Do you want to know more about Australia’s convict past?
Convict, prison and court records can provide rich, if sometimes disturbing evidence, of the lives led by past ancestors. The University of Tasmania (UTAS) “Convict Ancestors” course walks students through Australia’s UNESCO-listed convict archive. It includes important information on how to read and interpret convict records, as well as a host of tips for making sense of trial records and information gleaned from other judicial and penal series.

The “Convict Ancestors” course is an online course run by the University of Tasmanian (UTAS), and runs from Monday 9th April 2018 through until Friday 1st June 2018.

The unit draws on the expertise of leading historians of crime, the law and convict transportation, all of which help you navigate and piece together stories from the vast records of our criminal justice system.

The last date to register for this course is Friday, 6 April 2018.

On completion of the course you will be:

– Familiar with the wide range of historic records available to locate individual convicts transported to the Australian penal colonies and to trace their life course experiences.
– Able to read, transcribe, and understand key material presented within convict records.
– Able to situate the experiences of individual convicts within a relevant wider context and convey this information to a wider audience.

This unit is a must for anyone interested in the nation’s convict past.

And once completed, the opportunity exists to undertake further units within the Diploma of Family History.

For further information and register, visit the UTAS website:, and to keep up with the latest courses follow the Family History UTAS Facebook page.