Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

English Settlement in Australia

« Back to Projects Dashboard

Top Surnames

view all

Profiles

  • Robert Russell (1808 - 1900)
    Robert Russell (1808-1900), surveyor, architect and artist, was born on 13 February 1808 near Kennington Common, London, the son of Robert Russell, merchant, and his wife Margaret, née Leslie. ...
  • Richard Smith Greaves (1833 - d.)
    Richard Smith Greaves arrived in South Australia on 17th Jan 1849 aboard the vessel Trafalgar that departed from London via Plymouth on 17th Oct 1848. Ship Trafalgar Birth: Nov 28 1833 Christen...
  • Harriet Greaves (1826 - 1916)
    Harriet Knightly (1826-1916) was born on February 5, 1826 in Buckinghamshire, UK the daughter of Edward Knightly and Anne Knightly. She married Thomas Greaves on the 20 June 1842 in London, and they ...
  • Thomas Greaves (c.1824 - c.1878)
    Thomas Greaves was born on November 2, 1824 the son of Thomas Greaves and Susanna Greaves. Thomas Greaves married Harriet Knightly and they migrated to Australia in 1849 aboard the Derwent from Londo...
  • Olivia Jane Galley (1849 - d.)
    Olivia Jane Greaves and GalleyGeorge Miller, with two children, (one died at sea) arrived in SA 19th Dec 1849 aboard Minerva from London via Plymouth.

English Settlement in Australia

Timeline

  • 13 May 1787 – The 11 ships of the First Fleet leave Portsmouth under the command of Capt Arthur Phillip. Different accounts give varying numbers of passengers but the fleet consisted of at least 1,350 persons of whom 780 were convicts and 570 were free men, women and children and the number included four companies of marines. About 20% of the convicts were women and the oldest convict was 82. About 50% of the convicts had been tried in Middlesex and most of the rest were tried in the county assizes of Devon, Kent and Sussex
  • 18 January 1788 – The First Fleet arrived in Botany Bay but the landing party was not impressed with the site, and moved the fleet to Port Jackson, landing in Sydney Cove on 26 Jan. 1788 (now celebrated as Australia Day)
  • April 1789 - A suspicious outbreak of smallpox decimates local tribes. Research by Michael J Bennett[19] published in 2009, corroborated independently by Christopher Warren[20] in 2013, demonstrates this outbreak was mostly likely deliberate.
  • 1790 – the Second Fleet of convicts arrives in Sydney Cove.
  • 1791 – Third Fleet of convicts arrives
  • 1793 – January: the first free settlers arrive in NSW.
  • 1793 - March–April: visit of the expedition led by Alessandro Malaspina.
  • 14 June 1825 – the colony of Van Diemen's Land is established in its own right; its name is officially changed to Tasmania on 1 January 1856. The first settlement was made at Risdon, Tasmania on 11 September 1803 when Lieut John Bowen landed with about 50 settlers, crew, soldiers and convicts. The site proved unsuitable and was abandoned in August 1804. Lieut-Col David Collins finally established a successful settlement at Hobart in February 1804 with a party of about 260 people, including 178 convicts. (Collins had previously attempted a settlement in Victoria.) Convict ships were sent from England directly to the colony from 1812 to 1853 and over the 50 years from 1803-1853 around 67,000 convicts were transported to Tasmania. About 14,492 were Irish but many of them had been sentenced in English and Scottish courts. Some were also tried locally in other Australian colonies. The Indefatigable brought the first convicts direct from England on 19 October 1812 and by 1820 there were about 2,500 convicts in the colony. By the end of 1833 the number had increased to 14,900 convicts of whom 1864 were females. About 1,448 held ticket of leave, 6,573 were assigned to settlers and 275 were recorded as "absconded or missing". In 1835 there were over 800 convicts working in chain-gangs at the penal station at Port Arthur which operated from 1830 to 1877. Convicts were transferred to Van Diemen's Land from Sydney and, in later years, from 1841 to 1847, from Melbourne. Between 1826 and 1840, there were at least 19 ship loads of convicts sent from Van Diemen's Land to Norfolk Island and at other times they were sent from Norfolk Island to Van Diemen's Land.
  • 21 January 1827 – Western Australia was established when a small British settlement was established at King George's Sound (Albany) by Major Edmund Lockyer who was to provide a deterrent to the French presence in the area. On 18 June 1829 the new Swan River Colony was officially proclaimed with Captain James Stirling as the first Governor. Except for the settlement at King George's Sound, the colony was never really a part of NSW. King George's Sound was handed over in 1831. In 1849 the colony was proclaimed a British penal settlement and the first convicts arrived in 1850. Rottnest Island, off the coast of Perth, became the colony's convict settlement in 1838 and was used for local colonial offenders. Around 9,720 British convicts were sent directly to the colony in 43 ships between 1850 and 1868. The convicts were sought by local settlers because of the shortage of labour needed to develop the region. On 9 January 1868, Australia's last convict ship, the Hougoumont brought its final cargo of 269 convicts. Convicts sent to Western Australia were sentenced to terms of 6, 7, 10, 14 and 15 years and some reports suggest that their literacy rate was around 75% as opposed to 50% for those sent to NSW and Tasmania. About a third of the convicts left the Swan River Colony after serving their time.
  • 1830 - This 1830 painting shows the Mellish entering Sydney Harbour, New South Wales. The Mellish was one of the many ships which imported resources from India to help establish the fledgling colony.

//photos.geni.com/p13/cd/79/b8/05/5344483beba23f92/rid79yuh_large.jpg

  • 1835 – the Proclamation of Governor Bourke, issued by the Colonial Office and sent to the Governor with Despatch 99 of 10 October 1835, implements the doctrine of terra nullius upon which British settlement was based. Reinforcing the British assertion that the land belonged to no one prior to the British Crown taking possession of it, it effectively quashes pre-existing treaties with Aboriginal peoples (e.g. that signed by John Batman). Its publication in the Colony means that from then on, all people found occupying land without the authority of the government would be considered illegal trespassers. Aboriginal people therefore could not sell or assign the land, nor could an individual person acquire it, other than through distribution by the Crown.[21]
  • 28 December 1836 – the British province of South Australia was established. In 1842 it became a crown colony and on 22 July 1861 its area was extended westwards to its present boundary and more area was taken from New South Wales. South Australia was never a British convict colony and between 1836-1840 about 13,400 immigrants arrived in the area. 24,900 more arrived between 1841-1850. Some escaped convicts did settle in the area and no doubt a number of ex-convicts moved there from other colonies. There were also South Australian convicts who were convicted of colonial offences.[citation needed]
  • 1841 – New Zealand is separated from New South Wales
  • 1851 – Victoria is separated from New South Wales (formerly known as the Port Phillip District of NSW. Apart from castaways and runaway convicts in the 1790s, the first attempt at settlement was made on 13 October 1803 by Lieut. David Collins and his party of soldiers and convicts. Harsh conditions convinced him to abandon the settlement in January 1804. He moved on to Tasmania and it was not until the Henty brothers landed in Portland Bay on 19/11/1834 and John Batman settled on the site of Melbourne that the Port Phillip District was officially sanctioned on 10 April 1837. The first immigrant ships arrived at Port Phillip in 1839. Apart from those involved in early attempts at settlement in 1803 and 1826, the only convicts sent directly to Victoria from Britain were about 1,750 convicts known as the "Exiles" and they arrived between 1844-1849. They were sometimes called the "Pentonvillians" because most of them came from Pentonville Probationary Prison in England. Many ex-convicts and convicts on Tickets of Leave and Conditional Pardons also moved to Port Phillip from Van Diemen's Land.
  • 10 December 1859 – Queensland is separated from New South Wales. In 1824 the explorer Lieut. John Oxley took a party of 30 convicts and established a penal colony at Redcliffe. Known as the Moreton Bay Settlement, this later moved to the site now called Brisbane. The name Brisbane Town was in use by 1825 and the main inhabitants in the area were the convicts of the Moreton Bay Penal Station until it was closed in 1839. Around 2,280 convicts were sent to the settlement between 1824–1839 and at the end of 1836 the convict population numbered 337. The first free settlers moved to the district in 1838 and others followed in 1840.
  • 23 December 1862 – the area of Queensland is increased.
  • 1863 – control of the Northern Territory is granted to the Province (later State) of South Australia. In 1825 the area occupied today by Northern Territory was incorporated into the colony of New South Wales. It was first settled by Europeans in 1824 at Fort Dundas, Port Essington. Its capital city, Darwin was established in 1869 and was originally known as Palmerston. On 1 January 1911, the Northern Territory as we know it today was separated from South Australia and became part of the Commonwealth of Australia.
  • 1 January 1901 – the Federation of Australian States to form the Commonwealth of Australia.
  • 1911 – The Australian Capital Territory is established.
  • 1928 - Australian Government poster issued by the Overseas Settlement Office to attract immigrants.

//photos.geni.com/p13/e2/55/d6/09/5344483beba23f91/jay57bij_large.jpg

  • 1945 After World War II, Australia launched a massive immigration programme, believing that having narrowly avoided a Japanese invasion, Australia must "populate or perish." Hundreds of thousands of displaced Europeans migrated to Australia and over 1,000,000 British Subjects immigrated under the Assisted Migration Scheme, colloquially becoming known as Ten Pound Poms. The scheme was initially open to citizens of all Commonwealth countries and after the war, was gradually extended to other countries such as the Netherlands and Italy. The qualifications were straightforward: migrants needed to be in sound health and under the age of 45 years. There were initially no skill restrictions, although under the White Australia Policy, people from mixed race backgrounds found it very difficult to take advantage of the scheme.