Sailing Ships that carried our ancestors to Australia  

The original purpose of this page was to record the names and details of ships that Wills families traveled on in their migration to Australia by locating photos, line drawings, plans, sketches or paintings of these vessels. It was also hoped to obtain dimensions and statistics of the ships with instructions as to how to obtain a copy for your family history records.

However I find that other families are also interested in these ships as their ancestors also arrived on them.

I obtained from the Tasmanian Archives in 1988, a copy of a page of the Descriptive List of Immigrants for the voyage of the vessel "Great Tasmania" which arrived in Hobart on the 27 January 1857, this service should still be available. A page from this book was where Max obtained his information for the arrival of Thomas and Sarah Wills.

Known ships

Asia or The Asia
British Empire
Great Britain
Great Tasmania
Janet Mitchell
Lady Kennaway
Champion of the Seas
The Morning Light
William Metcalfe

Early Ship arrivals in Australia

The settlement of Australia is recorded by the arrival of the early fleets of ships transporting convicts to a new land.
The First Fleet sailed from Portsmouth harbour on the morning of the 13 May 1787. It comprised eleven ships. They were Sirius, Supply, Alexander, Charlotte, Scarborough, Friendship, Prince of Wales, Lady Penrhyn and three store ships. On board were The Governor and his staff of 9, 400 seamen, 750 convicts, 211 marines, 27 officer's wives and 32 children. By the 20 January 1788 the fleet had arrived in Botany Bay. On the 26 January 1788 the fleet moved to Sydney Cove.
A list of convicts on board can be found at The First Fleet
A Second Fleet of six convict ships left England, the first ship arrived in Sydney Cove on the 3 June 1790. The fleet comprised Guardian, Justinian, Lady Juliana, Surprize, Neptune, Scarborough. The Guardian struck ice, and was unable to complete the voyage. She was stocked with provisions.
A list of those on board can be found at Australia's Second Fleet
The Third Fleet of convict ships comprised the following, Atlantic, William and Ann, Britannia, Matilda, Salamander, Albemarle, Mary Anne, Admiral Barrington, Active and Gorgon.
A list of those on board can be found at Australia's Third Fleet

Known details

Alfred - 716 tons
Great Britain built of iron in 1843, length 322 feet, carried 620 passengers
Margaret - 568 tons
Nabob - carried 228 passengers
William Metcalfe also known as the William Mitcalfe. 1832 - 1845
William Metcalfe
Designed by Tom Wills