Back in the day, when the government wanted to count the population they didn’t stand for any nonsense. You had to be what you said you were, and your answers would be checked. If you couldn’t prove that you were free or entitled to work for yourself you would be hauled back to government work.
Here is a transcript of a piece I found in the Sydney Gazette of Saturday 16 November 1816 on page 1 which searching Trove for news of a particular convict. You can find the original here, but I have included the full transcript, for which I’d like to thank those wonderful people who correct the text on Trove, particularly cjbrill, who corrected this one. I have changed nothing except the spacing.
WHEREAS, during the late General Muster of the Inhabitants of this Colony, several Persons who had originally come into it as Convicts reported themselves at the said Muster as free, either by Servitude or by Pardon, or as being allowed to employ themselves for their own Benefit by the special Permission of His EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR; and whereas several of the Persons who thus reported themselves did not produce any Certificate, Free Pardon, Emancipation, or Ticket of Leave, without which the Truth of their said Statements could not be satisfactorily ascertained; and there being much Reason to believe that Imposition is frequently practised in this Respect, the Names of those Persons who at the late Muster did not produce any Certificate, Free Pardon, Emancipation, or Ticket of Leave, but who represented themselves absolutely free, or conditionally so, by Virtue of one or other of the above named Documents, is now published, in Order that each of these Persons may be apprised that unless he or she do, in the Course of Six Months from the present Day, obtain at the Secretary’s Office, either a certified Copy of such Certificate, Free Pardon, Emancipation, or Ticket of Leave, as they represented themselves to have been once possessed of in the Event of his or her having actually lost the Original, they will be considered as Impostors, and immediately recalled to Government Work as Convicts still under the Sentence of the Law.
No. Name. Ship came in. Residence. Occupation.
1. Richard Hawke Alexander Sydney –
2. Anthony Rope ditto Castle. Landh.
3. John Cross ditto Port H. ditto
4. Mary Clark diito 2d. Sydney –
5. John Glade Atlantic ditto –
6. James Hague ditto Windsor Landh.
7. Richard Ridge ditto Hawksb. –
8. Christ. Dodding ditto ditto –
9. Richard Verrier Active Sydney –
10. Timothy Doyle Nepean Smith
11. James Higgins ditto Hawksb. –
12. John M’Ewen ditto Liverp. –
13. John Taylor Albemarle Windsor –
14. Jas. Sutherland ditto Hawksb. –
15. John Brown ditto Hawksb. –
16. Owen Hobson Ann ditto –
17. John Campbell ditto 1st. Liverp. –
18. Wm. Aldridge A. Barringt. Richm. Landh.
19. Benjamin Elton ditto Wilberf. –
20. Wm. Reynolds. ditto Hawksb. –
21. Joseph Hunt Barwell Sydney –
22. Thomas North ditto Richmd. –
23. John Caton Boddington Hawksb. –
24. James Kenny ditto Liverp. –
25. Mary A. Parker Canada Sydney –
26. Thos. Douglass ditto 1st. Hawksb. –
27. James Kibby ditto 1st. Liverp. –
28. John Dugan Coromand. Nepean Landh.
29. Wm. Stevens ditto Pitt Town –
30. Timothy Webb ditto Windsor –
31. William Webb ditto Hawksb. –
32. Jonas Mordecai ditto ditto –
33. Joseph Smith ditto ditto –
34. Rich. Holland D. of Portl. ditto Landh.
35. John Williams ditto Wilberf. laborer
36. John McKenzie ditto Hawksb. –
37. Thos. Getham ditto ditto –
38. Thomas Knight E. Cornwal. Richm. laborer
39. Thomas Rudd ditto Liverp. –
40. Patrick Mason Friendship Hawksb. Landh.
41. James Timmens ditto Richm. ditto
42. Roger Twyfield ditto Hawksb. –
43. Hugh M’Avoy Glatton Sydney –
44. Joseph Oners ditto Windsor Landh.
45. Mark Doolan Gambier 1st. Sydney
46. Peter Patallo Ganges ditto –
47. Samuel Stevens ditto Richmd. –
48. John Fitsgerald Hillsboro’ Sydney –
49. Robert Ritchie Hercules Castler. Landh.
50. Stephen Dunn ditto Pitt Town –
51. Martha Eaton Lad. Penryn Sydney –
52. Thos. Woolton Minorca ditto –
53. John Hewitt Minerva Windsor laborer
54. John Everett ditto Hawksb. –
55. Joseph Burrows ditto ditto –
56. Nicholas Crosbie M. Cornwa. Windsor Landh.
5 7. Robert Allen ditto Richm. –
58. John Riley ditto Hawksb. –
59. Michael Balf ditto ditto –
60. Wm. Horsford Matilda ditto –
61. John Booth ditto Port H. –
62. Henry Hyam ditto Hawksb. –
63. Steph. Richardson ditto Richm. Landh.
64. Daniel Phillips ditto Hawksb. –
65. Adam Bell ditto ditto –
66. Isaac Farmer Neptune Wilberf. –
67. Thos. Eager or Heather ditto Hawksb. –
68. Wm. Mackey ditto Richmd. –
69. Dan. Anshutz ditto Hawksb. –
70. James O’Neille Pitt Sydney –
71. Rd. Hammett ditto ditto –
72. James Higgins ditto ditto –
73. Alex. Cumberbech ditto ditto –
74. Joseph Pearce ditto Richm. Landh.
75. John May ditto ditto ditto
76. Thomas Brown ditto Hawksb. –
77. Matthew Elkins Perseus Windsor shoemaker
78. Joseph Butler ditto Wilberf. –
79. J. Mainwright ditto Hawksb. –
80. Wm. M’Donald Queen Pitt Town Landh.
81. F. M’Lawrence Queen Richmd. sawyer
82. Catherine Evans Royal adm. Sydney –
83. Thos. Pateman ditto 1st ditto –
84. William Green ditto Brokenb. Limeb.
85. Donald Kennedy ditto Castler. Landh.
86. Richard Willis ditto Pitt Town ditto
87. William Ezzey ditto Windsor ditto
88. Henry Rochester ditto Richmd. –
89. John Norman ditto Windsor –
90. Henry Tredaway ditto Hawksb. –
91. James Dunn Royal Adm. ditto –
92. Thomas Tailby ditto Liverp. –
93. John Summers ditto 2d. Windsor ferrym.
94. Patrick Byrne Rolla Wilberf. –
95. Cornelius Lyons ditto sydney –
96. James Bradley Scarboro’ Sydney –
97. Robt. Forrester ditto Windsor Landh.
98. Richard Hagley ditto Hawksb. –
99. William Smith ditto ditto –
100. Thomas Glaves ditto ditto –
101. Wm. Hubbard ditto ditto –
102. Jas. Ruse ditto ditto –
103. Jas. Spooner Salamander Sydney –
104. Jos. Welstead ditto Hawksb. –
105. William Pimblett surprise Sydney –
106. William Knight ditto Port H. Landh.
107. Simon Freebody ditto Windsor ditto
108. Edw. Woodham ditto Richm. –
109. John Sullivan Sugar cane ditto Hawksb. –
110. James Knowland ditto Hawksb. –
111. Charles Barwick Wm & Ann Sydney –
112. L. Wetherhead ditto Hawksb. Landh.
113. Thomas Noble – Liverpool –
114. John Hopkins – ditto –
115. Roger Fletcher – ditto –
116. John Masterson – ditto –
And the foregoing Persons are hereby Apprised,that the proper Time to apply at the Secretary’s Office for the obtaining of the above Documents, is the first Monday in each Month.
By Command of His Excellency, J. T. CAMPBELL, Secretary.