Offenders, paupers and pioneers
Convict women and their families in pre-Separation Queensland

Building on her recent MPhil thesis on female convicts in free settlement Queensland, historian Jan Richardson has created a database of female convicts and ex-convicts, their husbands, partners and children who came to Queensland after the closure of the Moreton Bay penal settlement in 1839. Her project brings to light unknown and missing stories, photographs and burial places of female convicts and their families in pre-Separation Queensland.

Funeral card of Caroline Schofield (née Haines), transported on the Buffalo (1833), died 1907 in Roma. Copy held by Barbara Baker, descendant, reproduced with permission.



Jan Richardson, a Visiting Fellow with the HGRC in 2020-2021, holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne, and a Graduate Diploma of Local, Family and Applied History and a Master of Philosophy from the  University of New England. For the past ten years her research has focused on female convicts and ex-convicts present in Queensland during the free settlement era. Jan is currently a PhD candidate in the School of Humanities, Law and Social Sciences at Griffith University researching the presence of non-Indigenous ethnic minorities in Queensland prior to 1860. She is also a Research Assistant at the Harry Gentle Resource Centre.