Convicts

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Convict assignment records

On arrival to the Colony of New South Wales, a convict was either retained by the Government or assigned to an individual

  • Guides
Convict assignments index 1821-1825

The index records the convict’s name, ship, date of assignment, to whom assigned, residence and remarks

  • Indexes
Convict Certificates of Freedom

A certificate of freedom was a document stating that a convict's sentence had been served

  • Guides
Convict exiles index 1849-1850

Between 1846-1850 exiles were transported to NSW. Exiles had served part of their sentence in a penitentiary in Britain and were granted a conditional pardon or ticket of leave on arrival in the Colony. This index covers 1849-50 only.

  • Indexes
Convict indents (digitised) index 1788-1801

Convict Indents list the convicts transported to New South Wales. Early indents provide name, date and place of trial and sentence while the later indents usually contain more information such as a physical description, native place, age and crime. This index covers the period 1788-1801

  • Indexes
Convict pardons: Conditional and Absolute

Convicts with a life sentence could receive a Pardon but not a Certificate of Freedom. The two main types of pardons were Conditional pardon and Absolute Pardon

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Convict Tickets of Leave

Convict discipline depended not only on punishment but also on incentives and rewards. Governor King introduced the ticket of leave system in 1801. It helped reduce costs by allowing those who could support themselves honestly to do so and was also a reward for good behaviour. A ticket of leave allowed convicts to work for themselves on condition that they remained in a specified area, reported regularly to local authorities and if at all possible, attend divine worship every Sunday

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Convict transportation to NSW

A history of convict transportation to New South Wales and related records such as trial records and records of the voyage and arrival

  • Guides
Convicts & convict administration guide

A unique collection of records, created by both the British Government and the Colonial administration, dating from 1788 to 1842

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Convicts applications to marry 1825-1851

Key details about the parties applying for permission to marry including: names; ages; the date of permission or refusal; ship of arrival; sentence (for the party who was the convict); whether free or bond and name of the clergy

  • Indexes
Convicts Guide

Between 1788 and 1842 about 80,000 convicts were transported to New South Wales

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Convicts in Van Diemen's Land

A list of convict records in our Collection relating to Van Diemen's Land

  • Guides
Convicts index 1791-1873

A searchable database listing 140,000+ certificates of freedom; bank accounts; deaths; exemptions from Government Labor; pardons; tickets of leave; and, tickets of leave passports

  • Indexes
Early convict indents

Indents list convicts transported to NSW

  • Webinars
Families of convicts

Families of convicts sometimes accompanied their convict relations or came out later

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Hyde Park Barracks

A brief overview of the Hyde Park Barracks and a list of convict-related record series

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Moreton Bay Penal Settlement

The Moreton Bay penal colony, on traditional Turrbal and Yuggera land, operated from 1824 to 1842 as a place of secondary punishment for convicts who committed serious offences

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Researching NSW convicts

An update of one of our most popular webinars, an introduction to our convict records and how you can find and use them

  • Webinars
Sentenced beyond the Seas: Australia's early convict records

Indents list the convicts transported to New South Wales

  • Guides