Convicts: Life in the colony

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visitors are kindly advised that this website includes images, sounds and names of people who have passed.

All users should be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified. Certain words, terms or descriptions may reflect the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written, but are now considered inappropriate in today's context.

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

Convict applications to bring out families Index, 1827–1873

How to use Convict applications to bring out families to Van Diemen's Land (also NSW, VIC & WA) : index, 1827-1873

Only in the Library You can use Convict applications to bring out families to Van Diemen's Land (also NSW, VIC & WA) : index, 1827-1873 when in the Library. Can't come to the Library? Contact us.

How to find out about a convict's family


Search for your convict in Convict applications to bring out families index, 1827-1873 to find the names of their spouse and children.

Example of an entry in the index:

Convict’s Name & Ship



Family & Other Details



‘St Vincent’ 1836

Mar 1849 CO386/154 Reel 987 p51 NSW

Catherine SCULLIN nee AGNEW (41)

Adam (17) EDMOND (15) Janus? (13) per ‘Success’ 1849

Bellaghy      Londonderry


Note down the details from the entry in particular the references as you will need this to find the original record.


Ask at the Special Collections desk in the Mitchell Library for help finding the original records.

Go to the resource


This resource indexes the official letters and other application records. Letters and applications often mention the names of a convict's spouse, their children or other family members. This index mainly covers Van Diemen's Land, but includes entries for New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.

Did you know?

Convicts could apply to have their wives or families brought out to Australia at no cost.


Refer to 'References to Convicts Applications' on page vii of the index to find the meanings of the abbreviations used in the references. This will help identify the original record.