Latest News


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


  • Convict Lives Stories - Isobel Cuthbert: "Do not use me so". The sad story of Isobel Cuthbert, who escaped the death sentence through the pleas of the jury for leniency, arrived on the Margaret in 1843 in Van Diemen's Land. (27 June 2016)
  • Voyages - Updates to Voyage Snippets (23 June 2016)
  • Genealogy Stories An Ancient Offender: Ellen Miles - Published in The Age 15 December 1902. (16 June 2016)
  • Convict System Administration - Published in the Morning Post 8 July 1846: To the Right Hon. Lord Standley, Secretary of State for the Colonies etc.  - in reference to the voyage of the Woodbridge.(16 June 2016)
  • Task Work - Reformation of female convicts in Van Diemen's Land.  (15 June 2016)
  • Voyages - Updates to sir Charles Forbes 1826 and Voyage Snippets: (Inverness, 1822) The Convict Ship - A Scottish girl broke her heart and died in the river... ;  (Liverpool 1837) Convict Ships Wanted; (Sheffield 1865) A Convict Ship - the procurement of a surgeon for a convict ship; (Middlesex 1847) Anson - the reformation of female convicts in Van Diemen's Land.  (15 June 2016)
  • Petitions - Judith Gibney per Mary Ann 1841, Eliza Nolan/Murphy per Hope 1842, Ellen Kane per Greenlaw 1844, Catherine Patterson (East London) pre-sentence information mentioned in the petition of Jonathan Francis. (24 May 2016)
  • Ships - Lord Auckland 1849 Surgeon's Journal. The Lord Auckland sailed from Ireland in 1849 and the medical cases described several women as having suffered from the famine. The General Remarks are well worth reading for the surgeon’s comments about how to treat Irish female convicts, his encouragement of cleanliness and comments on the types of illness encountered during the voyage.(24 May 2016)