About Us

The authors and editors (and moderators) of this site are Ian Byers and John Horton. To learn more about us see the Research section of this site. A Vandemonian, according to the Free Dictionary, is (ˌvændəˈməʊnɪən), n. (Placename) a native or inhabitant of the former Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania), adj., (Placename) of or relating to Van Diemen's Land or its inhabitants. 1 It is assumed that the term covers the original inhabitants of the island, the Tasmanian Aborigines. Their relatively peaceful tenure on the island was shattered with the arrival of John Bowen and his expedition in 1803, and then David Collins and Co. in 1804. After that time, the State Library of Tasmania reports that, The British Government transported about 76,000 convicts to Tasmania between 1804 and 1853. 2 Along with them came a large amount, not quantified, of free settlers.

According to Wikipedia, 65% of [Tasmania's] residents are descendants of an estimated 10,000 "founding families" … 3 Those founding families are the Vandemonian Royalty this site seeks to examine and describe. The penal system that came to define many of those families thankfully left a vast amount of artefacts that portray their journey. In fact, Tasmania’s convict records are part of the UNESCO Memory of the World International Register.... 4


This website is primarily concerned with the early years of Australian, and in particular Tasmanian history, from the perspective of our ancestral families and their descendants; and to that "brutish old time," to exploring the lives of our ancestors and their comrades as they eked out a living in the most difficult of circumstances. Like most modern Australians we abhor the excesses and intolerance of the time, and hope we can establish a place where their descendants can recreate their stories, their largely honourable lives, and correct some long standing errors. If you can assist please Contact Us and join the fray, if not then we hope you can find something to maintain your interest while you peruse the site.