Between 1845-1860, over a quarter of a million Irish immigrated to Australia. Immigrants were made up of free-settlers, evicted tenants/indentured servants (whose passage was paid), and convicts. After the American Civil War when convicts were no longer permitted entry, Australia replaced North America as a penal colony and about 26,000 Irish convicts were transported there between 1791 and 1853. Unfortunately, convict’s trial records were destroyed during the fire in the Public Record Office, Dublin in 1922 but other records such as newspaper reports and the Chief Secretary’s Office archives can provide information. If your ancestors immigrated to Australia, it is very probable that we can trace how, when and why they left Ireland.