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Convict Records Lovely Examples Of Writing


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They are all from records in this series: http://search.archives.tas.gov.au/default.aspx?detail=1&type=S&id=CON33


The really nice writing starts from about 1848. There is still some nice writing in earlier records (pre-1848) and even in a previous series http://search.archives.tas.gov.au/default.aspx?detail=1&type=S&id=CON31fpn_1425455327__404_sharp.jpg






It's easiest to do searches through this portal: http://linctas.ent.sirsidynix.net.au/client/en_AU/names/search/


Unfortunately only the surnames are written beautifully, and the rest of the conduct records are often an illegible or faded scrawl.

Edited by Lively
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Very Interesting. William Stacey's record seems to have nice writing throughout. Do the records indicate what the crime was?

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Yes, on the full pages there is a box to the left of the name box where they wrote the current offence, previous offences and family info (married or not, wifes name, number of children, or the convict's mother's name if single. I believe they asked the convict for these details (including current offence) as part of the rehabilitation plan - making them admit to their crime.


Often the writing looks neat enough when you're just passing your eyes over it, but if you're looking for exact spellings of places and names it can be quite frustrating. And it's necessary to become familiar with common abbreviations, especially for names e.g. Hy for Henry, Tho for Thomas, Jn for John, Jas for James, Wm for William, but also all the convict related ones mentioned here: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~austashs/convicts/conabbrev.html#Abbreviations


Here are a couple of full pages from a pre-1840 conduct record, and a post-1840 one. Usually after downloading the images I decrease the brightness and increase the contrast to make them more legible. I haven't done it to these ones though.





Edited by Lively
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Certainly not easy to read because it is so small to my eyes! I see what you mean about the abbreviated names. And the hundreds of other words with abbreviations that do not make any sense!


I wonder if there are such records for American convicts when they used to be sent to the Australian penal colonies.

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This is part of the record of early convict arrivals in the new colony of New South Wales




My first Australian ancestor is William Henry, 6th line down, who was sentenced to 7 years transportation in 1800. Like almost all convicts he settled in NSW after the completion of his sentence.


“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.

And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”

Granny Aching

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