First Fleeters in your family history?

First FleetMany genealogists must have ancestors who made up the first fleet. For those who aren’t familiar with the term First Fleeter let me explain …….. The First Fleeter is the name given to the group of eleven ships which sailed to Australia in 1787. The purpose of the fleet was to establish a penal colony so that Britain could transport those who had fallen foul of the law, often the offences were minor, but that didn’t make any difference to the outcome.

The fleet consisted of two Royal Navy ships, three store vessels and six convict transporters. It is disputed exactly how many passengers were aboard the ships, but it is generally thought that about 1,500 people arrived in Australia after a long voyage. Along with the convicts there were also paying passengers who were keen to seek their fortunes on distant shores.

First Fleet database

TFirst Fleet Search resultshis University of Wollongong website offers a searchable database of the people who were part of the First Fleet. Also there are numerous links to other sites concerning these brave souls who were present at the birth of modern Australia. The search form has several options alongside the obvious surname and first name there is ship, crime, place of trial, age, sentence etc.

A good website that will enable those who know that their ancestor was a first fleeter to learn more, but will also prove to be valuable for those who have an ancestor who has mysterious disappeared from home around 1787.

http://firstfleet.uow.edu.au/index.html