A giant genealogy project is being launched after Australia Day to begin tracing the nation’s convict bloodlines.
First off the blocks are the 73,000 convicts who landed in Tasmania. The original records describing these nation builders are not only intact but they are among the most detailed inventories created “of any human beings in the 19th century”, right down to the hue of their eyes, historian Janet McCalman said.
A great missing link in Australian history, however, is what came after many convicts received their “tickets of leave” from penal servitude. That is where the hobbyist historian will be of immense use.
With the help of amateur genealogists, a team ranging from historians to epidemiologists want to uncover these stories and put them on to the historical record.
Once authenticated, an “honour roll” of convict settlers will be assembled online.
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