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Monday, September 28, 2009

Finding an Australian transported convict's parents

Denise asked this question:
William Archer(born Plymouth) was a 14 year old chimney sweep who was sentenced to "Life & Transportation" on January 14, 1828 from the Shewsbury Gail, England. He was convicted at Salop Assizes and transported on the ship "Bussorah Merchant on 1 October 1829. Looking at the convict records in Tasmania, Australia (once Van Denman's Land) I can not find any mention of William's parents. Can you help?

Ask Olive Answer: Denise, I would hunt for a marriage record for William. That should give his parents' names. Failing that, an obituary might provide information.

Also look at the names of his children to see if a naming pattern emerges. If you know his wife's parents (assuming he married) then you can see if they followed a traditional pattern of naming their children after their parents. If they did, you can theorize as to what William's parents names might be, then have a hunt in Plymouth church records for a couple of those names having a son named William.

Also take a look at the website Blacksheep Ancestors to see if there are any records there that might be of help in your search.

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