Licences of Parole for Female Convicts 1853-1887

Licences of Parole for Female Convicts, 1853-1887. Gosh it’s hard to keep us with everything that is put onto the internet these days and it is easy to miss something. Today I was browsing the Ancestry Card Catalogue and found that sometime in 2010 Ancestry had put online a dataset of Licences of Parole for Female Convicts, 1853-1887.

This dataset contains the documents generated by the issuing of parole to female convicts. By being given parole the convicts were allowed to be ‘at large’, but if the authorities decided there was good reason the parole could be rescinded and the convict recalled to prison. The dataset contains some of these documents.

The records can be searched by

  • Year of the licence
  • Name
  • Estimated birth year
  • Court and year of conviction

The information that can be found varies, but can include next of kin, religion, literacy, physical description, a medical history, marital status, number of children, age, occupation, crime, sentence, dates and places of confinement, reports on behaviour while in prison, letters or notes from the convict, and (from 1871 forward) a photograph.

I did a search for Pottinger and found just one entry, the set of records for Elizabeth was 8 pages long and the information given was

Date of licence Name Age
Status Children Crime
Where and when convicted Sentence Which prison held
Literacy Occupation Next of kin
Health Previous criminal record if any Conduct
Description Conditions of parole

Elizabeth was sentenced to 3 years for fraud and was released on parole 13 days before the end of her sentence. One can only assume that they needed her bed !!

Even if you don’t have any female convicts on your family tree do go and look at some of these documents, they are just wonderful.




UK WW1 Army Records

Your Country Needs You

The scans of the first batch of WW1 army records are now available for browsing at your nearest LDS Family History Centre or at the Family History library in Salt Lake City. These records are also available at The National Archives in London where the originals are kept, as well they are indexed and available through

The records date from the outbreak of WW1 in 1914 through to 1920. They comprise two sets of documents WO 363 which are the enlistment papers which were damaged in WW2 and are generally referred to as the “Burnt Documents” and WO 364 which are Pension Claims made by soldiers who suffered some disability due to service in WW1. It is worth bearing in mind that the Pension Claims include claims made by soldiers which weren’t accepted by the War Office, so if you have heard that your ancestor didn’t get a war pension this doesn’t mean he might not appear in this record set.

The Family Search website has a good wiki on WW1 Army Records available online at,_World_War_I_Service_Records_(FamilySearch_Historical_Records)

The National Archives, London also has an online guide at

Recommendation for Military Honours & Awards 1935-1990 Ancestry Web Search

Ancestry Web SearchApologises to MadAboutGenealogy readers for my not posting last week I was putting the last touches to my presentations for the Unlock the Past cruise plus I had a host of non-genealogy events and there just wasn’t enough hours in the day to do everything that needed to be done!!

Anyway I’m back Smile have added a new feature to their site, it could be viewed as a crafty way to add content at no cost to them, but let’s be charitable and say that they are simply alerting us all to what else is on the internet which might of help to family historians.

I am talking about the Web Search feature, basically it is a search engine link which searches non Ancestry databases and if a match comes up it connects through to the external website which holds the information.

The first offering is the “Recommendation for Military Honours & Awards 1935-1990” which is held by The National Archives.

I entered the name Pottinger to see how the system worked. It came up with 2 entries and I chose the one for Frederick Pottinger and clicked on the View Record button. The usual Ancestry page came up with the following information …

Name Frederick Pottinger
Publication Date 27 July 1944
Rank Corporal
Service Number 2047371
Regiment or Unit 1 Battalion The Northamptonshire Regiment
Theatre of Combat Burma
Award Military Medal
Date of Action or Award 1944

A link to the National Archives website is at the end of the details. Clicking on this brings up a warning that you are leaving Ancestry for an external site, getting rid of this pop-up takes you to the TNA site.

The National Archives site gives you the same info that Ancestry has, but with the opportunity to purchase a copy of recommendation document in this case 2 pages. A fee of £3.36 if charged for this, but the document can be downloaded immediately the payment has gone through.

All in all quite a handy feature as it will alert researchers to other documents that might be of help in tracing your ancestors. It will be interesting what other archives are added in the future.



London Livery Companies 1400 – 1900

The Institute of Historical Studies have placed online a searchable database of Apprentices and Freemen in the City of London Livery Companies between 1400 and 1900. The database is a work in progress and is a collaboration between The Centre for The Records of London's Livery Companies Online (ROLLCO).Metropolitan History, The Clothworkers’ Company, The Drapers’ Company, The Goldsmiths’ Company and The Mercers’ Company.

The database at the time of this post contains information from The Clothworkers’ Company 1545 – 1908 and The Drapers’ Company 1400 – 1900 and a sample of the data from the The Goldsmiths’ Company 1600 – 1700. More data will be added this later year.

A search for the name Pottinger in the records of the Clothworkers’ Company yielded 32 results. As an example one of the entries in the list of Pottingers gave the following information.

Year of event 1736
Name Eliza Pottinger
Gender Female
Occupation Sawyer
Location Facing The Vine Tavern, Holborn
Company Archive Clothworker
Event Apprenticeship
Role Master
Status Widow

As can be seen quite a lot of useful information can be found just from the index. No doubt further details can be found on application to the Livery Company Archives.

FindMyPast has an Index of Apprenticeship Taxes that has been compiled by the Society of Genealogists. It’s not all that easy to use, be prepared to work through several pages before you hit the surname you require. Below is an example of what you can expect to find.

58/191 – 1772 POTTINGER, Geo to Jn Morbey of Banbury, Oxon tay £5

The original taxation documents are held at the National Archives.

It is worth running a surname search through the A2A website as some Apprenticeship papers show up there with details of where the originals can be found. The index alone gives quite a lot of useful information. An example

Apprenticeship agreement between John Hill of Stratford upon Avon and William George Morris of Stratford upon Avon, scrivener, for a term of 5 years. 1801. The agreement also attests that John Rowden Westbury [the guardian of John Hill] shall provide clothes and wearing apparel.

Ancestry has the Freedom of the City of Londonclip_image002[5] Admission Papers, 1681-1925 which would be worth searching as many apprenticeship papers are included in the collection plus many apprentices went onto become Freeman of the City. The information that can be found is

  • Surname
  • Date of indenture
  • Parent or guardian’s name
  • County of residence
  • Master’s name

\With this collection you get to see a scan of the original papers which is always preferable to an index or transcript.

Finally should you find an apprentice or master in one of the databases it is always worth looking at their websites, some links below. The sites usually give excellent histories of the company as well as insights into their present work.

Do search for Apprentices and Masters in your genealogy, the results can be most rewarding!




Navy Lists 1888 – 1970

Navy Lists 1888 -1970


The Navy List is the officially published list of Royal Navy Officers, publication started in 1819. Those who were officers (commissioned and warrant) in the Royal Navy, Royal Naval Reserves including the New Zealand branch, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, Royal Naval College of Music, Royal Marines, Queen Alexandra’s Royal Nursing Services, Coast Guard and other branches of the senior service will be listed here.

Details that will be found in this dataset will be –

  • Name
  • Rank
  • Seniority
  • Decorations & Awards

The data is grouped in a variety of ways, by –

  • Rank
  • Ship
  • Pensioners
  • Retired Officers

Additional information on Royal Humane Society medal awards, Naval Regulations, Members of Boards, Vessels for sale and much more.

The data is indexed and may also be browsed by year of publication. A very useful database for those with ancestors who heeded the call of the sea.