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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Steal a Fish, Go to Australia

Ancestry.com has released the Australian Convict Index, 1788-1868, with data on 165,000 criminals transported to Australia from the British Isles and British colonies. They were the worst of the worst.

Some of the crimes they were punished for included stealing from a pond or river and setting fire to undergrowth.

One convict of note was the father of Ned Kelly, Australia's famous bush ranger. His Irish father, Red, was sentenced to seven years for stealing two pigs and sent to Tasmania.

The first female convict to set foot in Australia was Elizabeth Thackery, sentenced to seven years for the theft of five handkerchiefs. [Link]
The landing page for this database includes the statement "Web sites concerning convicts can be accessed at http://www.familytreeresearch.net," linking to a domain formerly operated by the late Janet Reakes, but now full of advertisements and empty of useful content. The correct address is here.

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