The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast.com.au:
Leading family history website findmypast.com.au has launched over 640,000 convict records, making it the most comprehensive online convict collection. With approximately 20% of Australians estimated as possessing convict ancestry, the new records provide Australians with the opportunity to uncover the villains lurking in their family tree.
The records include over 515,000 New South Wales and Tasmania: Settlers and Convicts 1787-1859 documents featuring a collection of early convicts and settlers records such as transportation details and crimes committed, and 125,000 Convict Transportation Registers.
There are details of the youngest convict to be transported to Australia, Mary Wade who was 11 years old upon transportation. She was initially sentenced to hang when she was 10 years of age for stealing another girls clothes and pawning them for 10p in London, however after serving 93 days in Newgate Prison she was reprieved and transported to NSW to intern at the Norfolk prison. Mary was the youngest convict aboard the infamous all-women ship, Lady Juliana and is an ancestor of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
Similarly, alcohol enthusiasts will be interested to learn that James Squire of the alcohol brand fame originally came to Australia as a convict. He arrived upon the convict ship Charlotte in the First Fleet after being sentenced to transportation for seven years for highway robbery. Following his emancipation, he went on to become one of the first in Australia to successfully cultivate hops.
Vicki Dawson of findmypast.com.au says, The new convict records offer Australians the opportunity to learn about the crimes and lives of their convict ancestors. Many Aussies have their convict ancestors to thank for their own Australian existence; its a great chance to learn more about these individuals.