Index to Tickets of Exemption from Government Labor, 1827-32
As stated in a Circular to Magistrates from the Colonial Secretary dated 1st January 1830 the Exemption Ticket allowed:
simply the privilege of residing until the next 31st December with the person therein named, generally a relation, in some specific district and no other.
The convict still had to attend church service and had to renew the Ticket each year. It appears that the Tickets were used as a form of assignment to relatives.
From the extant records, it appears that a large number of those convicts who received a Ticket of Exemption were assigned or received a Ticket of Leave in August/September 1833. Given this, and the fact that the State Records does not hold any records which date after 1832, it is possible that the issuing of Tickets of Exemption was discontinued at that time.
For most of the records the name of the relation with whom the convict was to reside is given on the Ticket. Other information may include why the ticket of exemption was granted and to the reason why the ticket was cancelled (for example, for having committed a crime or misdemeanour, because the sentence was served and a certificate of freedom issued, because of the granting of a ticket of leave, on account of the convict's death).
Two record series were used to compile the Index, which provides name, ship and year of arrival, ticket of exemption number, date of ticket of exemption, State Records item number, fiche number, and remarks.
Please note that index entries for individuals mentioned in the records who were not related to the convicts have not been included. This index covers c.800 entries.
Record series used to compile the index
NRS 12196, Copies of the Butts of Tickets of Exemption from Government Labor, 1827-32, SR Fiche 1002-1005
The butts of the tickets of exemption are the office record of the ticket of exemption which was given to the recipient as proof of his status. They generally provide quite detailed information about each convict receiving a ticket, such as: number and date, and name of the convict; name of ship, master and year of arrival; religion; native place; trade or calling; offence, place of trial, date of trial and sentence; year of birth; height, complexion, colour of hair and eyes, and other distinguishing features (such as tattoos and scars); name of relation with whom the convict was to reside (if applicable); district for which the ticket of exemption was valid.
In addition, information concerning colonial crimes and convictions, misdemeanours, punishments; name of master or details of employment; receipt of a certificate of freedom or ticket of leave; assignment to wife/husband etc or another person; reasons for which the ticket was granted (such as for services rendered, on recommendation, disability); and any change in the district for which the ticket applied can also be provided. Hence the ticket of exemption is an easy means of tracing the life or details of an individual convict. Information about correspondence is also recorded and is thus another means of delving into other records.
As one of the main features of the ticket of exemption was the privilege of residing with a relation, information about that person is also given. Not only is the name and relationship given but also, frequently, ship of arrival, maiden name, if born in the Colony, and if a convict, ship and status (free by servitude, ticket of leave, etc).
NRS 12197, Copies of the Registers of Tickets of Exemption from Government Labor, 1828-32, SR Fiche 1006
The Registers are much more of a summary record and have been included for the sake of completeness. Number of the ticket of exemption, name of convict, ship and year of arrival are always recorded; residence, information concerning relations, notation that the ticket is a duplicate, changes in the district for which the ticket of exemption was valid, and information concerning relevant correspondence can be provided.
Microfilm copies of the Tickets of Exemption, 1827-32 can be viewed in our reading room.
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