Inexpensive convict laborers are rarely spoken of in the USA. However, between 1718 and 1775 there were approximately 52,200 convicts who sailed for the American colonies as allowed by the Transportation Act of 1718. At a3Genealogy we particularly favor these court cases when seeking southern ensconced colonial-ancestors. We have found cases covering petty sailor salary issues to severe piracy court cases.
Look in Virginia for early North Carolina Ancestors
The Vice-admiralty Court of Virginia had jurisdiction also over North Carolina. However be sure to also scour the Vice-Admiralty Court of Royal NC 1729-1759.
We know women were also sent to the colonies as convicts. Well known female pirate Mary Harvey was sent to North Carolina for piracy. Her records can be located in Virginia. Other females were sent to American colonies for being lewd or late street walking (after ten).
Here are tips to begin your research:
- Proceedings of Vice-Admiralty courts in North America, the West Indies and Africa are held in HCA 1/99. Included are proceedings from courts in New York, 1724, Rhode Island, 1725, Williamsburg, 1727, 1729, Philadelphia, 1731, South Carolina, 1733-1734, the Bahamas, 1722, Barbados, 1734, Jamaica, 1738-1739, India (Fort St George and Bombay), 1725, 1730, and Africa, 1722, 1734, 1737.
- Earlier in New York, 1777 to 1783: the High Court of Admiralty: Vice -Admiralty Courts proceedings can be found in HCA 49. This collection also is the repository for various colonies in Africa.