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Emigration from Britain

© 2014 Sherwo0d One Name Group

Many prisoners in the UK were transported to America and other colonies.


Apart from these the majority of people who migrated were forced against their will, or did so either voluntarily as the result of religious persecution or economic hardship. Others were encouraged/assisted to move by charitable institutions. Later others just left hoping for a better life style in the country of their choice.


Most emigrant records can be found in outward passenger lists and in the archives of the destination country.


Interior of a prison ship

From 1718 to 1776 transportation was entirely to North America.

Unfortunately very few records survive about individual convicts who were transported to North America and the West Indies until the American Revolution. The legal records before 1776 may contain material on transportees shipped across the Atlantic but they are significantly less numerous than the later records of convicts sent to Australia.

A good source is The complete book of emigrants in bondage 1614-1775 by Coldham, Peter Wilson. Publisher: Baltimore : Genealogical publishing co, 1988.

Between 1787 and 1868 transportation was to Australia

Over 160,000 people were transported to Australia and there is a wealth of records to search within for details of them.

Transportation from Britain and Ireland officially ended in 1868 although it had become uncommon several years earlier.

Emigrants in bondage and Free Men

We of course have our fair share of Sherwood transportees, but also convict ships Masters and many other free men who owned land in these colonies.