Reading my December 2017 copy of Family Tree magazine; www.family-tree.co.uk and found an interesting article about British convicts. Free new website traces British convicts, page 7 and thought that I would have a look and ‘play’ around on it.
The opening paragraph of the article reads; “A vast, new, free online resource is enabling researchers to trace the lives of transported and imprisoned convicts in Britain and Australia between 1780 and 1925.” I thought that this is great and went and had a look. It is a very well set out site, with clear tabs to take you to other areas. You can read about prison hulks, punishments, what London was like at the time and some of the convicts own stories.
I searched for my Simon McKenzie and found that there were 11 records for Simon McKenzie, with around six belonging to my Simon. When you click on the entry, it pops-up another box and give details of what the entry is about and where you can find it. This is where I was disappointed as most of the entries take you to a PAID website, that you need a subscription for. There are some, like the Old Bailey records, that are free.
I also found that once you have your list of records and want to do another search, you can’t, from that page, even though it has a search box. You have to go back to the home page and search from there. Probably a bug that they will sort out but still annoying.
The information, on the website is useful, especially about prison hulks, etc. BUT the article was misleading, with regards to the information being ‘free’. It does mention the paid sites but not that you have to go to them.
A good portal and a starting point, if you have just discovered a convict.
Bye for now,