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Source Information

Ancestry.com. Australia - Convict Savings Bank Books, 1824-1886 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.
Original data: Colonial Office and Predecessors: New South Wales Entry Books Relating to Convicts; (The National Archives Microfilm Publication CO 207/10); The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England.

About Australia - Convict Savings Bank Books, 1824-1886

In 1822 Commissioner Bigge prepared a report on convicts. In this report he suggested that any money belonging to and brought by the convicts should be taken and deposited into a savings bank account. Previously the convicts had been allowed to retain and use their money.

Commissioner Bigge’s suggestion was soon implemented. Surgeon-Superintendents on convict ships were entrusted with managing money during voyages. Upon arrival, the money was deposited into the Savings Bank. Once an account was opened for an individual, other friends and family members could also deposit money into the account. Generally, the money in this account could not be accessed by the convict until he or she could show proof of reformation. This could be demonstrated by receiving a ticket of leave, a pardon, or having completed a sentence. However, applications could be made to withdraw money from this account for special circumstances.

This database contains the following Savings Bank Books:

  • Ledger A, 1824-1849

  • Ledger B, 1830-1868

  • Ledger of Cash Entries, 1824-1827 (with relevant correspondence from the Colonial Secretary’s Office in Sydney to the Principal Superintendent of Convicts)

Ledger Books A & B are arranged by ship of arrival and record the following information:

  • Date

  • Name of convict

  • Interest earned

  • Principal amount

  • Remarks

  • Payment information

The Cash Book is arranged alphabetically by convict surnames and records the following information:

  • Date

  • Ship of arrival

  • Name of convict

  • Amount of cash

  • Remarks regarding payment information

Some of the above information was taken from the “Historical Background” section of the Index to convict bank accounts, 1837-70, State Records Authority of New South Wales (www.records.nsw.gov.au).

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