AUS-PT-JACKSON-CONVICTS-L ArchivesArchiver > AUS-PT-JACKSON-CONVICTS > 2013-01 > 1357779871
From: Elizabeth Walker <>
Subject: Re: [PJ] 1828 Convict Muster and 1828 census
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2013 12:04:31 +1100
Good morning Lesley,
Thank you for providing all that information - most interesting, as it
refreshed my memory of stories of early convict days . My two
grandchildren through my daughter are descendants of 12 =-O !! convicts
through their father's maternal line, some First Fleeters, and three
through my paternal line. I am looking forward to the day when I can
have " serious convict conversations " with them, and these days are
On 10/01/2013 10:23 AM, Lesley Uebel wrote:
> Hi Rob,
> I was not aware that there was a "Convict Muster" taken in 1828. The
> 1828 NSW Census was taken in November 1828 although the Census does
> contain people of all descriptions who arrived in December 1828 and in
> January 1829.
> The reason why a "Census" was taken was because it became generally
> known that the issue of proclamations, general and government orders by
> the government were illegal and therefore free inhabitants were no
> compelled to attend such musters.
> The following is taken from the 1828 NSW Census and may help explain why
> the entries for Michael Coughlan differ.
> "On the 29 July 1828 the Governor, Sir Ralph Darling, transmitted to the
> Rt. Hon. William Huskisson, Secretary of State for the Colonies, for the
> King's approval, an Act (9 Geo. IV, No.4) which had been passed by the
> Legislative Council of New South Wales, viz.,
> An Act for ascertaining the Number, names and conditions of the
> Inhabitants of the Colony of New South Wales, and also the Number of
> Cattle and the quantity of located, cleared and cultivated land within
> the said Colony. 15
> This was the first Act for taking a Census of New South Wales. The
> Magistrates were instructed to have general notices affixed to
> conspicuous places, requiring every householder, employer of servants,
> owner or possessor of cattle, proprietor or occupier of land in the
> territory to be prepared within a period of not less than one calendar
> month from the time of the general notice, to answer the following
> What are the respective names, ages and conditions of the persons
> residing with you in your dwelling-house?
> What are the respective names, ages, conditions and residences of all
> such other persons, as may be in your service or employment?
> Specify the respective years and ships in, and by which, all of such
> aforesaid persons as originally came to the Colony Prisoners of the
> Crown, arrived?
> What are the respective numbers of horses, horned cattle, and sheep, of
> which you are the owner; and in whose possession, and in what district
> are the same respectively?
> What is the number of acres of land of which you are the proprietor, in
> what district is the same, how much thereof is cleared, and how much
> cultivated, and in whose possession is the same?
> A Government notice detailing the method in which the census was to be
> taken, was issued on 1 September 1828. A copy of this notice, together
> with a quantity of household returns, was sent to all the Magistrates by
> the Colonial Secretary on 18 September 1828.
> The individual form for the November 1828 Census carried a warning [see
> facsimile illustration, page 27], that neglect or false statements
> could bring a fine of Ten Pounds.
> Method of Collecting and Extant Copies
> Household return forms for the 1828 Census were printed as were separate
> forms for institutions. Forms were issued on 18 September 1828 to each
> Bench of Magistrates whose responsibility it was to ensure that one was
> completed for each household and returned to the Colonial Secretary's
> A District Constable was accompanied to each household by a clerk, who
> actually completed all the details on the form from verbal statements
> submitted by the householder or individuals questioned. When completed,
> the householder signed the form or placed his mark on it, and it was
> witnessed by the District Constable. Where a householder was literate,
> he often completed the form himself and it was witnessed by the
> Constable. The first returns submitted were from Newcastle on 8 November
> 1828. Whilst most returns reached the Colonial Secretary's Office during
> November, some must have arrived during the early months of 1829 as
> several people who did not arrive in the colony until 1829 are included.
> Household returns and institutional returns which are still extant are
> located in Sydney in the Archives Office of New South Wales. These
> returns comprise those for the districts of Bathurst, Baulkham Hills,
> Botany, Cabramatta, Castle Hill, Concord, Cook (Hartley/Bowenfels etc.),
> Evan (Nepean/Mulgoa), Field of Mars, Holdsworthy, Kissing Point,
> Liverpool, Melville (Eastern Creek/South Creek), Parramatta, Prospect,
> Seven Hills and Wellington Valley. The remainder, the majority,
> regrettably, appear to have been destroyed.
> From the collected returns, two sets of Census volumes were compiled
> listing the population in alphabetical order. One set, consisting of
> seven volumes, was sent to London on 12 February 1830 and is now held in
> the Public Record Office (PRO). 22 In addition, the Superintendent of
> Convicts at Sydney compiled a list of convicts who died between 1828 and
> 1833 [see Explanatory Notes for Appendix 2 - Deaths].
> The other set, comprising six volumes, was retained in Sydney. These
> volumes were handed to the Registrar- General, Mr Hayes-Williams on 10
> September 1901 by Mr E.W. Fosbery, when the latter was retiring from the
> position of Inspector-General of Police. Tradition has it that the
> volumes were kept in a large locked trunk and that the key was passed
> from one Registrar-General to the next on appointment to the office. The
> utmost care was exercised to see that the contents of the volumes were
> not divulged. The existence of these volumes was unknown to most
> historical researchers until the 1960's and became accessible for
> general inspection at the Archives Office of New South Wales (AONSW) in
> the mid 1970's.
> The first few pages of Volume 1 of the six Census volumes held in Sydney
> are missing, up to and including entry No. A0091, James Adams. A pencil
> copy of these pages from the PRO copy, acquired by the Registrar-General
> in September 1932, is inserted at the front of Volume 1. Each volume is
> 31 cm wide, 47.5 cm high and 7 cm thick. The paper is watermarked 1824.
> The volumes have been microfilmed. 24 Care should be taken not to
> confuse the two sets of microfilm when quoting data that has been
> extracted. A microfilm copy of the PRO volumes can also be consulted at
> How the information was transferred from the Household Returns to the
> volumes is not known, nor is it known if the two sets were compiled by
> clerks simultaneously or one copied from the other. The information is
> not identical, in particular the order of the entries varies
> considerably. The SRNSW volumes do not contain the many duplications
> found in the PRO volumes, indicating that the SRNSW volumes may be the
> updated set. However, the PRO set contains extra information for some of
> the entries.
> During a visit to London in 1931, Mr Herbert J. Rumsey, the principal
> Founder (1932) and first President of the Society of Australian
> Genealogists, uncovered in the PRO the seven volumes of the 1828 Census.
> On his return to Sydney he raised in correspondence with the Public
> Librarian of N.S.W. the possibility of Mr Edward Dwelly, a professional
> genealogist of Ashford, Middlesex, England, copying the Census. Mr
> Dwelly had offered to copy the Census, hoping to sell a copy to the
> Federal Government for publishing purposes. This did not eventuate, but
> Mr Dwelly sold a copy to the Mitchell Library, Sydney instead. 26
> During 1932 and 1933, using a 2H pencil, Mr Dwelly copied the 1828
> Census, volume by volume onto pre - printed columned sheets, with two
> carbon copies. He sent the original via the N.S.W. Agent-General in
> London to the Mitchell Library. He sent one carbon copy to Mr H.J.
> Rumsey, one volume at a time, and retained the other carbon himself. In
> a letter to Mr Rumsey dated 3 January 1939, Mr Dwelly stated that he
> wished to sell his copy of the Census for £30 or near offer. He had
> offered it to the Melbourne Public Library but had not received a reply.
> He stated that it was held in the 'rooms of the Society' (presumably the
> Society of Genealogists, London) of which he was a Fellow, and further
> stated that the only other copies in existence were the two he had sent
> to Sydney. Mr Dwelly died three weeks later on 25 January 1939 and it is
> assumed that his carbon copy remained with the Society of Genealogists.
> The Mitchell Library still hold Mr Dwelly's original pencil copy.
> Mr Rumsey's carbon copy of the pencil copy was on loan to the Society of
> Australian Genealogists, Sydney, until it was withdrawn by him in 1943.
> Later in that year, the Society received on loan from Dr R.W. Small a
> typed carbon copy of the Census, copied from one of Mr Dwelly's
> handwritten copies. 27 Dr Small, who was a foundation member, donated
> the typed copy to the Society in 1952 and it is still held by that
> Society. It is not known who was responsible for the typed carbon or the
> fate of the original typed copy. Meanwhile, the other set of six volumes
> of the Census rested in the old trunk at the Registrar-General's
> Department, Sydney.
> The carbon of the typed copy held by the Society of Australian
> Genealogists has been photocopied and it is this which was used by the
> editors as a working copy for checking purposes [as explained in the
> Explanatory Notes - Method of Checking].
> The New South Wales Colonial Secretary, Alexander McLeay, published a
> government notice for general information on 25 September 1829. It was
> an abstract of the statistics compiled from the November, 1828 Census.
> It accounted for 27,611 Males and 8,987 Females, total of 36,598
> persons. It was estimated that runaway convicts in the bush, persons who
> had no fixed place of residence and any omissions in the taking of the
> Census did not exceed 2,000 persons.
> Some inhabitants of Sydney, as well as those in remote areas, were
> omitted; their names are found in both the 1825 Muster and 1837 Convict
> List or are recorded elsewhere as being in the colony in 1828. The
> serving military personnel and their families are not recorded in the
> Census. The military, including their families, numbered 2,549 in New
> South Wales in November 1828.
> This printed Census volume contains over 36,500 entries. Several hundred
> entries are obvious duplications. The non-aboriginal population of NSW
> and its dependencies in November 1828 would have been approximately
> 40,000 individuals."
> CLAIM A CONVICT
> On 9/01/2013 8:36 PM, Rob Coughlan wrote:
>> Happy New Year to all listers and hope your Christmas was merry. Could some
>> one please tell me the dates (as near as possible) of the 1828 census and
>> the 1828 convict muster. Michael Coughlan arrived aboard the Florentia
>> 4.1.1828. In the muster he listed as servant to W.W. Bucknell of Elms Hall.
>> In the census his name is spelt as Caughlan and he is listed as employed by
>> W.W Bucknell of Paterson's Plains. It would appear to me that the census is
>> giving the district and the muster the exact location. I'm interested just
>> to get the dates to tie them to his arrival. Thanks heaps Rob Coughlan
> To send a message to the Port Jackson Convicts List, send an email to
> To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email with the word 'unsubscribe' without the quotes in the subject and the body of the message