Convict records

This guide was last updated in 2009

Many researchers see the discovery of a convict ancestor as a highpoint in their research.

The digitisation of many of the convict records from the National Archives in London by Ancestry.com has made the task of finding such ancestors much easier.

Its website, www.ancestry.com.au, contains several indexes to the convict transportation registers from 1787 to 1868, as well as the convict musters 1806-1849, convict pardons 1834-1859 and convict lists 1787-1834.

Many of these documents will provide details of the date and place of the trial of the convict and the sentence they were given. By consulting the trial records, or newspaper accounts of it, the misdemeanours of an ancestor can be established along with details of their origins and family.

For those people who were tried in London at the Old Bailey before 1834, transcriptions of their trials are available on the internet at www.oldbaileyonline.org. The majority of the trials were for petty theft of clothes or food and would have been dealt with less severely by the courts today.

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