Source Information New South Wales, Australia, Certificates of Freedom, 1810-1814, 1827-1867 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009.
Original data: New South Wales Government. Butts of Certificates of Freedom. NRS 1165, 1166, 1167, 12208, 12210, reels 601, 602, 604, 982-1027. State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales.

© the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales and is used under licence with the permission of the State Records Authority. The State of New South Wales gives no warranty regarding the data's accuracy, completeness, currency or suitability for any particular purpose.

About New South Wales, Australia, Certificates of Freedom, 1810-1814, 1827-1867

Certificates of Freedom were documents given to convicts in Australian penal colonies after completing their sentences. The document stated that the convict’s sentence had been served and that the convict was now free. Certificates of Freedom were usually given to convicts who had served 7, 10, or 14 year sentences. Convicts serving life sentences could only receive pardons and were therefore ineligible to receive Certificates of Freedom.

This data collection contains butts of Certificates of Freedom from New South Wales between 1827 and 1867. These butts provide the following pieces of information:

  • Certificate number and date
  • Prisoner’s number and name
  • Ship
  • Master
  • Year of arrival
  • Native place
  • Trade or calling
  • Offence
  • Date and place of trial
  • Sentence
  • Birth year
  • Physical description (height, complexion, hair and eye colour)
  • General remarks (often noting distinguishing marks or characteristics such as scars or tattoos; also noting info regarding a Ticket of Leave if the convict held one)