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Do you have convicts in your heritage? Poll

Here are the results of our 24th Unlock the Past poll - Do you have convicts in your heritage? Votes were cast by 337 people. Since the question only had two responses the summary is very simple - 76.6% did have convicts in their heritage (many had multiple convicts) while the remaining 23.4% covered those who either knew they had no convicts or as yet had not discovered them.

The comments indicated the places the convict ancestors had been in Australia and in some cases the ships on which they came and where they had originated. Ninety-two responses indicated the convict went to New South Wales, 63 to Tasmania, nine to Norfolk Island, with just relatively minor numbers of four, three and one to Victoria, Western Australia and Moreton Bay respectively. One noted that they had none transported - just plain villains in Britain!

Where the voters came from

  • Australia - 300
  • Germany - 1
  • Ireland - 1
  • New Zealand - 10
  • Singapore - 1
  • United Kingdom - 3
  • United States - 1
  • Unknown - 10


Research into NSW Adoptions

Hi Gary thanks for the comment - you haven't given ages of the daughters but after their father's death they would have stayed with their mother and her new husband. After her death it would depend on how old the girls were what happened to them if they didn't go with the stepfather. If the eldest was old enough she may have looked after the two younger ones. Or there may have been grandparents, aunts or uncles around so it really depends on what else you know about the family. If there was no one, and they were too young, you should look at State Records NSW Archives in Brief on Child Care and Protection - depending on when and where their mother died the Randwick and Sydney asylums may be worth checking. Good luck.


Research into NSW Adoptions

When John Riley passed away in 1889, there is not mention at all as to what happened to the three daughters that he had by his wife, Margaret Riley (nee Hemming) - Catherine, Elizabeth and Annie and who were mentioned on Maggie's death certificate. Margaret it seems was pregnant with Annie when John  passed away, as only Catherine and Elizabeth are recorded on his death certificate. 

Through the NSW BDM, I have found that they all married eventually and on each of their death certificates they mention their parents as being John and Margaret, but there is a void as to who became their guardians after John Riley died. After John Riley died, and Maggie then married Thomas Shaw, Thomas does not seem to have taken over as their step father and there is no mention of them. When Maggie died and Thomas moved up to Charters Towers, he definitely did not take them with him. Any ideas?