These stories have been submitted by members of the Female Convicts Research Centre, researchers and descendants of female convicts.  All stories are subject to copyright.

If you have a story to share for publication here, please complete a submission form.


Recent  additions:

Elizabeth Duesnap (Maria to NSW, 1818; Elizabeth Henrietta to VDL, 1818)

By Don Bradmore (23/01/2020). The fascinating story of a resilient convict woman. Born at Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, around 1797, Elizabeth led a long, difficult - and, at times, sad - life but was in her late eighties when she passed away at Longford, Tasmania, in 1883.

Sarah Hutchings (Providence II, 1826)

By Don Bradmore (12/01/2020).  Sarah, sentenced in England in 1825 to transportation to Van Diemens Land (VDL) for seven years,  was a convict when she died at Hobart thirty-two years later.

Ellen Donovan (Martin Luther 1852)

By Diane Honan (12/01/2020)

Ann Green (2) (America 1831)

By Don Bradmore (6/01/2020). Ann Green and her husband were both sentenced for the same offence and both transported for seven years, ending up in Hobart.  Ann Green was assigned to a house at Hamilton described as  a ‘debauched house’ and a ‘most improper place’ in which to live.

Esther Dowling (Currency Lass 1834)

By Don Bradmore (6/01/2020).  The story of convict Esther DOWLING is an intriguing one. When reading the story, it is not difficult to get the impression that she wanted to be a convict – and that she wanted to remain a convict forever!

Mary Martin (Canada to Sydney, 1810; Emu to VDL 1815)

By Don Bradmore (1/01/2020). The fascinating story of Mary Agnes MARTIN (nee HALLETT). She had outstanding success as a schoolmistress. Sadly, however, her life ended in misery. She died in poverty at the age of fifty-five in 1831, her achievements largely forgotten.

Elizabeth Jennings (Lord Sidmouth/Lusitania 1823)

By Don Bradmore (1/01/2020).  Elizabeth Jennings became a servant to Miss Bromley, accompanying her between Sydney and Hobart Town.  Elizabeth's life in Van Diemen's Land was not a happy one; according to her husband's Will she was  'afflicted in her mind'.  She died, at the age of 81, at the New Norfolk Asylum on 12 June 1876. In the story of Elizabeth Jennings, Don Bradmore looks into inconsistencies in various historical records. 

Catherine McCabe (Siren 1836)

By Don Bradmore (18/12/2019).  Catherine McCabe was one of the oldest females sent to Van Diemen's Land.  In 1825 Catherine, along with at least three children, arrived in NSW on the ship Thames to join her husbandHer husband had previously been transported to Sydney for life in 1821.   Census records show that the family was reunited, but only a short while. In 1836, along with her son, Edward, Catherine was convicted and transported to Van Diemen's Land.

Ann Margaret Wright (Providence II 1826)

By Don Bradmore (11/12/2019). In 1825, Ann Margaret Wright was convicted in England of stealing money from her employer and transported to the colony - and she was still a prisoner there thirty four years later!  In that time, she had been sentenced to death on two separate occasions, had absconded from the colony and fled to India where she had suffered terribly before being recaptured and returned to VDL, had married twice and had spent many years in gaol.

Charlotte Harris 'The Orange Woman' (Anna Maria 1852)

By Rhonda Arthur (4/12/2019).  Charlotte Harris was convicted of murdering her husband at a time when there was a groundswell of people calling for the abolition of capital punishment as being cruel and immoral.  Charlotte was to be hanged but the sentence was suspended until she gave birth. In the meantime, an abolitionist, Charles Gilpin, was active in organizing  petitions for clemency on behalf of Charlotte and on 8 November 1849 he presented petitions with 15,000 signatories to Sir George Grey at the Home Office.

Eleanor Lyons (Blackfriar 1851)

By Don Bradmore (26/11/2019)

Catherine Adams (Sir Robert Seppings) and the Dean Poisoning Case

By Colette McAlpine (17/11/2019). Not many convicts appeared before a Royal Commission, not many were sketched as often as Catherine, and few had photographs taken due to giving evidence. This woman's story also shows how convicts kept in touch with each other, changed partners, names and identities, but also how the past caught up with some of them in the strangest ways.



Please note:  The links below for conduct record, indent and description list will take you to the Archives Office of Tasmania website.



Further stories:

Edges of Empire Biographical Dictionary: 

Edges of Empire is a Biographical Dictionary offering accounts of nearly 200 female convicts who were tried or born outside the British Isles. All were transported to the Australian colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land between 1788 and 1853. Their life stories have been tracked from numerous sources around the world, sometimes in detail and sometimes with the merest trace of their existence.

Our Genealogy page also contains some interesting female convict stories researched and written by our genealogists, transcribers and researchers.

The Founders and Survivors project newsletters also contain interesting stories on convicts.
(Scroll down toNewsletter subscription and Previous issues on the left hand side of the page.)



Please acknowledge our work, should you choose to use our research.  Our work may be subject to copyright therefore please check our Copyright Policy, and Disclaimer policy.

For academic referencing (suggestion only) Database: [http address], FCRC Female Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land database, entry for xxxx ID no xxx, accessed [date].

For academic referencing (suggestion only) Website:  Female Convicts Research Centre Inc., accessed [date] from [http address].