Whether you have ancestors in Australia or have a branch of your family who went there, the “Ireland-Australian Database (1791-1853)” is a resource you need to be aware. My approach to research is that if you cannot find out where your ancestors were from by using North American, Irish or UK records, then seek out the branch who when elsewhere. If a branch of your family went to Australia, especially a convict, then this database can help you track them down. Within the transportation records you will most likely find some clue as to where the family came from in Ireland.
The Ireland-Australia Transportation Records in this collection are on microfilm at both the National Archives of Ireland)”: www.nationalarchives.ie (NAI). The microfilm are also available at various Australian libraries, and at the Family History Library. The collection includes the following:
- Transportation Registers (1836-1857)
- Prisoners’ Petitions and Cases (1788-1836)
- State Prisoners’ Petitions (1798-1799)
- Convict Reference Files (1836-1856, 1865-1868)
- Free Settlers’ Papers (1828-1852)
- Male Convict Register (1842-1847)
- Register of Convicts on Convict Ships (1851-1853)
There is an extensive research guide to this collection on the NAI website; as well as a Q&A which can guide you through what exactly can be gleaned from the collection.
The online index to the collection can provide some of the following information: name, alias, sex, age, imprisonment place, trial place, trail date, document date, crime description, sentence, ship, document references, comments (includes discharge date, character references, information about family, and witnesses).
The NAI database can be searched by itself or included in searches with other databases. It is but one of many online to research those transported to Australia as convicts.
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