Research & records

Research & records

Records relating to NSW, Norfolk Island and Tasmania found in Colonial Office microfilms

As a penal settlement answering to the British government, copies of colonial paperwork were sent to the Colonial Office in London. The Colonial Office papers contain a huge amount of material relating to the early settlements and residents of New South Wales, Norfolk Island and Tasmania. This seminar provides a guide to the type of information available both on the microfilms published by the Australian Joint Copying Project and in other published works.
- 45/60 minutes – Powerpoint presentation


Norfolk Island: the first settlement, 1788-1814

Many convicts and soldiers who arrived in the early years of settlement spent time on Norfolk Island until, in the first decade of the 1800s, the authorities decided to close the settlement and transfer the settlers to Tasmania. A wealth of documents have survived for this period containing information about those resident on the island. This seminar covers the type of records and other sources available, their contents and where they can be located.

- 45/60 minutes – Powerpoint presentation


Case study: researching the notorious Captain Thunderbolt

When Carol Baxter began researching bushranger Captain Thunderbolt, she found that other books and articles had, naturally, been written. However, most of these were riddled with errors and failed to make use of the wealth of information that was available to an experienced researcher. For example, she found a transcript of Fred Ward’s critical 1856 trial that no one had previously located. Through this case study, you will see how a professional researcher undertakes such research and learn strategies that you can apply to your own research.  


Free at last! Records of Pardons, Certificates of Freedom and Tickets of Leave.

Records relating to freedom are an important source of information about convicts. In fact, they are often the only means of determining whether a certain person was your ancestor or not. This seminar covers the types of records that have survived, their purpose, contents and location. 

– 45/60 minutes – Powerpoint presentation


Tracing your ancestors in colonial New South Wales

As the editor of many volumes of early colonial records, the author of three works of popular history revolving around stories from our colonial past, and previously the General Editor of the Biographical Database of Australia, Carol Baxter is ideally suited to guide family historians in tracing their colonial ancestors. This seminar provides an overview of sources available for those living in Colonial New South Wales.

- 45/60 minutes – Powerpoint presentation


Old Sydney Burial Ground 1792 – 1820

Discover the history of the Old Sydney Burial ground (today the Sydney Town Hall) and the discovery of grave and headstones. Just who is buried there ... from Convicts ... free settlers  ... NSW Corps.

There are over 2500 people buried from 1792 - 1820.

What were the burial practices in NSW 1788 - 1820.


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