Convicts: Bound for Australia

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All users should be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified.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

About the guide

This guide takes you to key resources that document the early life of convicts

A Fleet of Transports under Convoy (c.1788)
Digital order number: a128083

Find out more about a convict's crime, trial and sentence, and confinement in UK prisons or hulks before being transported and their journey to Australia.

There is a little bit of luck involved with family history research but a lot of it is working methodically through the resources. 


  • Note down the resources you’ve checked even when you don’t find anything.
  • Check the original record as it might have additional information not listed in the index.
  • More information was documented in later years than earlier years.

Not sure how to begin your research? Check out the links below:

Family history at the library