03 August 2009

England & Wales, Criminal Registers, 1791-1892

You may find an ancestor here! Are you sure you want to know?

Ancestry posted a notice of a new database added on Saturday. That's unusual, they normally only add material on weekdays. The database contains criminal registers from England and Wales for the years 1791-1892. Apparently viewing the index results is free, but you need subscription access to view the register images.

Information listed may include:

  • Name of criminal (or person charged)
  • Age
  • Birthplace (not often listed after 1802)
  • Crime
  • When and where tried
  • Sentence (death, transportation, imprisonment, acquittal, etc.)
  • Where and when received
  • Date of execution or release
  • By whom committed, to whom delivered
You can search by name or browse images from a specified county and year.

Ancestry advises that register entries may lead you to further information in: calendars of prisoners; prison registers; court records such as depositions, indictments, and case files; warrants, including pardons, reprieves, and transfers of prisoners; and transportation records. The online search guide “Tracing 19th and 20th Century Criminals”, from TNA is recommended.

Also don't overlook the possibility of finding a report in a contemporary newspaper in the British Library 19th Century digitized collection.

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