Rowdy Voices & Quiet Whispers - Port Macquarie & District Family History Society, Inc

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Forget Me Not     Project

This project was initiated to identify and research the Female Convicts connected to Port Macquarie.


As of December 2023, the Forget-Me-Not Team has identified 377 female convicts connected to Port Macquarie - there are likely to be even more hiding out there waiting for us to find them!

Our team's aim is to use those records from 200 years ago to give the female convicts a voice - to tell their stories beyond their crime, trial and sentence.  Stories of their struggles, their joys, their abilities to survive in an area so far removed from everything they knew, and at a time in history when they were judged by rigid social values and prejudice.

We are excited that the stories of 75 of them have been told in our latest publication Rowdy Voices & Quiet Whispers. The stories are set against the background of the establishment of the Port Macquarie Penal Settlement in 1821 through to the close of the Female Factory in 1842. The book includes a Register identifying and describing each of the 377 female convicts so far discovered with comments relating to the information we currently have about them.

Our project is supported by the Create NSW's Cultural Grants Program administered by the Royal Australian Historical Society on behalf of the NSW Government. This is allowing our Society to make the book available at a more cost-effective price.

If you would like a copy of this book, our Society is now accepting pre-launch orders at a cost of $20 (plus P&P $10). After the book is launched in mid-February 2024, the price will be $30 (plus P&P $10). If you are a member of a Family History Society you may note that Societies have a longer pre-launch cut off date.

A delightful addition to the project is the creation of convict bonnets by Margaret Blight and her team of needleworkers. They have added a unique decoration to each simple calico bonnet for their adopted convict. Displayed with their short biographies, they are a tangible and evocative way of learning about our female convicts and have been well received when we have dislayed them.

List of Convicts and their ships                                                         

You can order Rowdy Voices & Quiet Whispers HERE or by contacting the Secretary at or phone: 0475 132 804

                                                                                          Photograph Courtesy:

© PMDFHS 2020-21
BSB: 932 000   A/C: 500021712
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