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Convict James Freel

Arrived on the Morley 3 Mar 1828 in Sydney, Australia.

Brothers: John Arrives Cambridge 17 Sep 1827

Neal Arrived on the Regalia 5 Aug 1826

On Monday last arrived, from Dublin, whence she sailed the 3d of November, the ship Morley, Captain Williams, with 192 male prisoners.

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803-1842) Wednesday 5 March 1828 Page 2 of 4.

I know very little about my Irish Convict Ancestor.


Friday 28th December 2012, 03:17AM

Message Board Replies

  • Hi,


    Thank you for your message. You have obviously done a lot of research over on your side!


    With regards to finding information on James in Ireland, unfortunatley it may be quite difficult due to a lack of records.


    When researching people in Ireland during the 19th century one of the main pieces of information that you need is the name of the parish they came from. Civil registration did not begin in Ireland until 1864, consequently, this means that most records prior to this were kept by the Churches. Most of these records are held locally-so you can see why it is important to know the exact place of origin to determine which registers you should be looking in.


    If we assume that James came fromDonegal Town, in County Donegal, the Roman Catholic parish that you would be looking at is Tawnawilly. Most Catholic records are held locally, however the irishtimes website is helpful as it gives an overview of what records are available in specific parishes. Unfortunately, if you click on the following link, you can see that records for Tawnawilly did not begin until circa 1872.


    However. as new parishes were created in the 19th century sometimes these start dates can be misleading. Records pertaining to Tawnawilly prior to 1870 may be held in neighbouring parishes. Here is a link to a map of the Catholic parishes in Donegal, just click on each one to see what records are available:


    Do you know the names of James' parents? You could do a search of his parents in the Tithe Applotment Books. These are land records compiled between 1823 and 1837 in order to determine the amount which occupiers of agricultural holdings should pay in tithes to the Church of Ireland. If you know his parents names you may be able to find them in the record-this would give you confirmation of a parish name.


    Some other websites which may help you are:


    The National Archives of Ireland

    The National Library of Ireland

    The National Archives UK ? genealogy search:

    The Public Records Office of Northern Ireland

    Family Search:  


    I hope that this helps. Remember to post any other inforamtion you can find about James' life over here, in paticular if you find reference to a particular parish. The more information you post, the more likely it is that one of our volunteers will be able to advise or assist you. Also include information concerning which sources you may have already used so others may further your search.


    Kind regards,


    Genealogy Support

    Emma Carty

    Tuesday 19th February 2013, 01:02PM