You can search for a particular person, or start by thinking about the crimes these women were convicted of. Select the tab that interests you most, then enter some information or choose from the drop downs to see more.
The information in this database comes from the Police Gazettes which record the details of all prisoners released throughout New Zealand. You can also look through the full Gazettes online.
There were spelling variations in the original records. We couldn’t be sure which version was correct, so have recorded the information as it was written over 100 years ago. If you’re looking for a certain name, remember to check for variants. We know the names McKegney and McKegny refer to the same two sisters, for example.
In the 1860s, the Gazettes are not clear about which Canterbury prison the women were released from, so it is possible that some of our early entries relate to Timaru. If you spot a record that you know is from another centre, please let us know.
Physical details like hair colour are taken from the first Gazette entry for each woman. Some of this information changes over the years in the original records.
Heights are in Imperial measurements, e.g. 5 3 1/2 means 5 foot 31/2 inches.
If you want to check any details, or follow a particular topic or person more closely, get in touch. We’ll do our best to help.
And, if there’s anything else you’d like to tell us, please use the comments box at the bottom of each woman’s summary page.