Hints and Tips
The Free Settler or Felon database is an on-going project. There are over 200,000 references to People and Places in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley. It is intended as a guide only and in all entries more information may be found by consulting the original Sources. It is not a complete record of all inhabitants.
Most references are about people, places and events of Newcastle and the Hunter Valley prior to 1870.
Search by Surname, First name or Ship (or all three)
There are a number of references to Local History of the Valley. Click on the quick links below:
Australian Agricultural Company
For more information about Doctors, Ministers, Soldiers or Police, enter their title in the First Name search field, eg. Rev - Dr- Constable- Major - Captain- Corporal etc.
John S. Parker was the coroner for the Maitland district for many years and references to many inquests can be found by a search under his name.
Areas covered include: Maitland, Dungog, Wollombi, Scone, Newcastle, Brisbane Water, Raymond Terrace, Singleton, Muswellbrook, Murrurundi, Merton, Paterson, Lake Macquarie, Lochinvar, Jerry's Plains, Morpeth, Cassilis, Hinton, Clarencetown, Black Creek, Port Stephens, Hexham, Sugar loaf and many more.
Try alternative spelling of the name you are searching or enter just part of the name. For example, entering 'Dav' into the search will return Davis, Davies, Davidson, Davey, Davison etc. There may be differences in spelling in the First name field. For example Daniel John, D.J., Daniel, Dan, Danny, D.
Entering the Ship followed by the year it arrived for example Phoenix 1826 is a better option than Phoenix if you are searching for those who arrived on a ship in a particular year.
It may be better to search only by surname, and then scroll through the entries which are listed alphabetically. If the initial search is too limited some entries may not be retrieved.
Search by Surname, First name or Ship ( or all three)
Examples of alternative Last Names
If an alternative name is in brackets, be sure to make a different search using the alternative
A question mark next to an entry may indicate doubt about the accuracy of that record, or the spelling of the name
To search by ship - enter the name of the ship and the year of arrival. eg Hooghley 1834; Royal Admiral 1835 etc. By just entering Royal Admiral or Hooghley references to all years will be retrieved.
If an entry is found by searching under 'ship', be sure to do another search under 'surname', as more records for your person of interest may be found.
The search is not case sensitive. Use either upper or lower case.
Please note that once you have run a search, the records are not necessarily in date order. Scroll through the pages to locate your ancestor.
Some names may have multiple entries. Just because your ancestor's name appears in the database doesn't mean it is necessarily him or her. For example there were at least nine John Browns in Newcastle in the early 1820';s.
I add to the database frequently, so even if you didn't find a reference to your ancestor this time you may do in the future.
Please check original Sources