Australasia Convicts

A list of the 200 female convicts transported on the Australasia from Dublin to Hobart in 1849 with links to their online convict records.

More information on each of the convicts is provided in the accompanying book A Drift of 'Derwent Ducks'.

 

Convict   Name Age Police No. Conduct Record Indent Description List
Julia Ahern 20 246 conduct record indent description list
Johanna Ahern 20 247 conduct record indent description list
Rose Bannon 19 994 conduct record indent description list
Judith Beaky 13 998 conduct record indent description list
Margaret Beatry 25 1001 conduct record indent description list
Margaret Behan 20 996 conduct record indent description list
Ann Behan 60 997 conduct record indent description list
Mary Boyde 18 993 conduct record indent description list
Judith Brady 24 995 conduct record indent description list
Ellen Brennan 21 1006 conduct record indent description list
Mary Brien 24 1008 conduct record indent description list
Eliza Brinton 26 1009 conduct record indent description list
Ellen Browne 19 1007 conduct record indent description list
Dorah Burke 24 1003 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Burke 30 1004 conduct record indent description list
Margaret Burke 10 1005 conduct record indent description list
Sarah Burke 30 999 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Butler 39 1000 conduct record indent description list
Catherine Butler 26 1002 conduct record indent description list
Ann Byrne 23 1010 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Cahill 35 1010 conduct record indent description list
Margaret Cahill 18 1011 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Callaghan 23 1020 conduct record indent description list
Mary Carmody 20 1001 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Carson 27 1014 conduct record indent description list
Margaret Carthy 30 1003 conduct record indent description list
Margaret Carthy 21 1025 conduct record indent description list
Margaret Casey 23 1026 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Cassidy 19 1022 conduct record indent description list
Winifred Caulfield 30 1012 conduct record indent description list
Susan Chickley 16 1007 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Coen 22 1013 conduct record indent description list
Judy Collins 20 1024 conduct record indent description list
Margaret Compstick 15 1021 conduct record indent description list
Mary Condon 18 1002 conduct record indent description list
Margaret Connell 26 1005 conduct record indent description list
Mary Connell 26 1008 conduct record indent description list
Mary Connor 36 1009 conduct record indent description list
Ellen Connor 26 1015 conduct record indent description list
Judith Conroy 35 1023 conduct record indent description list
Jane Conry 25 1019 conduct record indent description list
Mary Coogan 22 1018 conduct record indent description list
Mary Cooley 28 998 conduct record indent description list
Susan Corr 24 1027 conduct record indent description list
Anne Corry 16 1000 conduct record indent description list
Mary Costelloe 30 1029 conduct record indent description list
Margaret Coy 25 999 conduct record indent description list
Margaret Cronin 19 1006 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Crotty 26 1028 conduct record indent description list
Margaret Crowley 35 1004 conduct record indent description list
Mary Crowley 23 1030 conduct record indent description list
Catherine Crummer 18 1016 conduct record indent description list
Elizabeth Curry 14 1017 conduct record indent description list
Elizabeth Daley 24 676 conduct record indent description list
Ann Daley 22 677 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Davin 18 675 conduct record indent description list
Mary Davin 17 683 conduct record indent description list
Catherine Doherty 20 667 conduct record indent description list
Ann Donnelly 31 678 conduct record indent description list
Ann Donnelly 30 679 conduct record indent description list
Witty Donohue 20 669 conduct record indent description list
Catherine Donovan 18 672 conduct record indent description list
Ellen Doody 21 670 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Dooling 19 682 conduct record indent description list
Ellen Doyle 24 680 conduct record indent description list
Margaret Driscoll 16 671 conduct record indent description list
Mary Duffy 18 668 conduct record indent description list
Mary Duffy 20 674 conduct record indent description list
Mary Ann Dunne 28 673 conduct record indent description list
Margaret Dwyer 36 681 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Edwards 25 183 conduct record indent description list
Catherine Ennis 30 182 conduct record indent description list
Judith Farrell 30 436 conduct record indent description list
Ann Feely 19 433 conduct record indent description list
Margaret Fitzgerald 17 434 conduct record indent description list
Johanna Fitzgerald 22 435 conduct record indent description list
Catherine Flynn 40 432 conduct record indent description list
Catherine Forde 29 437 conduct record indent description list
Mary Ann Gaffney 20 520 conduct record indent description list
Catherine Gainor 19 513 conduct record indent description list
Ellen Gamble 18 519 conduct record indent description list
Peggy Gannon 34 514 conduct record indent description list
Peggy Gannon 16 515 conduct record indent description list
Ellen Gibney 20 612 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Gleeson 21 516 conduct record indent description list
Alice Gleeson 18 521 conduct record indent description list
Johanna Gready 20 517 conduct record indent description list
Eliza Guilfoyle 19 518 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Haines 26 797 conduct record indent description list
Johanna Harvey 28 802 conduct record indent description list
Mary Hassett 18 795 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Hayes 19 800 conduct record indent description list
Mary Headon 26 802 conduct record indent description list
Ellen Hefferman 21 798 conduct record indent description list
Margaret Hestian 20 801 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Higgins 18 799 conduct record indent description list
Judith Hourigan 24 796 conduct record indent description list
Mary Judge 22 369 conduct record indent description list
Catherine Keane 16 371 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Kearney 21 368 conduct record indent description list
Catherine Kearns 21 372 conduct record indent description list
Mary Keegan 20 370 conduct record indent description list
Catherine Keely 18 365 conduct record indent description list
Mary Kelly 20 374 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Kennedy 30 363 conduct record indent description list
Honora Kennigan 30 375 conduct record indent description list
Elizabeth Kenny 20 369 conduct record indent description list
Kitty King 30 366 conduct record indent description list
Nappy King 26 367 conduct record indent description list
Mary King 19 373 conduct record indent description list
Margaret Kinnealy 18 364 conduct record indent description list
Napy Lawlor 20 451 conduct record indent description list
Ann Leech 20 447 conduct record indent description list
Jane Loague 25 452 conduct record indent description list
Jane Loague 25 453 conduct record indent description list
Ellen Loughlan 47 450 conduct record indent description list
Mary Lyden 24 448 conduct record indent description list
Ellen Lyden 24 449 conduct record indent description list
Catherine Lynch 18 444 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Lynch 26 445 conduct record indent description list
Ellen Lynch 23 446 conduct record indent description list
Margaret Magee 26 1051 conduct record indent description list
Bell Maguire 20 1058 conduct record indent description list
Sarah Ann Maguire 25 1059 conduct record indent description list
Catherine Maguire 18 1060 conduct record indent description list
Catherine Mahon 50 1039 conduct record indent description list
Mary Mahony 15 1028 conduct record indent description list
Ann Mannion 40 1034 conduct record indent description list
Ann Matthews 21 1023 conduct record indent description list
Catherine McAleer 20 1056 conduct record indent description list
Ann McCabe 20 1053 conduct record indent description list
Mary McCann 21 1054 conduct record indent description list
Honora McCarthy 18 1046 conduct record indent description list
Margaret McDermott 36 1047 conduct record indent description list
Ann McEvoy 33 1055 conduct record indent description list
Catherine McGeary 26 1057 conduct record indent description list
Rose McGovern 21 1052 conduct record indent description list
Bridget McHenry 20 1049 conduct record indent description list
Kitty McHugo 21 1048 conduct record indent description list
Honora McInerhenry 15 1045 conduct record indent description list
Ellen McKnight 27 1050 conduct record indent description list
Mary Ann McLoughlin 20 1041 conduct record indent description list
Catherine McMahon 22 1044 conduct record indent description list
Mary McNamara 40 1051 conduct record indent description list
Mary McNamara 25 1042 conduct record indent description list
Mary McNamara 21 1043 conduct record indent description list
Alice Molloy 29 1037 conduct record indent description list
Mary Molony 23 1029 conduct record indent description list
Mary Monohan 20 1032 conduct record indent description list
Nora Moore 23 1040 conduct record indent description list
Margaret Mulcahy 23 1036 conduct record indent description list
Elizabeth Mulcolney 21 1030 conduct record indent description list
Eliza Mullam 16 1035 conduct record indent description list
Mary Mulrooney 24 1038 conduct record indent description list
Margaret Murphy 21 1024 conduct record indent description list
Mary Ann Murphy 22 1025 conduct record indent description list
Mary Murphy 30 1026 conduct record indent description list
Catherine Murphy 21 1027 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Murray 40 1033 conduct record indent description list
Honora Neill 23 196 conduct record indent description list
Ann Nevin 20 194 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Neylan 26 193 conduct record indent description list
Catherine Nolan 21 195 conduct record indent description list
Mary Noonan 20 192 conduct record indent description list
Mary O'Brien 40 97 conduct record indent description list
Catherine O'Neal 24 98 conduct record indent description list
Ellenor Onions 25 99 conduct record indent description list
Ellen Pierce 23 405 conduct record indent description list
Caroline Rankin 38 507 conduct record indent description list
Mary Regan 22 506 conduct record indent description list
Catherine Reidy 35 503 conduct record indent description list
Mary Riordan 26 504 conduct record indent description list
Ellen Rosney 20 511 conduct record indent description list
Catherine Rowe 17 510 conduct record indent description list
Mary Russell 26 505 conduct record indent description list
Elizabeth Ryan 24 508 conduct record indent description list
Elizabeth Ryan 30 509 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Scanlon 20 892 conduct record indent description list
Biddy Sharkey 22 890 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Sharkey 24 891 conduct record indent description list
Susan Shreenan 25 895 conduct record indent description list
Jane Smith 22 893 conduct record indent description list
Mary Smith 22 894 conduct record indent description list
Catherine Stewart 24 883 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Sugene 25 889 conduct record indent description list
Mary Sullivan 22 884 conduct record indent description list
Johanna Sullivan 22 885 conduct record indent description list
Ellen Sullivan 20 886 conduct record indent description list
Julia Sullivan 22 887 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Sullivan 22 888 conduct record indent description list
Madge Towie 19 361 conduct record indent description list
Mary Tully 36 363 conduct record indent description list
Ann Tully 22 362 conduct record indent description list
Catherine Walsh 20 828 conduct record indent description list
Mary Walsh 18 829 conduct record indent description list
Margaret Walsh 19 830 conduct record indent description list
Elizabeth Whelan 20 825 conduct record indent description list
Peggy Whelan 24 826 conduct record indent description list
Sarah Williams 21 827 conduct record indent description list
Bridget Yorke 25 33 conduct record indent description list

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since publication, minor errors have been found in A Drift of 'Derwent Ducks'. These are listed here for the 1st edition and the 2nd edition.

1st Edition Errata

Judith Farrell

On page 151 of the CD there is an entry for Judith FARRELL which is incorrect and should be deleted.

24 April 1853   To Henry Mylam Cockerill, New Norfolk.

This should read 24 April 1855 and is already listed there under that date.

Catherine McMahon

At the bottom of page 242 of the book is written:

Catherine McMahon's brothers Denis and William McMahon were tried with her and each sentenced to seven years' transportation, arriving on the Hyderabad 3 in December 1850.

Catherine's brothers Denis and William were sentenced to ten years' transportation.

Catherine O'Neal

At the top of page 248 of the book is written:

Six weeks later, Richard Styles applied for permission to marry Catherine and they married on 1 January 1855.  Catherine, who had a large scar on her forehead, had no shortage of proposals and chose to marry a man with one arm.

Catherine's husband Richard STYLES did not have one arm.  Her husband was transported on the Tortoise in 1842 as Richard STILES.  The Richard STYLES with one arm was transported on the Recovery in 1837.

Ann Tully

On page 381 of the CD there is an incorrect entry for Ann TULLY which should be deleted.

26 February 1851   Application for permission to marry Thomas Bridgeman (Susan 2); referred 1 March PM Huon & 4 March Revd E Freeman.

This is actually a reference to Ann FEELY (qv).

Repayment of Transportation Costs

I am currently investigating further the regulations by which convicts were required to repay their transportation costs upon arrival in order to be eligible for a Ticket-of-Leave. This scheme was strongly promoted by Lord Earl Grey, but in Tasmania the Comptroller General, JS Hampton, and the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir William Denison, argued that it was unworkable and so suspended the scheme a year or two after it was implemented.

The following correspondence relates to the scheme for convicts to repay the cost of their transportation prior to being able to obtain a Ticket-of-Leave.

Date From—To Description Reference
28 September 1848 Denison to Earl Grey Inital reaction to scheme. TAHO, GO 33/1/65 No.195 pp.437–508
8 January 1850 Denison to Earl Grey Notes on scheme. TAHO, GO 33/1/69 No.9 pp.41–94
25 July 1850 Earl Grey to Denison Changes to scheme re amount paid and now compulsory (3 enclosures). TAHO, GO 1/1/78 No.114 pp.103–167
27 July 1850 Denison to Earl Grey Reiteration of improbability of scheme. TAHO, GO 25/1/17 No.171 pp.252–260
3 December 1850 Denison to Earl Grey   TAHO, GO 33/1/72 No.253 pp.607–639
4 August 1851 Earl Grey to Denison   TAHO, GO 1/1/82 No.156 pp.183–222
3 October 1851 Denison to Earl Grey   TAHO, GO 33/1/74 No.140 pp.418–450
31 January 1852 Denison to Earl Grey Requesting permission to terminate the scheme (incl. memorandum from Hampton). TAHO, GO 33/1/75 No.24 pp.304–331
1 July 1852 Pakington to Denison Permission to terminate the scheme. TAHO, GO 1/1/85 No.58

 

 

2nd Edition Errata

 No errata recorded as yet. 

'Australasia' Convicts
Biographies
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Errata
 

A Drift of 'Derwent Ducks'

cover image for A Drift of 'Derwent Ducks'TITLE: A Drift of 'Derwent Ducks'

SUBTITLE: Lives of the 200 female Irish convicts transported on the Australasia from Dublin to Hobart in 1849

AUTHOR: Trudy Mae Cowley

PUBLICATION DATE: paperback 2005, eBook 2014

PUBLISHER: Research Tasmania

PUBLICATION PLACE: Hobart, TAS

SIZE: 400 A5 pages

ISBN: 978-0-9756784-4-2

COST: RRP $48

paperback version sold out, ORDER eBook version NOW AVAILABLE

Winner of the Kay Daniels Award 2006. Citation.

This is awarded by the Australian Historical Association biennially for outstanding original research with a bearing on convict, heritage and/or early colonial history to self-government/independence.

A Drift of 'Derwent Ducks' is a study of the 200 female Irish convicts who were transported to Van Diemen's Land from Ireland in 1849 on the Australasia. These women had suffered through the Irish famine yet many of them made a new life for themselves in Van Diemen's Land, most marrying and settling down to raise families.

The study focuses on their lives and the connections between the women from their time in Ireland through to their deaths. The book, published in November 2005, is a valuable reference and resource for historians, genealogists and family historians.

The book is fully indexed and contains 16 pages of illustrations. The first edition came with a CD containing biographies of the 200 Australasia convicts (Chapter 7). These biographies can now be downloaded from this website.

The first edition sold out in 2010, having received many positive comments and reviews. The book cover provides reviews from Professor Lucy Frost and Dr Alison Alexander.

Revisions to the biographies are currently being made—some are already available on this website.  An eBook version of the book is now available for purchase.

An outline of the book is provided below. Links to the indexes for the book and the biographies are also provided below.

Reviews 

Read the citation from the Australian Historical Association, reviewers' comments and unsolicited comments from readers.

Citation for Kay Daniels Award 2006 from the Australian Historical Association

This is an impressive piece of scholarship, based on a wealth of original research, determination to dredge up and present every available piece of information about the 200 Irish women at the centre of the study, and a desire to recreate their humanity, their life experiences and their world.

It provides a valuable reference point and resource for any future research in all relevant areas. The quoted material with which the book abounds comes from all sorts of sources—police and court records, depositions, diaries, wills, institutional records, newspapers, gravestones, and so on—and provides insights not only into the language, attitudes and personal experiences of many of the women and their associates, but into the institutions, systems of authority and natural environment of their native Ireland and Van Diemen's Land. The book also includes a CD containing files of all known biographical details of the Australasia women.

Ken McNab
Julia Clark
Hamish Maxwell-Stewart

Reviewers' Comments

Christopher Bantick, Sunday Tasmanian

It is a rare book indeed that is capable of bridging both scholarly interest and general reader appeal.  A Drift of Derwent Ducks is such a book ... A Drift of Derwent Ducks is likely to become a standard work of reference but also be well read for itself.  This substantial book is simply a fascinating read ...

Bruce Elder, Sydney Morning Herald

It is probably true that history makes sense only when it is anchored to the lives of individuals.  This premise underpins this very detailed account ... The result ... is a wonderful image of convict life.  It goes a long way to challenge the accepted orthodoxy of female convicts as wild, promiscuous, criminal women.

Unsolicited Comments from Readers

 Kerry:

Just a thank you for your book a drift of DERWENT DUCKS.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Hobart 1800s.  What a marvellous job you have completed with this read.  Enjoyed it so much I am on to my second reading.

Pat:

I read your book A Drift of Derwent Ducks from cover to cover and it is a fantastic achievement.  I certainly appreciate the depth of your research and the time taken to produce this book.  You are to be congratulated.  Thank you, and well done.  It certainly made me view my Australasia convict, Julia Ahern, as part of the whole colonial community at the time, and put a lot of things in perspective for me.

Kevin:

Trudy, I wish to thank you for your attention on the delivery of A Drift of "Derwent Ducks".  I cannot thank you enough, it is an amazing book.  All I can say is thank you.

Frances:

The book was FANTASTIC ... I read it in three days which is a record for me ... it was written in a very interesting and easy manner and a great lesson in history.

Lynne:

Congratulations.  Book is just Ducky.  I have been going to email you since receiving your book in the mail, but I have been so busy reading.  What a great result from all your research.  The ladies from the Australasia would be so proud once they got over the shock of someone knowing so much about them.  I am finding it really interesting and even if there wasn't a possible relative I would still find it interesting and helpful in understanding the hardships these women went through.  Great indexes, very well put together.

Joyce:

Congratulations on such a wonderful book and CD!!!!  You certainly have put together wonderful history in an interesting way.  I think it's wonderful and quite the best book about convicts that I've read.

Julie:

I am reading the book slowly and reading out loud to my family, enjoying every page.

Paul:

The book is fantastic.

Audrey:

Many thanks Trudy.  I am really enjoying reading the book and congratulations are certainly due to you.  You have certainly done mountains of research to achieve such detail as you have provided in an easy to read format.

Gwen:

You have done wonderful work writing these fascinating stories on so many people ... your book opens up the facts to ordinary people about our ancestors.

Chris:

Congratulations to Dr Trudy Cowley on what is and will be the quintessential reference to the arrival of 200 female convicts per "Australasia" in 1849.  Ambitious in scope and executed with commanding authority that can only come from reference to the staggering number of resources used.  The bibliography itself is a major resource and I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone ...

Polly:

Trudy, you have done a wonderful job, I agree this is the quintessential reference for links not only to "Australasia" convicts.

Ian:

What a wonderful work of love and dedication, so meticulously researched.  I enjoyed the social and economic history of Ireland that led the ladies to work hard in their endeavours to book a passage to Tasmania, and how they adapted down under ...

 

Book Cover Text

The following text appears on the cover of A Drift of 'Derwent Ducks'.

Approximately 12,500 women and girls arrived in Van Diemen’s Land as convicts in the first half of the 19th century.  A Drift of ‘Derwent Ducks’ tells the stories of 200 of these women—those transported on the Australasia in 1849.  These women committed crimes in Ireland at the height of the Great Famine and were transported to the other side of the world to serve sentences of seven years to life, never returning to their homeland.

What were their crimes?  How did they endure the voyage from Dublin to Hobart Town?  How were they treated by their masters and mistresses?  What were their lives like in the female factories, hiring depots, hospitals and nurseries?  What support networks did they establish?  How did they survive?

A Drift of ‘Derwent Ducks’ answers these questions, revealing stories of the women’s hardships, their heartaches, families, friendships, relationships, crimes and deaths so far from home.

A Drift of ‘Derwent Ducks’ comes with a bonus CD containing a biography of each of the 200 Australasia convicts listing sentence and life events—an invaluable resource for historians and genealogists.

Fascinating stories of the trials and triumphs of convict women. Dr Alison Alexander, UTAS

Like the most assiduous of detectives, Trudy Cowley has tracked the women of the Australasia through a multiplicity of sources.  She brings their lives together in a panorama of suffering and success, of families often split asunder and sometimes re-configured under the difficult conditions of colonial Van Diemen’s Land Prof Lucy Frost, UTAS

 

Book Outline

A Drift of 'Derwent Ducks' contains the following chapters:

Introduction—background information on Ireland, the great famine, transportation, Van Diemen's Land and the probation system.

Chapter 1: The Crimes—stories and statistics about the crimes of the Australasia convicts, including information on their previous, transportation and colonial offences.

Chapter 2: The Voyage—a description of the voyage of the Australasia from Dublin to Hobart, based on the journal of the Surgeon Superintendent, Alexander Kilroy.

Chapter 3: The Employers—information on the masters and mistresses to whom the women were in service upon arrival in Van Diemen's Land, with a focus on interconnections and stories of the women in service.

Chapter 4: The Institutions—information on the institutions which housed the female convicts in Ireland and Van Diemen's Land and stories of the women's lives in these institutions, including Grangegorman Depot; the Anson Probation Station, Brickfields Hiring Depot; Cascades, Launceston and Ross Female Factories; gaols; nurseries; the Queen's Orphan Schools; New Norfolk Insane Asylum; and pauper establishments.

Chapter 5: The Families—information and stories on the families the women left behind in Ireland and the families they established in Van Diemen's Land, with a focus on interconnections and marriage under sentence.

Chapter 6: The Convicts—stories and statistics about the women, including information on age, height, religion, literacy, native place, trade, friendships, freedom and death.

Chapter 7: The Facts—a chronology of each of the women's lives, detailing information from their convict records and events from the time of their trial to their death. This chapter was originally provided on CD, but the biographies can now be downloaded from this website.

Book Indexes

A Drift of 'Derwent Ducks' contains two indexes. One index pertains to the printed book and the other pertains to the biographies (originally provided on CD as Chapter 7). If you are looking for a name, make sure you check both indexes.

Book Index

Biographies Index 

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