Convict Queenslanders

Queensland's history contains many well-respected settlers from all walks of life. They are members of government, doctors, landowners, newspaper editors and more. Discover some of Queensland's pioneers who first came to Australia as convicts.

Thomas Dowse 1809 - 1885

"When the present Queensland was Moreton Bay, he was always in the front of every political movement, and indefatigable in co-operating to achieve our separation from New South Wales." The Telegraph (Brisbane), 10 November 1885

William Henry Groom 1833-1901

"... born on the 9th of March, 1833, at Plymouth (England).  He received his education at St. Andrew's College in that town, and in 1857 he emigrated to Queensland ..." The Queenslander Illustrated Supplement, 24 August 1901

James Josey 1821-1903

"James Josey, Farmer and Grazier, of Opossum Creek, has been a resident of the district since 1859, in which year he purchased 1,000 acres of land here and commenced dairy farming and grazing ..." Aldine History of Queensland, Volume 2 – Appendix: Biographical Sketches

James Davis "Durramboi" 1808-1889

"His career included some of the strangest experiences that have ever fallen, perhaps, to any man in this colony, and are on a par with those of the once famous "Crusoe" of Victoria." The Brisbane Courier, 9 May 1889

Kevin Izod O'Doherty 1823-1905

"... born in Dublin, in 1824, where he was educated for the medical profession, his studies being continued on the Continent. In the troublous times of 1848 the doctor gave offence to the Government of the time ..." Pugh's Almanac, 1896

John Flood 1832-1909

"... was somewhat reserved in manner and disposition, but those who were privileged to know him intimately keenly appreciated his richly stored mind, his sound judgment, and his fidelity to principles and friendships ..." The Gympie Times, August 24 1909

Patrick O'Sullivan

"Mr. O'Sullivan was born in Kerry, Ireland, on the 14th of March, 1818 ... After his arrival in Queensland he came to Ipswich in 1848, and his home has been here ever since.  At that time he commenced business as a storekeeper, and, later on, invested in property." The Queensland Times, 1 March 1904

Hannah Rigby c.1794-1853

"Deceased was a relict of the old times here, having resided in Brisbane many years before it became a free settlement." Moreton Bay Courier, October 15 1853

Edward Mott 1807-1900

"He was a man who was not often seen; he lived in his bush home at Enoggera, and during recent years at all events came into town very seldom. The deceased gentleman was born at the beginning of the now dying century – in 1807 – and came to New South Wales as far back at 1826." The Queenslander, 8 September 1900

William Charles Wilkes c.1816-1873

"In 1843 or 1844, Mr. Wilkes came to this colony - then known as the Moreton Bay District - with Mr. Burnett, who was commissioned by the Government of New South Wales to survey the heads of the Clarence River. ... He remained in Brisbane after Mr. Burnett's departure ..." The Brisbane Courier, 16 May 1873

Further information

The information relating to these famous Queenslanders' convictions comes, in part, from the British convict transportation registers 1787-1879. Compiled from the British Home Office (HO) records. You can search for over 123 000 of the estimated 160 000 convicts transported to Australia in the 18th and 19th centuries - names, term of years, transport ships and more.