Tickets of leave, 1810-1875
Tickets of leave allowed convicts certain freedoms, such as the right to acquire property or work for themselves, as long as they conformed to particular rules of behaviour. Tickets of leave could be revoked if the conditions were not met.
Information relating to Tickets of leave survives in forms such as the Ticket of leave butts and the register of Tickets of leave. Extant Tickets of leave are held at State Records NSW. Some are available in the Family History Service in the State Library of NSW as part of the Archives Kit.
You can view a digitised example of a Ticket of leave from our collection at the Library.
How to find out if a convict received a Ticket of leave
You will first need to search an online index which will provide you with the location details to help you view the records at State Records NSW. Some of these records - those tickets issued between 1824 and 1867 - are also available for viewing in the Family History Service in the State Library of NSW.
- STEP 1
Search the index
Hover your mouse over 'Databases' in the menu at the top of the Society of Australian Genealogists website and click on NSW Tickets of Leave from the drop-down list.
- STEP 2
- The index is arranged alphabetically by surname. Select the letter which corresponds with your convict's surname.
- STEP 3
- Click into the 'Search in this Category' box and type in your convict's surname or first name. Then click the magnifying glass to search.
- STEP 4
- Scroll through the list of results until you find the convict you are looking for. Click on the entry to access the whole index record.
- STEP 5
Copy the details from the index entry. To access the original records you need to note the 'Ticket no', 'State Records shelf reference' number and the 'State Records reel number'.
When noting the ticket number, you will generally get a series of two numbers separated by an oblique (/), eg 35/1227. The first number is the year the ticket was issued (1835). The second number (after the oblique) is the ticket number (1227).
- STEP 6
You can now:
- purchase a copy of the ticket from the Society of Australian Genealogists - by clicking on Add to Basket on the right of the entry, followed by Show Basket under 'Shopping Basket' on the left menu bar and following the prompts
- view a copy of the ticket by visiting State Records NSW
- view a copy of the ticket in our Family History Service - only for tickets issued between 1824 and 1867 - by following Step 7.
- STEP 7
View a copy of the Ticket of leave (1824-1867)
There are two sets of records relating to Tickets of leave in the State Library, Ticket of leave butts and Registers of Tickets of leave.
- Ticket of leave butts, if your index entry has a State Records reel number between 909-965, by following Step 8.
- Registers of Tickets of leave, if the index entry has a Ticket number beginning with 24, 25, 26 or 27 for tickets issued after 29 July 1824 and before 8 March 1827, by following Step 10.
- STEP 8
View the Ticket of leave butts
If the reel number of your entry is between 909 and 965, find that reel for the Ticket of leave butts (see full catalogue details for this item) on the microfilm shelves of the Family History Service in the State Library of NSW.
- STEP 9
Load the reel onto a microfilm reader. The entries are arranged numerically by ticket number. Scroll until you find the ticket number you noted from the index entry.
- STEP 10
View the Register of Tickets of leave
If your index entry has a ticket number beginning with 24, 25, 26 or 27, these records may be part of the Registers of tickets of leave (see full catalogue details for this item). Find the Registers on microfiche in one of the blue folders on the 'NSW Archives Kit' shelves in the Family History Service in the State Library of NSW.
- STEP 11
The registers are on three microfiche. Load the first microfiche of the series (AO Fiche 752) into a microfiche reader. This is an index to the registers. The index is arranged alphabetically by surname. Scroll until you find your convict. Note the ticket number.
- STEP 12
The tickets are arranged numerically by ticket number on the remaining 2 microfiche. The second microfiche in the series (AO Fiche 753) covers tickets numbered 1227-1831. The third microfiche in the series (AO Fiche 754) covers tickets numbered 1832-2422. Select the microfiche which corresponds with the second part of the ticket number that you noted - the number after the oblique (/) - and load it into the microfiche reader. Scroll until you find your convict's ticket of leave entry in the register.