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All users should be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified.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.
|In the Library (or anywhere with a Library card for NSW residents)|
|Only in the Library|
|You can use Surgeons' journals, 1816-1856 when in the Library. Can't come to the Library? Contact us.|
You need to know the name of the ship your convict was transported on and the date of arrival as some ships made more than one voyage. Don't know the name of the ship and the date of arrival? Try resources listed on Beginning your family history research, Becoming free and Voyage out to Australia.
Search the Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook 7 (page 75) to see if there is a Surgeon's journal for the ship your convict was transported on. Ask at the Information desk in the Mitchell Library for the handbook.
If there is a journal, search the list of convict names for your convict to find the microfilm reel and piece number.
Find the relevant microfilm reel on the microfilm shelves in the Mitchell Library to search for the relevant entries.
Use the piece number to find the correct section on the microfilm. The piece number is indicated in the reference tag, which appears next to each page on the microfilm. For example, piece number 14 would appear on the tag as ADM 101/14. There might be several ships within each piece.
The Surgeons' journals are arranged alphabetically by name of the ship then by date. There might be more than one date as some ships made more than one voyage.
Each convict ship had a surgeon to oversee the health of the convicts. The surviving journals of the Surgeon-Superintendents date from 1816-1856 and only list convicts that the surgeon attended.
View a digitised example of a Surgeon's Journal from our collection.
Surgeon's journals from later years are available on Ancestry Library Edition under 'UK Surgeon Superintendents' Journals of Convict Ships, 1858-1867'.
Ancestry Library Edition is only available in the Library.