The last time I found William Jackson senior and junior was on the Ireland Australia Transportation database. But did they actually get sent to New South Wales or Van Diemen’s Land or Western Australia?
They were tried at Lifford Assizes in January 1847 and sentenced to seven years transportation. Also convicted at the same time for the same offence were Rebecca Jackson, daughter of William senior, and Jane Steel, another relative but not known how. Two of Jane’s children Mary Jane Gallagher and John Gallagher were also on board the convict ship Waverley when it arrived in Hobart Town with Rebecca and Jane.
Could there be reference to the Jacksons in the CSO CR 77 or 78 files or distress papers of 1847? These files include information about conveyance of prisoners to their next prison ready for embarkation on the convict ships. Where were they sent after Lifford Assizes?
From the database there is reference to them TR 6, p 48. When I was in Ireland, I checked the files for Rebecca, but not sure if I looked at Williams’ files.
There were no other reference codes mentioned for them on the database so no good looking at Convict reference files or free settlers papers.
But there was no sign of either William arriving in either New South Wales or Van Diemens Land or Western Australia between 1847 – 1853.
According to the Chief Secretary’s Office Registered Papers from the National Archives of Ireland, male Irish convicts were not sent to Australian colonies between 1846 and 1848. This was due to pressure from the Australian colonialists who wanted transportation to cease.
The new re-modelled system which was put into operation when the transporting of males was resumed in 1848, was a three stage system known as the exile system. Under the exile system each convict was to spend between 12 and 18 months in solitary confinement in prison at home, one to three years on public works in Gibraltar or Bermuda (this applied only to men), leading to the third stage which was transportation to Australia on ticket-of-leave.
It was not possible to operate this system in Ireland because lack of accommodation made it impossible to fulfil the strict 12 to 18 months of solitary confinement which constituted the first phase of the regime. Accommodation consisted of a temporary depot which had been opened at Spike Island in 1846 for men and depots at Cork and Grangegorman, Dublin, for women, both of which were overcrowded because of the increased intake due to the Famine. 
So did the two Williams get sent to Spike Island?
There are manuscripts held at the National Library of Ireland showing a convict register of an Irish prison giving particulars of prisoners, including those sent to Bermuda, Van Diemens Land and Gibraltar. ]2]
As William senior was in his late 50’s when convicted, maybe the time he spent in prison was more than he could cope with and he never got transported. But William junior was only 13 when convicted. Were the young convicts kept separately to the old hardened convicts?
Maybe they were kept at the Lifford gaol and according to a paper written about resources relating to the famine, there are local prison records kept. 
There are also convict letter books starting in 1842 relating to the convict department. Perhaps a mention there?
Where to search next?
- TR6 p48 at the NAI – is name of ship mentioned or prison they were sent to – Just checked the AJCP and no mention of ship
- Prison registers for Lifford Gaol in early 1847 at NAI- does it mention where they were sent to next?
- Spike Island prison register Ms 3016 at NLI – were they sent here?
- Convict letter books at NAI – CON LB 1 26 May 1845-3 February 1851
My Irish readers: Any ideas of other records I could look for that might mention where these elusive Jackson father and son were sent to in January 1847 after being tried at Lifford assizes.
- NAI, CSO RP/1849/G10919
- National Library Ireland, Ms. 3016
- Department of Justice, Prison Registers, and can be consulted at the National Archives Ireland.