Convict Records: Abbreviations

Originally published in Susan Hood's Transcribing Tasmanian Convict Records, the abbreviations and commonly used terms published in that book are now available online here.

Use capitals at the beginning of proper nouns. i.e. peoples names e.g. John Smith, place names e.g. Snake Banks, positions of authority e.g. Lieutenant Governor.

  • Write St. not Saint, e.g. the ship St. Vincent
  • Write Mt. not Mount, e.g. the ship Mt. Stewart Elphinstone
  • Write No. not Number, in the case of No. 3 Chain Gang.
  • Write the number that comes after a ship name in brackets e.g. Arab (1).
  • Write Port Arthur in full, especially if in the tried/approved column as it could be mistaken for initials of a Magistrate. Write h.l.c. in full.

Jump to letter:

Abbreviation Definition
&c etc.
0S or 0s 0 [zero] sisters (in Remarks on Indent amongst relations names)
1st / 2nd / 3rd class 1st / 2nd /3rd class Probation Pass Holder
7MC or SMC Seven Mile Creek


A Aunt (usually seen in Remarks on indent)
abscd absconded text yea
AC Acting Constable/Assistant Constable (?)
AC Australian Colonies (eg Conditional Pardon approved for the AC)
accg according
acct account
addd to pr added to probation
addn addition
admond admonished
afse or afsble or afsle assignable
agt against
Ant Ponds Antill Ponds
apartts apartments (as in separate apartments)
APM Assistant/Acting Police Magistrate (See note in Appendix 8)
appd approved
appd or apprehd or apphd apprehended
appg appearing
arrd arrived
Ass Assizes
assd or afsd or assgd assigned
assgt assignment
Assignle Pty Assignable Party
Asst Assistant
asstg assaulting
At hulk (Refers to Hulk report)
Ava Avoca


B Brother (usually seen in Remarks on indent)
b & w bread and water
B L Both a little (referring to literacy)
B Magistrate Bench Magistrate
B Rr Brown's River
Backwd Backward (physical description)
beatg beating
Bks barracks
Blk Black (physical description)
Bn or Brighn Brighton
Both Both [Read and write]
Br Brown (physical description)
Burg Burgess (near Port Sorell)
burglary burglariously (not burglary)


C Hat Hill Cocked Hat Hill
C Head Circular Head
C of E Church of England
C. Street Quarters Campbell Street Quarters (Prisoners’ Barracks, Hobart)
calr calendar
Can R & W Can read and write
Can R & W a little Can read and write a little
Cas Fac Cascades Factory
Casc Cascades (if followed by a person’s name refers to Cascades Hobart, otherwise Tasmans Peninsula)
CC Chief Constable
CC Chief Clerk (time chiefly taken up with examination of convict applications for indulgences)
CC Circuit Court
CC Civil Commandant
CC Clerk Council
CCC Central Criminal Court (also known as Old Bailey)
CCP Colonial Conditional Pardon
CDC Chief District Constable
CE Conditionally Emancipated
Cert Certificate [of Freedom]
CG's Memo Comptroller General's Memo (often preceded by 'vide')
CGM or CG Memo or CG’s Memo Comptroller General’s Memorandum
ch children
ch g or ch gang chain gang
CH gang Custom House gang
CH or C Hill Constitution Hill
Charr or Character in gaol Refers to Gaol report
chd child
Chf Chief
chs chains
Chs report [On] Chairman's report
Church Committee (at Oatlands)
CJ or Ct of Justy Court of Justiciary
Cl Cl Court Central Criminal Court –see also CCC
Cl Ms Coal Mines
Cl Plns Clarence Plains
clk clerk
CM Court Martial
CO Colonial Office
Co. servant Country servant
COHB Charles O'Hara Booth
Col Colonial
Col Hosp Colonial Hospital
Col Sec Letter Colonial Secretary's Letter
Col Sec Memo Colonial Secretary's Memo
commd commended
Commt Stores Commissariat Stores
complt complaint
Compt Gens Office Comptroller General's Office
Cond Pardon Conditional Pardon
confd confined/confirmed
conft confinement
connexions [sic] or connexns connections (pertaining to relations or friends)
constle constable
Conv Mar Dept Convict Marine Department
convd convicted
CP or Cond Pardon Conditional Pardon
CPM Chief Police Magistrate
CS Church of Scotland (under religion)
CS Colonial Service/Servitude
CSCO Colonial Service. Colonial Office (usually followed by a date and preceded by a period of time e.g. 12 months C.S. C.O. 18/4/1846).)
Ct Ml Court Martial


D. of H. District of Hobarton
D. River C. Compy Douglas River Coal Company
DACG Deputy Assistant Commissary General
Darln Darlington (Maria Is)
DC District Constable
DCG Department of Comptroller General
DCG Deputy Commissionary-General (?) Check this
decn decision
Delne Deloraine
detn detention
dischd discharged
disd or dismd dismissed
disobce disobedience
Disoy disorderly
dist disobedient
Dist [1st class or in relation to conduct on probation] disobedient
distg disturbing
Distt District
Disy disorderly
Dk Dark (physical description)
dk & disy drunk and disorderly
Dk Br or Dk Bro Dark brown (physical description)
dks drunkenness
DLn Depot Launceston
do ditto
Do Ditto (in physical description, dittoing the previous entry)
Doug R Cl Cy Douglas River Coal Company
drunkfs drunkenness
Dunr Dunrobin
durg during
dw or dwg dwelling


E B Neck East Bay Neck (Dunalley)
EHN Eagle Hawk Neck
embd embarked
entd entered
EO Ecclesiastical Objection (with regards to permission to marry applications)
eveg evening
examn or examon examination
exen execution
exg existing
expirn expiration
Extd extended


F Father (usually seen in Remarks on indent, but also on conduct record)
F& M father and mother
F. Is Flinders Island
f. order further orders
Facty [Female] Factory [Hobart]
Facty Ln [Female] Factory Launceston
FB Flinders Bay
FC or Free Cert Free Certificate
fd secreted found secereted
fely feloniously (not felony)
Fl or Fingl Fingal
flagellr flagellator
FLbr or Fm Lbrr Farm labourer
Fm Farm
fm from
Fm Svt Farm Servant
fo [until] further orders
FP Field Police
FPNN Field Police New Norfolk
fprisoner fellow prisoner
Frankn Franklin
Free P. for W&F allowed Free passage for wife and family allowed.
FS or F by S Free by servitude
fw pr fellow prisoner


G Dn Governor's Decision
G or Gl Gaol
G.F. Gaol Fingal
Gaol Delivery (See Glossary)
Gaoler’s report (Refers to Gaol report)
GD Gaol Delivery
gd gained
General Sessions (A court)
GG Gaol gang
GIC Governor in Council
Gleny Glenorchy
GNN or GlNN Gaol New Norfolk
GO or G Oats Gaol Oatlands
Gor R Gordon River
Govt Government
GP or GPds Green Ponds
GR Gaol report aka Penitentiary Report
GR Stn Gordon River Station
Great Sessions (A court)
GS General Sessions
GSP Greater Swanport
GSPR General Sessions Police Report
Gt Great
GT or GeoT George Town
GTH Grass Tree Hill


Hamn Hamilton
handd handcuffed (especially in Norfolk Is records)
Hbt or Hobt Hobart
HC House of Correction
HCHT House of Correction Hobart Town
Her MG Launceston Her Majesty’s Gaol, Launceston
hl hard labour
hlc hard labour chains
HM Col. Hospital Her/His Majesty’s Colonial Hospital
Ho maid House maid
hospl hospital
hosplsn hospitalisation
HR Hulk report
Hse of Ass House of Assembly
Hse of Correctn or HCn House of Correction
HT or HTown Hobart Town
HWH or HW Hill Half Way Hill


IB or I Bay or Imp Bay Impression Bay
ID (NN) or IDNN Invalid Depot (New Norfolk)
impertt impertinent
impt imprisonment
Impt Imperfect (eg Imperfect shoemaker)
ins inside (eg inside right arm seen in physical description)
instt instant (relating to the day of the current month)
insubordn insubordination
intoxn intoxication


J.R. Judge’s report ( see also vide J.R.)
Jerm Jerusalem
Jero Jericho


KGardr or K Gardener Kitchen gardener
KPt Kangaroo Point


L lashes (eg 50 L)
L. Point Long Point
labr labourer
Larceny and p.c. Larceny and previous conviction
Ld or Longfd Longford
LGDn or Lt Gov Decn Lieutenant Governor's Decision (usually preceded by ‘vide’)
Ln or Launcn Launceston
LOB Little Oyster Bay
Lpool St Liverpool St
lt left, or light (check context)
Lt Light (physical description eg Lt brown)
Lt Br or Lt Bro Light brown (physical description)
Lt Gov Lieutenant Governor
Lt Gov Memo Lieutenant Governor’s Memo
Lun Asy Lunatic Asylum
Ly Bks Lovely Banks


M Mersey (probation station)
M Mother (usually seen in Remarks on indent, but also on conduct record)
M or Marrd Married
M or Med Medium (physical description)
Macq St Macquarie St
makg making
Mals Huts Malcolm's Huts
Mar Dt or Mar Dept or M Dept Marine Department
Mc Hr Macquarie Harbour
Med Dt or Med Dept Medical Department
medm medium
Memo Memorandum
mer conduct meritorious conduct
messr or mefsr messenger
MH Medium height (physical description)
Middx Middlesex
MIs Maria Island
misct or miscont misconduct
ML Medium length (physical description)
MM Office Muster Master’s Office
morng morning
Morven (place in NW Tasmania)
mos or mths months
MW Medium width (physical description)


N or N/N/ or Neither Neither [read nor write]
N W Bay North West Bay
N Wharf New Wharf
na not available
New On School New Orphan School
NH North Huon
NN New Norfolk
North Hn North Huon
NP or N Plns Norfolk Plains
NR Nicholl’s Rivulet
NT New Town
NTB New Town Bay
NTFm New Town Farm
ntu not taken up (associated with a freedom such as conditional pardon)


O Beach Old Beach
Oats Oatlands
OBB O’Brien’s Bridge
obtg obtaining
OCG Office [of the ] Comptroller General
OHD Oatlands Hiring Depot
On board (Refers to Surgeon’s report)
or other
ORd Oatlands Road [Party]
origl original
orwise or orwise otherwise
OW Old Wharf
Oy Cove or O Cove Oyster Cove
Oyer & Terminer (See Glossary)


P Cygnet or PC Port Cygnet
P Gang or Pn Gang Probation Gang
P or Pn (May refer to Probation. See Police Number)
P Pass Parson's Pass
P S sentence Penal servitude sentence
PA or PtAr or Pt Arthur Port Arthur
PB Prisoners’ Barracks [Hobart]
PB Ln Prison Barracks Launceston
PE Penal Establishment
PE Port Esperance (usually in LH column on probation conduct records)
PE Ln Penal Establishment Launceston
Penquite (place in Launceston)
Peny or Penitenty Penitentiary
Pept Bay Peppermint Bay
Perpr Perpendicular (physical description)
petg petitioning
petn petition
PG PB Probation Gang Prisoners’ Barracks
PGL Probation Gang Labour
PH or P Holder Pass Holder
Pl cook Plain cook
Pleas of Crown Mote (related to a court)
Plo’man Ploughman
PM Police Magistrate (may also be someone's initials)
pn proper name
Pn Petition (if followed by a freedom e.g. Pn TL)
PO Police Office
Ponte Pontville
Port E. Port Esperance
poss-ion possession
poss. or possy Possibly (e.g. possibly absconded for good). Used in comments columns.
possn possession
PP or PtPr Point Puer
PPH Probation Pass Holder
ppty property
PR Police Report
Presb Presbyterian
princl principal
Prison report (Refers to Gaol report)
prisr prisoner
probn probation
propy property
Pros Plns or P Plns Prossers Plains
prosr or prr prosecutor
prosx prosecutrix
Prot Protestant
PS Police/Principal Superintendent (See note in Appendix 8)
PS or P Secy Private Secretary
PSC Principal Superintendent of Convicts
PTL or Pn TL Petition for Ticket of Leave
Pty Party
PW Public Works


Q O School Queen's Orphan School
QG Quarry Gang
QS or Qtr Sessns Quarter Sessions


R & W or RW read & write
R. large Rather large (visage)
R. of S. Remission of sentence
R/L Read little
R/N Read [not] write
RC Roman Catholic
RC Bp Roman Catholic Bishop
Rd Road [party]
Rd Pty Road Party
RE Dept Royal Engineer’s Department
recd received
recommd or recd recommended
remd removed
remr remainder
repd or reptd reported
reprimd or repd reprimanded
resistg resisting
retd returned
Revd RK Reverend Robert Knopwood
RHills Rocky Hills
Richd Richmond
rivt rivulet
Rofs Ross


S Single (marital status)
S Sister (usually seen in Remarks on indent)
S Port Southport or Swanport (sometimes hard to determine the correct one. If gang probation then Southport)
S. Arm South Arm
satisfacty satisfactorily (not satisfactory)
Saty Saturday
SB Snake Banks
SB or S Bay Sandy Bay
SC or Sup Ct Supreme Court
SCCJ Supreme Court of Criminal Jurisdiction
Secy Secretary
sentce sentence
Sep treatment Separate treatment
servt servant
SH or S Hill Spring Hill
SMC or 7MC Seven Mile Creek
SMP or St MP St Mary's Pass
SMV St Mary's Vale
soly or soly conft solitary or solitary confinement
SP Sessions of Peace (a court)
Sp Bay Spring Bay
SPP St Peter's Pass
SR Surgeon’s report
ss treatment strict separate treatment
stg stealing
Stipy Mag Stipendiary Magistrate
Supt Superintendent
surrd surrendered
suspd suspended or suspected
SWC Salt Water Creek
SWR Salt Water River


T Box Bay Tinder Box Bay
T work task work
TB Tunbridge
THP Three Hut Point
threatg threatening
TL or T Leave Ticket of Leave
tobco tobacco
TP Tasmans Peninsula
TR T Reiby (person)
transpd transported
transpn transportation
TSGang Town Surveyors Gang
tu taken up (with regards to Conditional Pardon)
Tunb Tunbridge
TW or TWheel tread wheel
twc task work credits


U Uncle (usually seen in Remarks on indent)
U.S. under sentence
ulto ultimo (relating to the day of the previous month)
uptg upturning


v value
vagt vagrant
vagy vagrancy
vide (Latin for ‘see’)
Vide J.R. Vide Judge’s report
Vide LGD Vide Lieutenant Governor’s Decision
Vide Memo of Col Secy Vide Memorandum of Colonial Secretary
VM Visiting Magistrate
VV Victoria Valley


W Wife
W Widower/widowed
W Tiers Western Tiers
W Tub Wash Tub
WB Wedge Bay
wh with
wo or witht or wt without


yesty Yesterday
York NR QS York North Riding Quarter Sessions
York WR QS York West Riding Quarter Sessions