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Archive for October, 2007

The convict records have at last arrived, delayed no doubt by Royal Mail’s industrial action. They were worth the wait though as I now know that Caroline was indeed from my family. Caroline Gant was my Great Great Aunt, the younger sister of my Great Grandfather William Gant.  The convict records give her age as 19, but I think she may have been nearer 16 judging by the entries on the 1841 and 1851 censuses.

She was convicted at Ipswich Quarter Sessions in January 1852, sentenced to 10 years hard labour, and transported to Tasmania. Her crime – “Stealing a Petticoat and a Jacket from a Little Boy”. She seemed to be a bit of a rebel! Her conduct on the ship was described as “fair”, all the others on the page were “good”. She was sentenced to an additional 4 months hard labour for “insolence”, and she absconded at least once while in Tasmania, earning her another 3 months hard labour and a spell in the House of Correction in Launceston. She married John Smith and had 2 sons, William and Samuel, in 1854 and 1856. Unfortunately that wasn’t the end of her life of crime as she was convicted of “Larceny under £5” in 1861, and sentenced to another 9 months hard labour.

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Many thanks to Sandra, a member of the Guild of One Name Studies who has completed a Guild Marriage Challenge for Cosford Registration District. I have received through the post 62 (yes, sixty two!) faux marriage certificates for Gant marriages taking place in Cosford between 1837 and 1911. There’s a huge amount of information on these certificates which has all been added to my database.

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