About us

Irish Wattle is a publishing hub for information on Irish convicts transported to New South Wales, Australia. Come find your ancestor!

We run talks on topics including:

  • How to trace Irish convicts transported between 1788 and 1810, and overcoming research roadblocks
  • Stories of the Irish vanguard – the first prisoners transported directly from Ireland. Learn about early rebels, horse thieves, vagabonds, swindlers and petty crooks, and how they tried to forge a new life in the colony.
  • Writing for magazines and newspapers

Meet our team

Barbara Hall

It was the day she discovered she was descended from a Dublin highwayman that her interest in genealogy was sparked. That was 20 years ago.

The Sydney-based historian decided to put into context those prisoners with whom her ancestors were transported on the Marquis Cornwallis in 1796, and the first book, A Desperate Set of Villains, was born. Since then Barbara has chronicled the lives of all those other very early prisoners transported between 1790 and 1797 on the Queen (1791), Sugar Cane (1793), Boddingtons (1793) and Britannia (1797).

Barbara’s primary research areas are Irish convicts transported from Ireland to New South Wales between 1790 and 1806. Her latest book, on the rebels of the ship Minerva (1800), is due to be published in 2014.

Cassie Mercer

Cassie has been working in publishing since 1999, after completing a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and Psychology at the University of Queensland. She has worked as a sub editor and writer for UNSW Press, New Holland Publishers, Pacific Magazines and ACP Magazines in Sydney, and IPC Media, Edward Elgar and the National Magazine Company in London.

Cassie is the editor of Inside History, a family history magazine for Australian and New Zealand genealogists, and editor and co-founder of Irish Wattle, a publishing house for Irish convict transportation to NSW. Her 5 x great grandfather was a highwayman in Dublin in the 1790s.