Where did the convicts and indentured servants go?

Posted by | December 8, 2008

Please welcome guest blogger Nathan W. Murphy, a professional genealogist and currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Utah. Raised in Kentucky, he’s fascinated by the early settlers of the area.  And for his dissertation he needs your input, dear reader!
“Many of us have family traditions that an ancestor came to frontier Kentucky or Tennessee in the early days to escape the law back East. Historians are learning that in this area, these folks would have run into people of similar dispositions. More than 50,000 convicts from the British Isles were banished to America during the Colonial Period.
“The list of convicts sent to America is fairly complete, thanks to the work of Peter Wilson Coldham. Many of them, after serving labor terms of seven or fourteen years in Maryland or Virginia, or running away from their masters, settled in backcountry North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky. I am trying to learn what happened to at least 100 of these former convicts as my Ph.D. dissertation. Has anyone tracked down such a person?
“Visit my project (I’ve collected information on 18,000 indentured servants so far), Immigrant Servants Database, at www.immigrantservants.com).”

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