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Founders & Survivors is a partnership between historians, genealogists, demographers and population health researchers. It seeks to record and study the founding population of 73,000 men women and children who were transported to Tasmania. Many survived their convict experience and went on to help build a new society.

This website is best viewed using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as your browser. Some things do not display properly using Internet Explorer.

A notice to Friends of Founders & Survivors from Janet McCalman:

We regret that owing to worsening technical and security problems we have had to close part of the FAS website to public use. You can still search for a convict and read the transcriptions of his/her records, but, at present, ONLY REGISTERED VOLUNTEERS can access the Community Contributed material. You can still access the FAS newsletter 'Chainletter' via the website. WE ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTING REGISTRATIONS. When the project is transferred to an official, long-term site, all users will again be able to access Community Contributed material. By this time the data will have been cleansed, sorted and verified by the volunteers. We thank you for your support and are much relieved that Founders & Survivors as a community history resource has been promised a secure future by the Tasmanian Government.

Recent News

New book on convict women transported from Kildare to VDL

A new book on Irish women transported to Tasmania during the Great Famine has been published by Four Courts Press. Part of the acclaimed Maynooth Studies in Local History Series, The transportation of women from Kildare to Van Diemen's Land in 1849 by Catherine Fleming tells the story of many women from Kildare who made the arduous journey to Tasmania as the Great Famine raged in Ireland.

Read the attached press release for further information about the book and how to order.

Founders and Survivors Newsletter No.11, August 2012

This second issue of Chainletter for 2012 farewells Claudine Chionh and welcomes Trudy Cowley and Colette McAlpine. For ships project volunteers, the focus turns to quality control and the next Victorian workshop is announced.

The first featured article in this issue is an article by Megan Webber titled "Reformation and Recidivism: The London Refuge for the Destitute, c.1806–1849". This provides a wonderful insight into the operation of such refuges and discusses how to determine if your convict was in such a refuge.

Farewell to Claudine Chionh

Dear All,

We say farewell to Claudine today who is moving into the private sector to expand her web developer career.

She has been with Founders and Survivors since 2007, and her outstanding achievements have been building the interactive website that you all use and setting up the volunteer researchers on a Google Docs platform. This work has made our entire enterprise possible. I know that you will all join me in thanking her and wishing her a brilliant new phase to her career.

Thank you and au revoir, Claudine from Founders and Survivors.


Want to volunteer for a ship project?

Anyone interested in signing up for a ship project should email Janet McCalman on