Convict life echoes through generations

The most comprehensive research project into Tasmania's convict ancestry is scouring the globe for information.

An international team of demographers, historians and epidemiologists is collating Australia's biggest family history.

Led by the University of Tasmania, the team is following the fortunes of convicts transported to Tasmania in the 1800s.

Historian Hamish Maxwell-Stewart says convict records are proving a rich source of information.

Researchers are also using census records from the United Kingdom and medical documents written during the voyage to Australia.

The project is examining how punishment, nutrition and other environmental factors affected the life expectancy, health and fertility of convicts and their descendants....

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