The 1828 Census was the first Australian census and counted both free settlers and convicts. Search almost 10,000 names from a time when the settlement was growing. Find out your ancestors’ names and their professions as well as the name of the ship they arrived on and whether they arrived as settlers or convicts.
Each record contains a transcript and an image of the original record. The amount of information can vary but you can find out the following about your ancestor:
The image often contains further information including:
Class -whether someone was a Free settler (FS), Bonded convict (BC), had a Ticket of Leave (TL) or a Certificate of Freedom (CF)
Total number of acres
Number of acres farmed
Number of acres cleared
Number of horned cattle
Number of horses
Number of sheep
The 1828 New South Wales Census was Australia’s first census and took place in November of that year. Previous government statistics were based on “musters”, a head count of assembled convicts and settlers. In 1828 the white population of the whole of Australia was 36,598, made up of 20,870 free settlers and 15,728 convicts. There were 638 of that total white population living in what is now Queensland and just over 18,100 in Tasmania. Almost a quarter were born in the colony and a quarter were women while 25,248 were Protestants, with 11,236 Catholic. Indigenous Australians were not counted.
The 1828 census is the only complete 19th century census to have survived. To protect individual privacy, national censuses were destroyed after the statistical information had been collected. These records are the original householders’ returns. In other words, the form filled in and signed by householders on census night rather than the more usual enumerators’ books.
Images reproduced by courtesy of the State Records Authority of New South Wales.
© the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales and is used under licence with the permission of the State Records Authority. The State of New South Wales gives no warranty regarding the data’s accuracy, completeness, currency or suitability for any particular purpose.