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Source Information

Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Convict Registers of Conditional and Absolute Pardons, 1788-1870 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.
Original data:
  • Copies of returns of Absolute and Conditional Pardons granted. Series 1165. State Records Reel 774, copy of 4/4492. State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia.
  • Registers of Conditional Pardons. Series 1170. State Records Reel 774. State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia.
  • Register of convicts recommended for Conditional Pardons. Series 1173. State Records Reel 797-798, copy of 4/4478-80. State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia.
  • Alphabetical registers of pardons. Series 1174. State Records Reel 798, copy of 6/884. State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia.
  • Registers of Absolute Pardons. Series 1177. State Records Reel 800, copy of 4/4486-88. State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia.
  • Registers of recommendations for Absolute Pardons. Series 1179. State Records Reel 800, copy of 4/4489-90. State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia.
  • Copies of Conditional Pardons Registered. Series 1172. Reels 775-796, 3037. State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia.

About New South Wales, Australia, Convict Registers of Conditional and Absolute Pardons, 1788-1870

This database contains records of pardons granted to convicts in New South Wales, Australia.

Historical background:

New South Wales was first settled in 1788 as a penal colony. As a result, a large percentage of the population in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries was comprised of convicts and ex-convicts.

A person could be emancipated by receiving a certificate of freedom, a ticket of leave, or by being granted a pardon.

Pardons were generally given to convicts with life sentences and shortened the sentence by granting freedom. There were two types of pardons – conditional and absolute. Conditional pardons required that freed convicts remain in the colony. Absolute pardons allowed freed convicts to return to the U.K.

About this Collection:

This data collection contains the following registers of conditional and absolute pardons.

  • Copies of returns of absolute and conditional pardons granted, 1810–29, 1836, 1838–41
  • Registers of conditional pardons, 1791–1825, 1835–45, 1847–70
  • Register of convicts recommended for conditional pardons, 1826–56
  • Alphabetical registers of pardons, 1828–62
  • Registers of absolute pardons, 1791–1843
  • Registers of recommendations for absolute pardons, 1826–46
  • Registers of absolute and conditional pardons, 1788–1834, 1837–67

These registers provide details about the convicts, such as:

  • Name
  • Ship of arrival
  • Date of arrival
  • Conviction place
  • Conviction date
  • Birthplace and date
  • Pardon date
  • Whether conditional or absolute
  • Place and date of trial
  • Offence
  • Physical description
  • General remarks

Later registers tend to provide more details than earlier ones.

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