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Latest News


A day of celebration of convict women in Evandale

A day of celebration of convict women in Evandale and surrounding areas will take place on Sunday 18th September, 2016, commencing with a church service at 9.45am at the St Andrew’s Uniting Church Evandale. The theme of the day will be the Blessing of the Bonnets: Bonnets are being made for the 200 plus women who came out on the "Australasia" and for all the women convicts who were linked to Evandale. Honoured guest will be Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Kate Warner AM Governor of Tasmania. For further information contact the Evandale Community Centre on 0437661950.  Pre-bookings for a formal luncheon at the Evandale Memorial Hall essential.


FCRC 2016 Spring Seminar

The Female Convicts Research Centre warmly invites members and friends to register for our 2016 Spring Seminar: Prologue: women’s lives before transportation, on Sunday 23 October at the Hobart Town Hall. Cost $40 a head includes morning tea and light lunch.

During the morning the Governor of Tasmania, Professor the Honourable Kate Warner, will launch the latest book from Convict Women’s Press: Repression, Reform and Resilience: a history of the Cascades Female Factory. Programme and further details here.


Photos of the Cascades Female Factory or female convicts

We are interested in any old photos you may have of the Cascades Female Factory or female convict ancestors - please contact us if you have some images you would like to donate to FCRC. 

Launch of Edges of Empire Biographical Dictionary

Following the November 2015 Launch of their latest paperback "From the Edges of Empire: Convict Women from beyond the British Isles", Convict Women's Press have now launched the book's companion website:  Edges of Empire Biographical Dictionary. with accounts of over 160 female convicts who were tried or born outside the British Isles, compiled by Female Convicts Research Centre members.

London Lives 1690-1800

This project is a fully searchable edition of 240,000 manuscripts from eight archives and fifteen datasets, giving access to 3.35 million names.  You can access it by following this link.

A BBC documentary, The Secret History of My Family S1E1 the Gadbury Sisters,

has just aired in the UK. It tells the story of three sisters tried in the 1830s and traces their descendants.

One of the Gadbury sisters arrived in VDL on the Majestic in 1839 as Sarah Cope (ID7910 in our database). Her aliases included Sarah Cape, Caroline Gadbury, Bradbury, Gadley and Gantry. She married Charles Chapman in 1854 and he died in 1855. The couple had had three daughters, two of whom died in infancy.

In 1860, Sarah married George Ogilvie, a blacksmith and a widower with one surviving son, James. George’s first wife, and the mother of his two sons, was also a convict named Caroline Justin. (ID9720) She arrived on the Navarino in 1841. She died in 1855.

Sarah Cope died as Caroline Cissy Ogilvie, at the home of her daughter, Sarah Ann, in New Town, in 1895. George Ogilvie died in 1894.

Acknowledgement to FCRC

The work of FCRC is praised in an article by Janet McCalman et al: 'Building a Life Course Dataset from Australian Convict Records: Founders & Survivors: Australian Life Courses in Historical Context, 1803–1920' in the recent release of Gerrit Bloothooft et al. (eds), Population Reconstruction, Springer International Publishing, Switzerland, 2015.​  The article is a great overview of how the FCRC gather data and how it's used by the Founders and Survivors project.



Recent Updates


Petitions - Mary Walsh (with child Mary 22 mths) and Mary Halfpenny, Mary Newell (with child Mary 10 mths), Hope 1842; Margaret Lynch and Judith Dwyer, Greenlaw 1844, (15/08/2016)  

  • Genealogy Stories An update to the interesting story of Sidney Keelan, Earl Grey 1850. (11 August 2016)
  • Seminar Programme - Programme is now available for our October 23rd Seminar "Prologue: women's lives before transportation". (21/07/2016)
  • Petitions - Mary and Bridget Meehan per Greenlaw 1844; Ann Kenny per Mary Anne 1841; Margaret McLoughlin per Hope 1841. (20/07/2016)
  • Voyages - Newspaper article about prisoners leaving the county gaol for the ship (East London 1843). (16 July 2016)