Tripping off to Ireland

One of my hard to research ancestors is Rebecca Jackson. As I was going to a conference in USA in June 2014, I decided to divert to Ireland for three weeks prior to the conference. No good just spending a week overseas when you have to travel to and from Australia. You have to make the most of travelling time.

What did I know about her before I left?

Rebecca was tried in County Donegal on 1 January 1847 for stealing wearing apparel. There were three other people tried for the same offence. William Jackson Senior, William Jackson Junior and Sarah Steele. She was Presbyterian, could read a little and her native place was County Donegal. She departed Dublin on 19 July 1847 on the ship Waverley with Sarah Steele onboard as well.

So where do I go from there? What do I need to find out?

I knew that many records from Ireland had been lost in a fire in Dublin many years ago, but what was left to use? With so much online now, I decided to contact the Donegal Archives on Facebook to get some clues from them. I knew I would be visiting there at some stage of my journey. They said all convict records were at the National Archives in Dublin. As I was flying into Dublin I decided to stay a week there and spend lots of time at the archives, library and museum. I was also visiting schools as part of this trip but you can read about that on my other blog written by a little Tasmanian Devil soft toy.

National Archives of Ireland

Checked the convict records there but they were exactly the same as those I could find here in Australia as part of the AJCP. Disappointed I had a chat with the archivist on duty when I registered for my ticket to use the resources at the archives. He said if Rebecca and the two Williams were all from the same family then their crime might be mentioned in the Outrage papers for Donegal. I had never heard of these but they were a godsend. I checked for 1846 and 1847 seeing as they were on trial early in 1847.

What I found out will be my next post.


Just re-read the convict records and noticed Jane Steel at age 53 was single(not widow) so she can’t be William’s sister, maybe she is the sister of his wife ….

4 thoughts on “Tripping off to Ireland

  1. Have written two more posts already Pat, once I am in the mood I get cracking. Still have a couple more to write though. To find them all just go to the tag section at the bottom of the sidebar and click on Rebecca Jackson. All posts relating to her will then appear.

  2. Many thanks Sue, as always most interesting reading AND for me a big help as I have been trying to track down an ancestor of my husband who was tried in Cavan Ireland and transported to Tasmania. Thus far have not been very successful and I will be visiting Ireland and the UK later this year on the FH trail for both his family and my family. So your experience has given me some more clues to follow up on so big thanks to you. Cheers Gill

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