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Thread: Australians to Learn of Their Convict Ancestry As Details of People Sent Down Under 200 Years Ago Are Released

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    Australians to Learn of Their Convict Ancestry As Details of People Sent Down Under 200 Years Ago Are Released

    The dark details of their family histories are to be revealed to thousands of Australians this week following the release of details of the convicts Britain sent to the new colony more than 200 years ago.

    The British government has released the details to coincide with Australia Day on Tuesday, allowing individuals to search through an online data base to check if they are descended from criminals.

    If they do find they have convict ancestors, most Australians are unlikely to be perturbed - surveys have revealed that many regard having a convict as an early family member as an interesting talking point at dinner parties.

    Many of the convicts sent to Australia in the 1700s and 1800s were transported for minor crimes such as stealing bread or riding off with someone's horse.

    Included among the records being released through the British website Ancestry.co.uk, which will be free to be logged on to until January 30 - taking in Australia Day - are the Convict Registers of Conditional and Absolute Pardons from 1791 to 1846.

    It details more than 21,000 convicts who were set free in New South Wales and who ended up with plots of land given to them by the government or who made names for themselves in setting up businesses.

    Also detailed are 34,000 New South Wales Certificates of Freedom which were handed out in the mid-1800s to convicts who had served prison terms of between seven and 14 years.

    Mr Dan Jones, international content director of the data base, says about one in three Britons are believed to have a convict ancestor - and that would include present day Australians whose ancestry dates back to the years following Captain Cook's voyages of discovery to the lands on the other side of the world.

    'While Australia's convict history itself has been well documented, there are thousands of individual stories in the collection just waiting to be told,' said Mr Jones.

    Australians are now hoping that when they begin searches, they will be able to find someone in their early family who has had such an interesting life that it is worth repeating to everyone prepared to listen.

    Among those transported from British and Irish shores were John Kelly, an Irish convict who was the father of a very famous son - bushranger Ned Kelly.

    There was also William Chopin, a convict who became a chemist at a hospital in New South Wales - but who was later sent back to jail after being convicted of being an abortionist.

    One of the most feared convicts, who escaped custody, was Alexander Pearce who became a cannibal, eating one of his fellow escapers.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worl...-released.html

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    Are Australians busy searching their ancestors lately?

    Many of the convicts sent to Australia in the 1700s and 1800s were transported for minor crimes such as stealing bread or riding off with someone's horse.
    People had to work a long time for their horses and even bread back then so it was far from minor.

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    White convicts were sent to Australia and created a modern state.

    Black freed slaves were sent to Liberia, Africa and created what?
    weel nich will dieken dej mot wieken

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    Indeed. So they may have been convicts; but they and their successors built one of the world's leading countries from it, never forgetting about their heritage, more than rehabilitating themselves. They were outlawed, but did not falter, and instead decided to build grandeur themselves. They did not become defeatist, but caught onto their second chance, and built a modern state from nothing.

    When we view how other people's convicts, freed slaves, lowly farmhands and all other previously shunned and lowly-classed folk are faring, the fact that Australians managed to build a working country despite their convict ancestry/past is something to be proud of rather than to be ashamed of. A shining example to all, and a good example for counter-arguments where people claim that rising from a less glorious past of potential oppression is impossible without foreign aid.

    And an example some other peoples should perhaps be taking: Not to moan about "those evil colonialists" who supposedly put them into their situation, but to make the best of it. In fact, we'd benefit from that as well, as if other races decided to become productive and build modern states from the ashes as Australians once did, then we'd be less frequently bothered with Negroes swimming the Strait of Gibraltar and upon survival shouting the only word in our languages they've ever learnt. ("Asylum!")
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    Indeed. So they may have been convicts; but they and their successors built one of the world's leading countries from it, never forgetting about their heritage, more than rehabilitating themselves. They were outlawed, but did not falter, and instead decided to build grandeur themselves. They did not become defeatist, but caught onto their second chance, and built a modern state from nothing.

    When we view how other people's convicts, freed slaves, lowly farmhands and all other previously shunned and lowly-classed folk are faring, the fact that Australians managed to build a working country despite their convict ancestry/past is something to be proud of rather than to be ashamed of. A shining example to all, and a good example for counter-arguments where people claim that rising from a less glorious past of potential oppression is impossible without foreign aid.

    And an example some other peoples should perhaps be taking: Not to moan about "those evil colonialists" who supposedly put them into their situation, but to make the best of it. In fact, we'd benefit from that as well, as if other races decided to become productive and build modern states from the ashes as Australians once did, then we'd be less frequently bothered with Negroes swimming the Strait of Gibraltar and upon survival shouting the only word in our languages they've ever learnt. ("Asylum!")

    The reality is much less romantic, Britain wanted to find an alternate landmass for expansion after the loss of the American colonies, and rather than using local slave labor as they commonly did, they decided to use convict slave labor, in addition easing the over crowding of British jails. Amusingly Convicts with sentences of 7 years - the estimated time taken to establish the colonies - were sent to Australia, after which they were given a chunk of land and freedom. No iconic Australians, those responsible for uniting the colonies into the single nation, descended from convicts, but from British immigrant settlers arriving around 1850 and onwards, the last convicts arriving in 1791.
    Life is a well of delight; but where the rabble also drink, there all fountains are poisoned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfablot View Post
    No iconic Australians, those responsible for uniting the colonies into the single nation, descended from convicts
    I think Andrew Inglis Clark was. Not sure about the other prominent characters, but there would have been more working behind the scenes. You should also consider that being involved in Federation is not the only qualification for being an 'iconic' Australian.

    There is no doubt that Australia's success depended upon the general character of those ex-convicts and their immediate descendant's as this group constituted the largest portion of independent Australians in the nation's formative stages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimeRight View Post
    I think Andrew Inglis Clark was. Not sure about the other prominent characters, but there would have been more working behind the scenes. You should also consider that being involved in Federation is not the only qualification for being an 'iconic' Australian.

    There is no doubt that Australia's success depended upon the general character of those ex-convicts and their immediate descendant's as this group constituted the largest portion of independent Australians in the nation's formative stages.
    The fact that Inglis Clark studied Mechanical Engineering and Law makes this claim very dubious considering the social structure of the time. I was speaking of iconic historical figures who were directly responsible for creating the nation, not "iconic Australians".

    Australia before Federation was a shambles and a joke, there was no military, tariffs were charged when taking goods through colony borders, there were different rail gauges between the colonies making travel extremely burdensome, there was open animosity between colonies making trade very difficult. I suppose you can thank the convicts for this. While they did do a job, the job could have been done by anyone (except a black man). It is leaders who make a nation.
    Life is a well of delight; but where the rabble also drink, there all fountains are poisoned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfablot View Post
    Australia before Federation was a shambles and a joke, there was no military, tariffs were charged when taking goods through colony borders, there were different rail gauges between the colonies making travel extremely burdensome, there was open animosity between colonies making trade very difficult. I suppose you can thank the convicts for this.
    And upon Federation, the heavens opened and the angels sang and all those nasty, useless convicts (as well as their influence) were drowned by the deluge of vastly superior settlers. It's fair to say that the convicts weren't running the show prior to Federation, yet you're going to lay the responsibility for bureaucratic and political ineptitude on them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfablot View Post
    While they did do a job, the job could have been done by anyone (except a black man).
    I would think it obvious that using convict labour of a specifically European origin carries benefits. Better temperament, pragmatic, industrious; whites have always been favoured by slavers. And they weren't all mindless beasts of burden. Many were professionals: architects, doctors, mechanical engineers; bearers of Western learning and intellect. Maybe we can't attribute establishment-sanctioned leadership roles to them (social structure, right?), but that doesn't mean their contributions didn't help shape the nation (a process that started long before 1901). How could they not have? If they hadn't been Germanics the country would be worse off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfablot View Post
    It is leaders who make a nation.
    Only in the most simplistic view of history. Substitute 'make' with 'define' and you are much closer to the truth.

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    Australia was a good land for settlements, colonisation of Europeans, especially certain parts of it.

    As for the crimes, they were really just minor ones and at that time, many good people became criminals, because they lived in a totally asocial and corrupted society in which the common people and workers were under much pressure.

    So especially if they were "convicted" of stealing a bread (theft of food - Mundraub in German), that's nothing and just shows that many normal people came to Australia because of troubles with the law, which would have never became real criminals under better social conditions.

    Also, if comparing the English descendents in the USA, Canada, Great Britain itself and Australia, it seems to me that one of the best selections made it to Australia.

    It was even rather a positive selection after all, what doesn't wonder me, because people which just accept the conditions in which many had to live then in England are for sure not more valuable than those which rebelled or cared for themselves even by taking a risk.

    Just think about the way the British navy acted at that time, they even forced foreigners to work as slaves on their ships (remember the American-British dispute because of that practise of kidnapping American citizens!) and did the same and worse with their own people, always trampled on the common people in England.

    Living in the English society of that time, if you were not an aristocrat or plutocrat, you were often treated like an animal, the worker's situation shows that perfectly. They just picked out people they didn't liked quite often it seems and from what I can say, they did most of them, at least the later generations, a great favour to transport them to a land which offered much more possibilities than the British isles.

    So after all, being a criminal then and becoming a criminal now is a wholly different thing in many, many cases, because the situation is so completely different.

    Living in such an exploitative and unfair system (we do now as well, but at least - so far - with more personal freedom, choice, opportunities and wealth), I expect resistance from more valuable individuals rather than submission, especially if the personal alternatives are so limited and not even proper food was available to many...
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    I believe the thinking is hampered by the prejudice:

    convict - bad people, anti-social etc.

    It seems Agrippa is right. Lets see what they did and not what they supposedly were unable to.

    That one doesn't start a country with taxes and bureaucracy makes only sense to me. You need people to go out and till the land. First you need shelter, then water, then food,after that little cities with craftsmen. after that comes agrarian industry, and way later normal industrialization.

    As the convicts were most likely no people who could built bigger industry but most likely knew how to grow grains, herd sheep etc that might have been the beginning and that obviously was done well, so the developement could go on.

    Compare that to even nowaday blacks you see that they are mostly farmers who only produce for there own immediate need. They don't produce more to feed the rest of the population.

    There is a different mindset and understanding about community in white people that makes building and civilazation easy.

    I think it shows very well.
    weel nich will dieken dej mot wieken

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