in the library Only in the Library
Publicly available online Publicly available

Free passengers and crew on convict ships, 1830-1840

How to use Free passengers and crew on convict ships, 1830-1840

Only in the Library You can use Free passengers and crew on convict ships, 1830-1840 when you are in the Library. Can't come to the Library? Contact us.

How to find out about a convict's family

It may be helpful to know the names of a convict's spouse or family to search this resource. To find out the names of a convict's spouse or family member try searching the Birth, Death and Marriage records. Check our Births, Deaths and Marriages guide for resources.


Collect 'Part One' of the Free passengers and crew on convict ships into Sydney, 1830-1840 from the 'Passenger Lists' shelves in the Family history area.

Part One is indexed by the family member's or convict's last name. If you prefer to search by the name of the ship, use Part Two of the index.


Search for your convict's spouse and children in the index and note down details from the entry, in particular the Reference as this will help you to find the original record.

Examples of References:

  • S.G.: Sydney Gazette
  • A.O.: NSW Archives Office
  • PRO: Surgeons Journals

Here is an example of an index entry:


Allen, Benjamin





Date of Arrival


From Whence





Free Emigrant


Son of Richard Allen, convict in NSW


A.O. 2425


Mother and sisters to follow


Check the first two pages of the microfiche to find where the original records are held.


Go to the Family history desk for help with locating the original records. Most of the original records are held at the Library.

Convict transport ships

Convict transport ships were also used as immigration ships for people who paid their own passage out to Australia.

Connecting the family

These records may help you connect a free passenger to a convict on board the same or another convict ship.

Families travelling to join their convict relatives may not have travelled on a ship transporting convicts. Check the records relating to wives and families of convicts and assisted passengers.