Wicklow Gaol Prisoners and Transportation.

Photo:Wicklow Gaol

Wicklow Gaol

How prisoners lived after transportation.

By Stan O'Reilly

From looking at the Transportation Registers in the National Archives and following up on the lives of many transported Wicklow Gaol prisoners in Tasmania, I have found that many continued with a life of crime. Some became constables and hunted fellow transportees. Women turned in some cases to crime and prostitution while others married and carried on ordinary lives. Convicts got permission to marry fellow convicts, some led good lives and raised families, others deposited their children in an orphanage and carried on with their criminal lives. Those who were assigned as workers to settlers did very well, some absconded and at least one murdered the settler he was assigned to. Wicklow Gaol, well worth a visit.

This page was added by Stan O'reilly on 12/11/2011.
Comments about this page

Hi Tracey

Brian O'Neill was my Great Great Grandfather. My Aunty is a keen genealogist and may have information that you don't have and would be keen for any new information.


By suzanne
On 06/04/2016

Unfortunately, records prior to 1830 are no longer so I have no way of tracing Bryan. If anyone knows anything about Bryan Neill or O'Neill, I would love to hear from you.

By Tracey
On 02/01/2013

I have just discovered that my 3 x great-grandfather was a convict transported in 1820 for horse theft. He was convicted at Wicklow and came from Kells, Meath. He spent a very long time in custody, escaping once. Eventually he married my great-grandmother and had children. The curious thing was that his family knew Ned Kelly's family and legend has it that the Kellys were not as bad as everyone thought. I would dearly love to find out more about his life and family prior to his conviction but so far have had no luck. By chance, I happened to check out the genealogy section in the a local library here in NZ. I picked up a very old copy of the Ancestor magazine (1994) and found an article written by Joan Kavanagh who wanted information on certain convicts and what had become of them. I couldn't believe that my great-grandfather's name was on this list. Joan has now left but another lady is going to look up the Gaol records to see what she can find.

By Tracey
On 12/12/2012