Monday, 23 July 2007

Convict History Revealed Online

Records of thousands of British convicts sent to Australia in the 18th and 19th centuries have been made available to search online.

More than two million Britons and an estimated four million Australians are related to convicts deported from Britain to Australia, according to genealogy website

The 165,000 convict records typically contain convict's name, date and place of sentencing, length of sentence and the crime committed. spokesman Josh Hanna said: "This is the first time that these unique records have ever been brought together in one place online, making them accessible to so many."

"While Australia's convict history itself has been well documented, there are thousands of individual stories in the collection just waiting to be told.”

Although felony, larceny and burglary described the overwhelming majority of crimes, a few of the records reveal some people were sent to an Australian penal colony for such crimes as stealing heifers or burning clothes.

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