Transportation from Ireland for crimes committed in Ireland, lasted from 1791 to 1853, ending 15 years earlier than transportation from England. The records of the Chief Secretary's Office, which had responsibility for the Penal system, are the major Irish source of information on transportees. Not all of the relevant records have survived, particularly for the period before 1836, but what does exist can provide a wealth of information. The records were formerly housed in the State Paper Office in Dublin Castle, which is now part of the National Archives of Ireland (NAI). The principal classes of relevant records are as follows:
Prisoners' Petitions and Cases, 1788-1836: these consist of petitions to the Lord Lieutenant for commutation or remission of sentence, and record the crime, trial, sentence, place of origin and family circumstances.
State Prisoners' Petitions: these specifically concern those arrested for participation in the 1798 rebellion, and record the same information as the main series of petitions.
Convict Reference Files, from 1836: these continue the earlier petitions series and can include a wide range of additional material.
Transportation Registers, from 1836: these record all the names of those sentenced to death or transportation, giving the name of the transport ship or the place of detention, are sometimes given as well.
Male Convict Register, 1842-1847: in addition to the information supplied by the Transportation Registers, this volume also gives physical descriptions of the convicts.
Register of Convicts on Convict Ships, 1851-1853: this gives the names, dates and counties of trial of those transported to Van Dieman's land and Western Australia for the period covered.
Free Settlers' Papers, 1828-1852: after serving a minimum of four years, male convicts had the right to request a free passage for their wife and family to join them. The Papers contain lists of those making such a request, along with transportation details and the names and addresses of the wives. A number of petitions from husbands and wives, and prisoners' letters, are also included.
These records were microfilmed and a database was presented to the Australian government and can now be found in many State archives. The NAI retains copies and the database, in particular, can save a great deal of time and effort. www.nationalarchives.ie Early convict arrivals records, making up some of the gaps in the NAI material, are also online at www.pcug.org.au/~ppmay/convicts.htm (Irish Convicts to Australia 1791-1815).
British parliamentary papers on Ireland can be found at: http://eppi.dippam.ac.uk/documents/9824/eppi_pages/215093
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