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

 

 

 

 

New Workhouse Records Online

Ancestry.co.uk has put some interesting workhouse records online. I hadn’t heard of this series of records recording every adult in a workhouse for 5 years or

more before. It appears that in 1861 the House of Commons ordered that the name, time spent in the workhouse, the reason for admission to the workhouse and whether they had been bought up in a district or workhouse school be compiled and the results analysed. What they were trying to achieve I can’t imagine as it wasn’t going to stop poverty or ill health which were the main causes for admission into the workhouse.

Anyway as genealogists we can be grateful that this list of about 67,800 adults is now available for us to search. I can see this will be a useful addition to the 1861 census as it captures the names of those who died prior to that census. Shown is an example of the records. I shall run my family names through the search and see who pops up I can think of one or two who should be in there ! Ancestry.co.uk