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Governor's House at Sydney, Port Jackson 1791
Governor's House at Sydney, Port Jackson 1791
(State Library of NSW: a3461024)
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Abbreviations Used

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Some abbreviations, words or terms you may come across when researching convicts or colonial times.


= married
ABGR Australian Biographical & Genealogical Record
AGCI Australian Genealogical Computer Index
AJCP Australian Joint Copying Project
AO or SAO (Sate) Archives Office
AP Absolute Pardon
ARK Archives  Research Kit  (State Records of NSW)
AS Assigned Servant
Assizes & Quarter Session Courts The Court of Assize or Assizes, were periodic criminal courts held around England & Wales until 1972, when together with the Quarter Sessions,  they were abolished and replaced by a single permanent Crown Court. The Assizes heard the  more serious cases, which were committed to it by the Quarter Sessions (local county courts heard 4 times a year) while the more minor offences were dealt summarily  with Justices of the Peace in petty sessions also known as Magistrates Courts
b born
BC Born in Colony
Bond A convict serving their sentence
C of F Certificate of Freedom
Census NSW 1828 A survey of those in the colony in 1828—it does not include the military
CF came free
Circa. or c. Approximately or about
Col. Sec. Colonial Secretary
CP Conditional Pardon
Currency lass or lad free born children of convicts
Deal or Downs Ships anchored in the Downs off the town of Deal and here they awaited for favourable winds. The Downs is the harbour of Deal and is enclosed by the North and South Forelands, as well as the deadly Goodwin Sands
E or EM  or Eman Emancipated
Exclusives Free settlers—sometimes wealthy colonists
FS or FBS Free by servitude
GD or Gaol Delivery an authority conferred upon judges and others included in it for trying and delivering every prisoner in gaol when the Judges, upon their circuit, arrive at the place for holding court
GS Government Servant—a convict
HPB Hyde Park Barracks
HRA Historical Records of Australia
IGI International Genealogical Index
Indent Convict passenger list or convict arrival musters
m married
Moreton Bay now Brisbane Queensland (Penal colony established 1824)
Muster A listing/counting people in the colony, free and convict
NAI National Records of Ireland
NLA National Library of Australia  - Canberra
OB Old Bailey
PJ Port Jackson, Sydney
PRO Public Records Office—Kew, England
Pure Merinos or Sterling Children of the Exclusives (non convicts)

Society of Australian Genealogists

SLV State Library of Victoria
SRNSW State Records of NSW
T of E Ticket of Exemption
VDL Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania)

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