FAQs

Here you will find answers to some of the most common queries the Female Factory Online team receives.


I can’t find who I am looking for in the database. Can you provide information about the person I am researching?

As much as the Female Factory Online would love to help researchers with specific queries about individuals associated with the Parramatta Female Factory, all of our time must be devoted to the construction of the database: the idea being that the sooner it is built, the sooner everyone who visits the website will find that obtaining the information they desire will be the work of mere moments! It is a big job, as the database construction means dealing not only with thousands of individuals but also thousands of pieces of evidence.

The good news is that the Female Factory Online team is currently expanding, so data development is happening at a much faster rate with lots of new content being added every single day. Please periodically use the search function to check if the person you are researching has been added and stay tuned to the Female Factory Online’s social media for updates about the completion and publication of new datasets. Bear in mind, you can also search by keyword, year, or date (format example: 2 May 2017), and we have many “unidentified” women in the newspaper reports.

If you find confirmation here that the individual you are researching was indeed connected to the Factory but want to know more, please note that the Female Factory Online does not offer free genealogical research services to help you trace your ancestor’s life. There are thousands of qualified, professional genealogists you can hire who will be more than happy to help you break through those walls in your research. See the Association for Professional Genealogists for a directory.

Is there a way of knowing if one of the unidentified women in the newspaper reports featured in the database was the person I am researching?

Positively identifying anonymous women in the newspaper reports is something we are working on. Stay tuned!

I can search the database, but can I browse content in the database, too?

At the moment the database is set to “searchable” mode exclusively, but as the datasets are completed the data will be made “browseable” across a large range of different categories as well. This will ensure the database is user-friendly and should stimulate further research.

I’d like to book a tour of the Parramatta Female Factory. Do you offer tours? Can I enter the site? How do I find it? What are the opening hours of the site?

PLEASE NOTE: The Female Factory Online is an online database about the individuals associated with the historic institution and an online archive of documents and media relating to the Factory. The FFO is not the Parramatta Female Factory site itself and our team members do not run guided tours.

Guided tours

Local community group The Parramatta Female Factory Friends (PFFF) now offer guided tours on the third Friday of the month. They also provide tours at their annual event held in late October, “Riot Day,” which commemorates the first riot at the Parramatta Female Factory in October 1827. See the Parramatta Female Factory Friends’ “Tour and Events” page for more details or contact parramattafemalefactoryfriends@gmail.com to book now.

Self-guided tour

On non-tour days, there is also the option of using the free self-guided walking tour “Convict Parramatta” on the Dictionary of Sydney Walks app, available on iTunes and GooglePlay, which includes the Parramatta Female Factory as well as many more historic convict sites of Parramatta that are all within walking distance of each other.

Site access

The Parramatta Female Factory is situated within the Cumberland Hospital grounds, so while you cannot enter the buildings that were once part of the Female Factory, you can enter the grounds via Fleet Street (click to view entry point on GoogleMaps) and view the extant buildings.