Monday, January 25, 2010

Convict research this Australia Day

This Australia Day is an opportunity to reflect on the lives of our ancestors who contributed to our growth and those pioneers who made a new life here wether by choice or not.

My earliest pioneer ancestor is Thomas Squires who arrived in Hobart, Tasmania in 1830 "transported for life" for picking pockets at age 18 years.

A member of "Australian Royalty" as actor Jack Thompson liked to put it. We don't know for sure if he spent time at Port Arthur or not, there were a number of convict settlements around Tasmania, but his records are held there.

Port Arthur Historic Site are currently undertaking a project to identify all those who came through Port Arthur between 1830 - 1877. 2010 marks the 170th anniversary of the Foundation of the the convict settlement.

This project includes both convicts and free people. An enquiry service is available for those who are researching their family history for a fee. A copy of a convict record can be supplied.

Ancestry have just announced new convict records available via their website and this is free to search till the end of January.

Another good website for researching your convict is the Old Bailey Online

On Australia Day I always like to listen to "I am Australian" - I especially like this version by Travis Collins. It was written by Bruce Woodley and Dobe Newton.

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