Source Information New South Wales, Census and Population Books, 1811-1825 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.
Original data:
  • New South Wales Government. Secretary to the Governor. Population musters, New South Wales mainland [1811–1819]. NRS 1260 [4/1224–25, 4/1227]. State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia.
  • © 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.

    About New South Wales, Census and Population Books, 1811-1825

    This collection contains population, land, and stock books giving details on the population of New South Wales for the years 1811–1825. All of these records predate the first official census, which was held in 1828.

    Yearly musters were held New South Wales for the first time in 1795. They served to both count the population and also to help determine whether the colony was self-sustaining. Other musters tallied convicts, settlers, specific segments of the population, or livestock. This database includes population, land, and stock musters as well as a few district constables’ notebooks.

    What You Can Find in the Records

    Details included in the records vary depending on the muster, but you may find the following:

    • name
    • conviction details
    • on or off stores (state provisions)
    • children (ages, born in colony or not)
    • ship of arrival
    • master of ship
    • free or convict
    • employment/employer
  • Land and stock books may provide background on your ancestor’s living circumstances, including some of the following details:
    • name
    • proprietor or resident (after 1821)
    • land held (acres)
    • land occupied by grant, lease, or purchase (after 1821)
    • land cleared
    • acres planted (crops)
    • cattle (number, type)

    In 1822, district constables were ordered to visit each house and farm before a muster and record details that the muster could then be verified against. These constables’ notebooks may include names, ages of children and whether they were born in the colony or arrived free, ship, master, sentence, and employer.