How to look for records of... Criminal transportees
How can I view the records covered in this guide?
This is a brief guide to help you research records of transportees. The National Archives holds records of criminal trials and convictions, including those of people sentenced to transportation, as well as of convict voyages, censuses and pardons. Many of these records are not indexed by name, so it may be difficult to find a particular person. It will be easier if you know the name of the ship or the date when it sailed. You may also find useful information in the related guides listed.
What do I need to know before I start?
What records can I see online?
What records can I find at The National Archives at Kew?
What records can I find in other archives and organisations?
What other resources will help me find information?
Did you know?
After 1615 it became increasingly common for convicts to be offered a pardon from a death sentence on condition of transportation.
Originally transportation was to America or the West Indies; from 1718 to 1776 it was to America; and from 1787 to 1867 it was to Australia and Tasmania (then called Van Diemen’s Land).
Convicts were sentenced to transportation after trials at assizes, quarter sessions, or the Old Bailey.
Few records survive about individual convicts who were transported to North America and the West Indies. For more information read Criminal transportees: further research.