Convicts: Life in the colony

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Families of convicts


Convict wives and families

Wives and families of convicts were frequently reunited on Australian soil. On occasion families accompanied their convict relatives on the voyage out.

More frequently families came out later and on arrival the spouse could apply to have the convict assigned to work for them.

Searching Ancestry

Family reunions

Convicts who had a Ticket of Leave could apply to have their family members sent to Australia at the government's expense. The ticket also allowed a convict to be self employed and therefore support their family.

What is a muster?

A muster is similar to a census. Musters of the colony were originally done to keep track of the population and to ensure that the convicts were managed appropriately.

What is a Marriage Bann?

It is an announcement of an impending marriage. The banns were read out on three consecutive Sundays in church. This gave people the opportunity to raise any concerns they had about the marriage.