For those researching their Australian roots, be sure to add the Biographical Database of Australia (BDA) on to your list of places to check. It’s not huge compared to the big name genealogy websites, but this site which is the result of a small group of people has a lot of valuable records, not easily found elsewhere.

The team at BDA has just announced that they’ve just added another 250,000 records online, bringing the total to more than 1.5 million records.

Details of the new data sets just added are:

Convict Indents / Ship Musters NSW: 1829, 1832, 1834, 1835, 1836, 1837 & 1838
Listing details of 31,620 convicts plus cross referenced entries for relatives and employers mentioned.

Church Registers: over 6,000 baptisms, some marriages and burials
– NSW Campbelltown CE St Peter’s 1832-1856
– NSW Castlereagh CE Christ Church 1832-1860
– NSW Queanbeyan CE Christ Church 1838-1866
– NSW Sydney CE St James’ 1832-1841
– NSW Sydney CE St Philip’s 1832-1840

Convicts and Employers NSW 1828-1844
Gazetted lists of 22,574 assigned convicts, employers & runaways.

Norfolk Island Victualling Book 1792-1796
Listing of all civilian & military residents of the island, published online for the first time, including many children of 1st, 2nd & 3rd Fleeters.

Tasmanian Database 1803-1827
A compilation of records by the late Garry Wilson of each individual from the 1803-1804 victualling list, convict indents, musters, birth, marriage, death and other records from 1803-1827 to create biographical profiles of free and convict colonial Tasmanians (42,000 entries).

Tasmanian Muster of Children 1827
Returns listing 1403 children (974 in the Hobart district, 429 in the Port Dalrymple district), gives details of children and character of parent. This lists 1403 children (974 in the Hobart district, 429 in the Port Dalrymple district). It includes the full name of child, ages in years and months, residence (in Hobart it names the street), if parents are living, character of one parent, religion, whether at school or not, whether the child can read and write or not and religion. BDA has cross indexed the parents and siblings (when mentioned by name) and linked family groups resulting in 1965 individual entries (source: Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office, Hobart). The list reflected moves to expand the colony’s education system to provide for growing numbers of children. A newspaper reported in January 1827 that ‘a notice has been sent by the Civil Authorities, through the District Chaplains, to their respective Schoolmasters, requiring a return of the number of children at present under their care, and the state of their education with a view doubtless to increasing their now trifling salaries’ and in June 1827 that ‘the Orphan School, so long talked of, and so much needed, is now really to be established at New Norfolk, and on a more substantial footing, if possible, than those of the elder Colony. Returns of all the Orphan children in the Island have been ordered – active preparations, we understand, are being made – and a Gentleman absolutely nominated to take charge of the Establishment’. (source: Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser, Hobart, 26 January 1827 p 3, 22 Jun 1827 p 2).

Tasmanian Musters 1814-1822
Transcripts by the late Garry Wilson of Tasmanian musters for the years 1814, 1818, 1819, 1820, 1822 and a list of signatories to a petition for a Tasmanian Criminal Court in 1815. Together they comprise a total number of 13,024 entries, including many people cross-indexed. The 1814 general muster and 1818 convict muster are archival estrays held in Sydney and have not previously been published in hard copy or online.

Tasmanian Victualling Book 1803-1804 (original source)
A transcript of the 1803-1804 victualling list recording all colonists in the settlements at Port Phillip Bay (Sorrento, Victoria) and the Derwent (Hobart, Tasmania) up to 1 January 1805.

Tasmanian Victualling Book 1803-1804: analysis by Garry Wilson: analysis of this original source creating biographical profiles of the 1803-04 settlers linked to later Tasmanian records.

Unassisted Immigrants to Sydney NSW 1842-1857
Pastkeys transcript of sources from State Records NSW, Colonial Secretary’s Office Reports of Vessels Arrived 1842-56, Immigration, Passengers Arriving at Sydney 1846, Shipping Master’s Office, Passengers Arriving, 1854-57 (190,000 entries).

You can search the index on the BDA site for free, but to access the extra biographical detail you will need a subscription and other features.

A 12 month subscription costs just AUD$30, so why not start searching today.