TCL in partnership with Ancestry.com featured Country & Western singer Trisha Yearwood last night.
For me this was a very interesting episode as I learned something quite new. Trisha was given her ancestry back to Samuel Winslett, born in England in 1744 who emigrated to Georgia around 1760.
Notice: Spoiler Alert if you have not watched this episode!
Samuel and one of his brothers (Aside: what happened to the third brother who was part of the deer taking??) were found guilty of killing deer that did not belong to them and sentenced to hanging. They were then reprieved and sent to Georgia as convicts. Samuel's sentence was 14 years and once he arrived in America, he and other convicts were sold at auctions. This blew me away! I knew of convict transportation to Australia, and I knew of indentured servants but I have never read or heard about convict transportation to America.
So I had a look around this morning and found an interesting article about this little-known period of American history. Convict Transportation to America: Epilogue is part of a series on Convict Transportation to the American colonies. History fascinates me and I plan on reading the entire series today. Then I will purchase the Kindle version of the book Bound with an Iron Chain: The Untold Story of How the British Transported 50,000 Convicts to Colonial America
Many of my readers know that I'm fascinated with immigration. My first exciting find in genealogy was one of my immigrant ancestors and that set me on a path to discover every immigrant ancestor I have. I'm fascinated with the stories - why did an ancestor immigrate? And what was behind their choice of settlement? What was their journey like? That's why my website Olive Tree Genealogy specializes in Ships Passenger Lists and immigration substitutes.
One of my secondary passions is learning about the lives of those who were impoverished and sent to almshouses, workhouses and poor houses, or removed from their homes in Great Britain and sent to the colonies. I scour little known records such as the Poor Law Union Records to find names and stories of those who were forced from their homes. Many of these "convicts" were sentenced for crimes that involved hunger or poverty and as such I find myself once again caught up in the tragedies.
Do you have a story of a convict ancestor sent to America? I'd love to hear about him or her!