Victorian Genealogy

Finding People and Places in Victoria, Australia.

 


Prison Records

Convicts were people who were convicted of crime in Britain, Ireland or other places in the British Empire and transported to Australia. For Convict Records see Convict Records.

Also see Orphanages, Industrial Schools and Reformatories.
Also see Criminal Records.
Also see Police Records.
Also see Court Records.


OVERVIEW


The following is a list of historical prisons, gaols and stockades in Victoria:

In addition to the above, ships known as hulks which had had their masts removed, were used as floating prisons. They were anchored off Williamstown on Hobson's Bay. The ships included the President (1852), Deborah (1853), Success (1853), Sacramento (1853) and Lysander (1854). In 1885 the use of the hulks ceased.

Female prisoners were held at Pentridge Prison until 1956 or the Old Melbourne Gaol.

Inquests were mandatory if a person died in a government institution such as a prison. There is a lack of detail on death certificates which were filled out by officials; this can make it hard to identify individuals particularly those with common names. For inquest records of people dying in prisons see Inquests and Coronial Records.

Capital punishment was abolished in Victoria in 1975.


PRISONER RECORDS

 

PRISONER RECORDS

For prisoners who had committed capital offences and received mandatory death sentences also see Prisoner Death Records below.

 

FAMILYSEARCH - LISTS OF ROYAL MARINES ETC

This has a list of prisoners of the Crown in Victoria from 1844 to 1845 which has been digitised and it is searchable through the International Genealogical Index.

https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/407934?availability=Family%20History%20Library

 

PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE VICTORIA - REGISTER OF PRISONERS UNDER SENTENCE OF HARD LABOUR 1847-1853 (VPRS 519)

These have been digitized and are indexed through the catalogue.

http://access.prov.vic.gov.au/public/component/daPublicBaseContainer?component=daViewConsignment&entityId=519&consignment=P0002

 

FINDMYPAST - VICTORIA REGISTER OF PRISONERS UNDER SENTENCE OF HARD LABOUR 1847-1853

These records are from Public Record Office Victoria (VPRS 519). They are searchable.  

https://search.findmypast.com.au/search-world-Records/victoria-register-of-prisoners-under-sentence-of-hard-labour-1847-1853

 

ANCESTRY - VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA, DESERTER, DISCHARGED, AND PRISONER CREW LISTS, 1852-1925

This includes prisoners on the Hulks 1853-1856 and 1869-1885. Prisoner lists are located under “Seamen Prisoners” lists.

The records are searchable and they may be browsed.

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=60709

 

PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE VICTORIA - CENTRAL REGISTER OF MALE AND FEMALE PRISONERS 1855-1947 (VPRS 515, 516)

This includes prisoners held at some Melbourne area prisons (Collingwood, Carlton and Williamstown stockades, Eastern Gaol, the Hulks and Pentridge) as well as regional prisons for female prisoners only. These records have been digitised and have been indexed through the catalogue.

https://prov.vic.gov.au/explore-collection/explore-topic/justice-crime-and-law/register-male-and-female-prisoners-1855-1947

 

FINDMYPAST - VICTORIA PRISON REGISTERS 1855-1960

The Victoria Prison Registers 1855-1960 were compiled from both the Central Register of Male Prisoners and the Central Register of Female Prisoners, held by the Public Record Office Victoria. These were registers kept of prisoners that passed through Pentridge prison in Coburg, Victoria.

https://search.findmypast.com.au/search-world-Records/victoria-prison-registers

 

PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE VICTORIA - ALPHABETICAL INDEX TO CENTRAL REGISTER OF FEMALE PRISONERS 1857-1948 (VPRS 10879)

The index has been digitised and mainly relates to prisoners held in Pentridge Prison.

http://access.prov.vic.gov.au/public/component/daPublicBaseContainer?component=daViewConsignment&breadcrumbPath=Home/Access%20the%20Collection/Browse%20The%20Collection/Consignment%20Details&entityId=10879&consignment=P0000

 

PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE VICTORIA - ALPHABETICAL INDEX TO CENTRAL REGISTER OF MALE PRISONERS 1868-1947 (VPRS 10867)

The index has been digitised and mainly relates to prisoners held in Pentridge Prison.

http://access.prov.vic.gov.au/public/component/daPublicBaseContainer?component=daViewConsignment&breadcrumbPath=Home/Access%20the%20Collection/Browse%20The%20Collection/Consignment%20Details&entityId=10867&consignment=P0000

 

PRISONER DEATH RECORDS

If a prisoner has died in prison it will be noted in their prison record. See Prisoner Records above.

 

PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE VICTORIA - CAPITAL CASE FILES 1852-1975 (VPRS 264)

These files relate to prisoners who had committed capital offences and received mandatory death sentences (although some offenders, notably those under 21 years of age were sentenced to the Governor's pleasure). They are indexed through the catalogue.

https://prov.vic.gov.au/

 

PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE VICTORIA - CAPITAL SENTENCE FILES 1889-1975 (VPRS 1100)

These files relate to prisoners who had committed capital offences and received mandatory death sentences (although some offenders, notably those under 21 years of age were sentenced to the Governor's pleasure). They are indexed through the catalogue.

https://prov.vic.gov.au/

 

GOVERNMENT GAZETTES - EXECUTIONS

Executions were notified in government gazettes. See Government Gazettes.

 

PRISON RECORDS

For people employed in the penal system see Public Servants.

 

ANCESTRY - VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA, SELECTED TRIAL BRIEF AND CORRESPONDENCE REGISTERS AND OTHER IMAGES, 1837-1993

These are provided by Public Record Office Victoria. These records are not indexed but can be browsed by description and range. They include:

Castlemaine Prison Police Magistrate's Register includes

https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=60672

 

GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY OF VICTORIA GENEALOGICAL INDEX OF NAMES - VICTORIAN PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS

This includes the following index to name entries:

https://www.gsv.org.au/article/our-collection

 

 

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