Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Launch of the Convict Transportation Registers database

The State Library of Queensland has launched a new resource to research convict ancestors. This database has been compiled from British Home Office (HO) records which are available on microfilm as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP). The HO 11 Criminal - Convict Transportation Registers series has been indexed by the State Library of Queensland and the index contains the following information:
- Name of convict, including any known aliases
- Place of trial *
- Term of years
- Name of ship and date of departure
- Place of arrival
- Miscellaneous notes e.g. Died at sea; Ticket of Leave, etc.
* The date of trial is recorded on the original registers and will be gradually added to this database
Over 123,000 out of the estimated 160,000 convicts transported to Australia are recorded in this database. These include prisoners sent to New South Wales, Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania), Moreton Bay (Brisbane), Western Australia and Norfolk Island. Also recorded are some ships which were bound for Gibraltar. The records cover the period of 1787 to 1867.
These records mainly include those convicted in England and Scotland. Only a small number of Irish convicts appear in this series of the Home Office records. The database also includes soldiers who had been court-martialled and sentenced to transportation. These "soldier convicts" may have been convicted in various British colonies including the West Indies, India, Pakistan and Canada.
The site also features some well-known Queenslanders with convict backgrounds.

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