Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land, now Tasmania

Convict records guide

Search Tasmania’s convict records, many of which are online.  The records include personal data collected on arrival, conduct records, applications for permission to marry, details of employment, tickets of leave and much more. You will also find links to other useful resources.

Before transportation

From 1788 to 1868 over 160,000 men, women and children were punished with transportation to Australia. On this page you will find links to information on the life of convicts before their arrival in Australia and their journey to Australia.

Convict life

Although they were servants, as they were needed to ensure a productive economy, convicts had a measure of power. They were given a ration of food and clothing as set out in official regulations.


The first freed convicts in VDL were those who arrived in 1803. The better behaved of them were given land. Those who were free by the 1860s did not fare so well. The period in which freedom was given made a difference to later prospects.

Convict landscapes

Locate Tasmanian convict places across time and space with this mapping portal.

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