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Australia - Free Settlers 1788 - 1900

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This project is a free-space project. The Team Leader is Veronica Williams.

See also: Project: Australia.

Australia was initially established as a penal colony in 1788, some mariners decided to stay and make Australia their home. Soon afterwards others 'came free' to the colony, these settlers came from many lands. The assisted and bounty immigrants had help with their passage, others paid their own way.

The 'Free Settlers' project has been set up to recognise those early inhabitants of Colonial Australia, up to the time of Federation, who emigrated to Australia looking for a new life.

It is not intended to include assisted or bounty immigrants.


Goal and Activities

The goal of the project is to categorise the early pioneers in the six Australian Colonies that existed, prior to Federation.

Here are some of the tasks that I think need to be done. I'll be working on them and could use your help.

  • Identify relevant categories, free space and project pages relevant to Colonial Australia. See works in progress.
  • Create categories for all six Colonies that existed in Australia prior to Federation.
  • Set up separate pages with tables listing all the colonies and links to key resources.
  • Create profiles for all those 'Born in the Colony' and their convict or immigrant parents.
  • Add profile stickers to relevant profiles. See TBA template.
  • Connect up each of the families to the one world WikiTree.

Specific Projects

  • Marines
  • Mariners


  • Colony, State and Territory Teams.

Please note - Once we have finished the new check in process we will start to talk about how we proceed for Free Settlers. The topic teams will overlap the Colony, State and Territory teams but this team will help develop the overall structure required for Free Settlers in the Colonial period.

Currently working on Colonial Australia locations. Once complete project guidelines will be developed.


  • Draft Colonial Australia location guidelines can be found here.

DNA Projects

  • Have you had your DNA tested? Make sure you consider joining our Wikitree DNA project.

How to get involved

Will you join us? Please post a comment on this page, or add your name to this list with the task you would like to do. Interested in any particular colony? Feel free to take that on.

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Comments: 3

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I am interested in following up the Bowman family who arrived in 1798 on the Barwell and 1801 on the Nile as free settlers and who were prominent landholders in the Richmond Windsor area of NSW.
posted by Mark Bowman
Hello, I just joined this team, I have been researching free settlers in WA, and many of them haven't been added, like Louisa Clifton and her family! I have been thinking a about adding them when I have time.

Also I add profiles and pages for the Pruzzian settlement team. Happy to help with what ever I can. Just let me know :-)

posted by Kylie Haese
Hi Veronica, I have added myself. Have a growing list of settlers to add.
posted by David Urquhart