Sunday, November 13, 2005

Tasmanians Bedeviled by Common Name

From Inside Bay Area, posted Nov. 13, 2005:

Tasmania has solitude, natural exotica — and a history of imprisonment

By Christine Temin, BOSTON GLOBE


Named Van Diemens Land by Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1642, the island was, like greater Australia, first settled mostly by convicts transported from Britain and their military guards. The island was a penal colony from 1803-53, and a harsh colony it was.


Convicts' histories were well recorded, while those of nonconvict immigrants are largely lost. At the Port Arthur Historic Site, once the largest of the penal settlements, a convict inquiry service will trace ancestors for their descendants. Among the complications of this genealogical research is that 251 convicts arrived with the name John Jones.


[Read the whole story]

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