Online Records

Online Records

There are a huge variety of records available online.  But there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. No one website has it all – you will need to hunt around

  2. Not everything is online – see the Books & Archives section

  3. Sometimes only the ‘index’ is online – that is a database of limited details and no images

  4. Not all records survive – disinterest, carelessness and accidents means that records were not always kept.

  5. Not all websites are available to everyone – some are only accessible to universities.

  • Mar 13, 2015 - - 49

    Free Transcripts from the surviving materials relating to transportation to Australia from Ireland between 1791 and 1853. Images are not online. See the National Archives of Ireland's guide to their complete holdings of transportation records.

    Mar 13, 2015 - - 41

    Subscription These records cover 3,127,598 prisoners who spent time in Irish prisons between 1790 and 1924. The records include the name of the prisoners, and in some cases the names next of kin and victims.

    Mar 13, 2015 - - 45

    Subscription The Petty Sessions handled the bulk of lesser legal cases, both criminal and civil - crimes range from allowing a cow to stray on a neighbour's land to minor assault. There are 22 million surviving records for Ireland. These records will be added to on an annual basis as the 100 year redaction rule dictates.

  • Mar 15, 2015 - - 77

    Subscription Comprising the following National Archives (UK) series:

    ADM 6 Admiralty: registers of convicts in prison hulks

    CRIM 9 Central Criminal Court: after-trial calendars of prisoners

    HO 8 Home Office: Convict Hulks, Convict Prisons and Criminal Lunatic Asylums: Quarterly Returns of Prisoners 1824-1876

    HO 13 Home Office: Criminal Entry Books 1782-1871

    HO 17 Home Office: criminal petitions Series 1

    HO 18 Home Office: criminal petitions Series 2

    HO 19 Home Office: Register of criminal petitions

    HO 23 Home Office: Registers of Prisoners from National Prisons lodged in County Prisons 1847-1866

    HO 24 Home Office: Prison Registers and Statistical Returns 1838-1875

    HO 47 Home Office: Judges’ Reports on Criminals 1784-1830

    HO 77 Home Office: Newgate Prison Calendar 1782-1853

    HO 130 Home Office: Miscellaneous Criminal Books 1798-1831

    HO 140 Home Office: calendar of prisoners

    PCOM 2 Home Office and Prison Commission: prison records

    PCOM 3 Home Office and Prison Commission: Male Licences 1853-1887

    PCOM 5 Home Office: Old Captions and Transfer Papers 1843-1871

    MEPO 6 Metropolitan Police: Criminal Record Office: habitual criminals' registers and miscellaneous papers

    T 38 Treasury: Departmental Accounts: Convict Hulks 1802-1831

    Mar 15, 2015 - - 62

    Subscription Transcripts of records from British prison ships in the West Indies and England between 1811 and 1843. The following hulks are included:

    • Antelope
    • Bellerophon
    • Coromandel
    • Dromedary
    • Euryalus
    • Hardy
    • Weymouth
    Mar 16, 2015 - - 65

    Free The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913 - Central Criminal Court, covering London and parts of Middlesex. Fully searchable text of the Proceedings and Ordinary's Accounts. The Proceedings are published transcripts of court cases. The Ordinary's Accounts are biographies of criminals executed between 1676-1772

    May 31, 2015 - - 69

    Subscription The Manchester Prison Registers at Findmypast

    May 31, 2015 - - 66

    Subscription From the website: There are 47,543 Surrey Quarter Sessions records covering a period between 1780 and 1820. The Quarter sessions were held in Surrey four times a year over a number of days, in rotation at different locations around the county.

    May 31, 2015 - - 74

    Subscription From the website: There are 67,156 records available covering more than 150 years. The Quarter sessions were held four times a year and would generally take a number of days, depending on how many cases needed to be heard.

    May 31, 2015 - - 68

    Subscription From the website: Established in 1880, the court's initial function was to hear criminal cases. The court sat every quarter, usually in January, April, July and October. After each session a Calendar of Prisoners was published to record the personal details of people tried at the session and their offences.

    May 31, 2015 - - 59

    Subscription From the website: The record set comprises over 32,130 records from England and Wales. These records date from 1820 to 1843. These records are transcribed from The Bankrupt Directory by George Elwick, and include details of all bankruptcies recorded in The London Gazette between December 1820 and April 1843.

    Jun 07, 2015 - - 67

    Subscription Two books which detail if the patient was found insane by jury, acquitted because insane or committed by justices.

  • Mar 15, 2015 - - 47


    Compiled from the Central Register of Male Prisoners and the Central Register of Female Prisoners of Pentridge prison in Coburg, Victoria, Australia.

    Jun 27, 2015 - - 45


    From the website: There are 26,933 records of both conditional and absolute pardons. Pardons were generally handed out to convicts serving life sentences but in the earliest years of the colony the Governor had the power to grant both free and conditional pardons as rewards for good behaviour, for special skills or for carrying out special duties or tasks.

    Jun 27, 2015 - - 46


    From the website: Search 188,518 records from 1786 to 1849 and covering some of the earliest convict ships. Please bear in mind that these records do not cover every convict who arrived in Australia on those early ships. Some records have been lost or scattered to other places.

    Jun 27, 2015 - - 47


    From the website: Search Australian convict transportation registers 1787-1870

    Jun 27, 2015 - - 42


    Jun 27, 2015 - - 52


    Jun 27, 2015 - - 39


    From the website: Convicts were actually encouraged to marry as Governors believed that marriage and family life were good for both the morality and stability of the colony. Various inducements were available including a convict's freedom through tickets of leave or pardons and assistance in establishing a household.

    Jun 27, 2015 - - 47


    From the website: Persons convicted to transportation were sent either to Sydney or Hobart Town and at first, this seems to have been determined largely on the itinerary of the next available vessel from Port Adelaide. Usually the convicts were transported by small coastal traders which plied mainly between Adelaide, southern New South Wales [now Victoria] and Van Diemens Land.

    Jun 27, 2015 - - 49


    Oct 18, 2015 - - 51
    Claim a Convict: Resources

    Resources Database: Established by genealogist Lesley Uebel, the Claim a Convict website originally went online on the 19 August 1998. The site offered researchers a free service that enabled those researching the same convicts ancestors to contact each other directly by email.

    May 30, 2016 - - 42
    Convict Ships to Australia

    Apart from describing each ship, the index gives the dates of each voyage, the ports they
    travelled between, the number of male and female convicts embarking and disembarking at each
    port and the route they took. Discrepancies between the number who embarked and disembarked were
    often due to deaths on board, transfers to other ships en route, or landing at other ports.

    May 30, 2016 - - 42
    Western Australian Convict Ships 1850-1868

    As with Tasmania, New Zealand and Victoria, Western Australia also received a number of convict
    boys from Parkhurst Prison during the 1840s. They had been rehabilitated in England and arrived
    as free settlers destined for apprenticeships with local settlers and their convict past is
    often forgotten.