In 1839 Van Diemen's Land was the first Australian colony to introduce civil registration of births, deaths and marriages. Prior to that from 1803 to 1839 there were church records of burials, baptisms and marriages. An application form can be download and posted to obtain copies of entries from
Tasmania Department of Justice: Births, Deaths and Marriages
To reach the stage of knowing names, dates and places there are several excellent websites to help family historians with research in Van Diemen's Land, known as Tasmania from 1856.
Colonial Tasmanian Family Links Database
It is stated that this is not a direct index to records but it does contain a large amount of information (not necessarily verified) about Tasmanian pioneers and family groupings. No distinction is made between relationships and officially recorded marriages. The basis for these presumptions are church records of christenings. This is one of the best searchable name indexes included at the following site.
Archives Office of Tasmania Online
Here you will find an index of 76 000 people - convicts transported to Van Diemen's Land beginning in 1804 to the end of transportation in 1853 and to 1893 for locally convicted convicts. There are also indexes to Convict Applications to Marry (1829-1857), Census records (1840s and 50s), Wills (1824-1989), Naturalisations (1935-1905) and Departures from the island (1817-1867).
Genseek Jenny Fawcett online indexes
Allow plenty of time to browse this huge Australia-wide collection of indexes, historical articles and transcripts. Items added relatively recently include more BDMs and passenger lists gleaned from colonial newspapers and an index to insolvencies in VDL/Tasmania 1835-39 and 1847. The navigation of the many different categories is straight forward but the subject matter can be searched by Name, Ship or Place if you are in a hurry.
Australian Passenger Indexes (by state)
This section of Jenny Fawcett's website is the most likely place to find people leaving VDL primarily from the port of Georgetown/Launceston for the Western District ports of Port Fairy and Portland Bay as well as to Port Phillip and Westernport in the period from the late 1820s to the late 1840s. These trips across Bass Strait were just stages of longer intercolonial and international ships' voyages. Many of the ships' lists are for crew as well as passengers.
This searchable site by Meryl Yost of Launceston provides useful information and resources for people researching Tasmanian history and genealogy. The site has grown rapidly with contributions from researchers. You may discover people who are researching the same name as you and if you are having trouble finding out how your ancestors arrived in VDL you can add them to the unknown arrivals 'Swimmers List'.
For issues relating to Tasmanian genealogy and history you could join the mailing list of 700 subscribers.
The Links and Resources pages direct you to further information such as Burials, Tombstones and Memorials which sounds promising but apart from the Southern Regional Cemetery Trust (Cornelian Bay) online search for burials, and some of the North West Coast Cemeteries, most of the information is about Tasmanian cemeteries in general.
State Library of Tasmania : Images Search
This website has a wonderful collection available online of 6000 historical images of Tasmanian places, people and artefacts.
Decisions of the Nineteenth Century Tasmanian Superior Courts, published online by the Division of Law, Macquarie University and the School of History and Classics, University of Tasmania
The site begins with the first decisions of the Supreme Court of Van Diemen's Land, commencing in 1824, up to 1842. It provides a comprehensive collection of more than 1800 court cases sourced from newspaper reports and archival documents. Searches can be made by an alphabetical Subject Index or by Case Index.
One example from 1839 was a case where William Roberts of Sorell received an unlikely sentence of four years at Port Arthur for receiving three stolen hogs. Four depositions and cross-examinations, as reported in the Hobart Town Advertiser, give full details of the case.
Jennifer Burrell: email@example.com