Half a million Criminal Records added to TheGenealogist’s Court & Criminal collection

 

 

Disclosure: Please note this post contains affiliate links.

 

IPrison Hulk RecordsI have spent some fascinating hours this last week searching in a set of new British family history records before they got released. As part of my business relationship with TheGenealogist I write family history articles for them and so I was commissioned to put one together on the new criminal records that were joining those already on their site. This will be of interest to those of you searching for black sheep ancestors in your English family tree. To see what I found when let loose in the records follow the link to the article at the end of this post!

 

Here is the Press Release from the team at TheGenealogist (Disclosure: contains my affiliate links.)…

 

TheGenealogist has enlarged its Court & Criminal Records collection so that even more black sheep ancestors can now be searched for and found on its site. With a new release of records you can unearth all sorts of ancestors who came up against the law – whether they were a victim, acquitted, convicted of a minor offence or found guilty of a major crime such as murder.

These fully searchable records cover HO77 – The Home Office: Criminal Registers, England and Wales and ADM 6 – The Registers of Convicts in Prison Hulks Cumberland, Dolphin and Ganymede with indexes from The National Archives.

  • Uniquely this release allows you the ability to search for victims of the crime (Over 132,000)
  • Hunt for people using their name or alias, or look for an offence
  • See images of the pages from the books and registers that reveal even more fascinating information about the individual

As these records cover a vast range of transgressions we are able to find men and women who stole small items such as shirts, potatoes, boots etc. We can also discover people who had married bigamously, forged money, uttered a counterfeit half-crown, burgled, murdered or were accused of many more other crimes. One example of a number of unusual offences found in TheGenealogist’s new release, is that of Christian Crane, tried in February 1811 – ‘Being a person of evil fame and a reputed thief’ was adjudged to be ‘a rogue and vagabond’.

These records, joining those already available within TheGenealogist’s Court & Criminal collection, will reveal the sentence of the court handed out to our ancestors. Judgements can be seen to vary massively from a fine, a short imprisonment in Newgate, a public whipping, a longer spell inside, or the ultimate sanction of death.

Newgate Prison

Other ancestors were sentenced to be ‘transported beyond the seas’ and TheGenealogist already has many registers of convicts sent to Australia between 1787 and 1867. Joining them in this new release are the ADM 6 records for convicts who were waiting to begin their voyage to the penal colonies in Australia and were locked up on a number of Prison Hulks.

You can search for your lawless ancestor at www.thegenealogist.co.uk

Or see the article I wrote for them after I was able to do some research in the new records:
https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles

 

 

 

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Tip for those new to researching for British Ancestors

When you first start doing Family history research for British ancestors, It may appear to you to be a quite daunting task. There will be probably be frustration and elation often mixed in equal parts as you find a forebear and then lose trace of them again. There are so many avenues for you to go down and so many records to look at in Britain which means that, given time, you can probably get back on track and those ancestors that disappear may reappear later. Not being able to find a person can be the result of many things. The ancestor may just be hidden within the database because somebody has lost the record, or it has been damaged, or simply your ancestor’s details were mis-entered in the first place.

The best bit of advice that I can pass on is some that was given to me a number of years back. It is a recommendation that can be applied to any task, really.

“Tackle the subject of researching for your British ancestry by taking it in small bites at a time.”

Perhaps the first tools to use are:

  • Birth Certificates – these can provide you with parent’s names of an ancestor
  • Marriage Certificates  that give you the father’s names for both parties
  • Census records which, as well as other information, furnish you with the birth places of ancestors and their ages
  • Parish Registers which will, with luck, supply a track for you to follow of baptisms, marriages and burials for your family.

In truth, all of the above records should be used together so that you can corroborate the details. A census may give you a place of birth different from the actual place found on the Birth Certificate because your ancestor, for some reason best known to themselves, wanted to claim a different place of birth from the actual town where they were born. Ages in census may have been given wrongly for a variety of reasons – not the least of which is that some did not really know!

It is vital to start your family tree research from the latest provable fact. This could be your parent’s details, your grandparent’s or perhaps your own birth certificate.

Now I realise that people that have been adopted, or for some other reason are not aware of their biological parent’s names or details will struggle with this. There is an article republished in the resources section of my website that can help you if you are in this position. Take a look at: Finding biological parents

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TheGenealogist releases 650,000 additional Parish Records for Nottinghamshire

 

Disclosure: Please note this post contains affiliate links.

TheGenealogist logo

 

TheGenealogist has extended its UK Parish Records collection with a new and exclusive release of 650,000 parish records for Nottinghamshire.  These records can be used to find your ancestors’ baptisms, marriages and burials in these fully searchable records that cover parishes from this important East Midland county of England. With records that reach back to 1633, this release includes the records of 56 parishes, including:

369,100 individuals in Baptisms, 168,000 individuals in Marriages and 112,800 individuals in Burials

 

You can use these transcripts to find the names of ancestors, parents’ forenames (in the case of baptisms), father’s occupation (where noted), abode or parish, parish that the event took place in, the date of the event, and in the case of marriage records the bride’s maiden name and the witnesses’ names.

Lord Byron

Amongst the notable Nottinghamshire people that can be found in these records are the infamous Lord Byron and his brilliant mathematician daughter Ada, Countess of Lovelace. Both are buried in the parish of Hucknal Torkard. As well as nobility, in this collection we also come across the baptism of Amos Hind. He was famous for playing First Class Cricket for the neighbouring county of Derbyshire between 1876 and 1877. Amos died aged 82 in 1931.

 

These additions brings their Nottinghamshire parish record collection to over 919,800 records.To search these records and many more see TheGenealogist.co.uk

 

Read their article: http://www.thegenealogist.com/featuredarticles/2017/a-poet-a-mathematician-and-a-first-class-cricketer-596/

 

Parishes covered in this release are:

 

  • Awsworth
  • Arnold
  • Awsworth
  • Balderton
  • Barnby in the Willows
  • Barton in Fabis
  • Beeston
  • Bilsthorpe
  • Bingham
  • Blidworth
  • Bole
  • Burton Joyce
  • Calverton
  • Car Colston
  • Coddington
  • Cottam
  • Cromwell
  • Dunham
  • Eakring
  • East Bridgford
  • East Drayton
  • East Retford
  • Egmanton
  • Elston
  • Elton
  • Epperstone
  • Everton
  • Farnsfield
  • Flawborough
  • Fledborough
  • Flintham
  • Gamston
  • Gotham
  • Greasley
  • Grove
  • Hucknall Torkard
  • Kneesall
  • Kneeton
  • Laneham
  • Laxton
  • Lowdham
  • North Collingham
  • Orston
  • Owthorpe
  • Papplewick
  • Perlethorpe
  • Radford
  • Ratcliffe on Soar
  • Rolleston
  • Scarrington
  • Selston
  • Shelford
  • Skegby
  • Stapleford
  • West Bridgford
  • Woodborough
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Family History rather than Genealogy?

 

Old Leamington Spa

I love researching my family history – rather than just doing genealogy. If you have got the  bug that makes you want to find out who your ancestors were, then you may feel the same.

A list of names and dates, on a family tree, is a great start – but don’t you just want to know what their story was and where exactly they lived?

Whenever I find myself in a place that I have some sort of ancestral tie to I can’t help but wonder what it was like in their day.

It is often the way for me, as I visit a town I mentally scan my family tree to see if any of my ancestors ever lived there. If I recall that one or more did then I get the itch to go and see where it was that they actually lived. This is even if the street bears no resemblance to how it looked in their day, perhaps as a result of having been redeveloped in the years since. I still, however, get a kick from walking in their footsteps and I wonder how many of you can relate to this? It is probably the reason that genealogical tourism is becoming so popular.

 

Recently I had a very pleasant lunch with some cousins in Leamington Spa. While they went off to look around the shops I hightailed-it to the Leamington library that is situated, along with a museum, in what had once been the Royal Pump Rooms. I wanted to take advantage of the library’s Local History section and see if I could come up with an answer to a question that had been left open in my research for some time.

Where did my great-great grandparents live in the middle 1830s period when they stayed in this English Spa town?

 

With my Leamington ancestors I am lucky enough to know that while they lived here they had one of my great-granduncles baptised in 1836 at All Saint’s Church, just across the road from the Royal Pump Rooms and next to the River Leam. From other research that I had already done it appeared that they were of the ‘middling sort’, possibly deriving their income from ownership of part of a thriving business in Scotland.

The census collections are no good to me in this investigation of where they lived in 1835 as, by the time of 1841 and the taking of first count that is of any use to family historians, the family had moved on!

Now, with an hour or so to spare in Leamington Spa, I was able to search the General Arrivals and Departures of people in the Leamington Spa Courier for 1835. This newspaper is available to search online at the British Newspaper Archive but I was using the Library’s microfilm copy on this occasion. With luck I came across my ancestor fairly quickly when I found that on Saturday December 5th 1835 the family arrived in Leamington and were staying at 41 Grove Street.

With the clock ticking down, for when I had to rejoin my cousins at the end of their shopping session, I quickly found the library assistant and asked how far away Grove Street was. Another bit of luck was that it was in easy walking distance and not that far at all. Using a helpful handy map, that the assistant provided, I marched off to see if the road resembled the street of my ancestors time, or whether it had been rebuilt over the years.

When you go searching for your own ancestors homes it is worth understanding a bit about the social history and geography of their towns or villages. What was the industry and what pressures made the developer build the streets as they did? In Leamington it had been the popularity of the waters and the town establishing itself as a Spa.

 

My ancestors came from a mixture of classes including the working class. Those of my forbears who fell into the poorer categories would have, in this period, lived in terraced houses with an outside privy if they were lucky and in court housing if they were unfortunate. My Leamington Spa family, I assumed, had some money behind them and so I expected to find that they were putting up at a reasonably smart residence.

What I saw was, at first, encouraging. As I turned the corner I was presented with a pleasant row of Georgian villas on one side of the street and I thought that these matched my expectations. A stroll up the street revealed a development of red brick late Victorian or possibly Edwardian houses of two stories with slate roofs and further still a modern Fire station.

Consulting my notes I saw that I was seeking number 41 and began looking at the numbers on the Georgian side of the street. With dismay I found that 41 was missing and turning to the other side of the road I could see that it adorned one of the redbrick terrace houses. My gut feeling was, however, that these properties were from a later period than Georgian. (In truth this period was at the end of short reign of William IV from 1830 to 1837, the last of the Hanoverian Kings before the reign of Victoria. It is still, however, considered by some to be the Georgian period.)

On returning home I hit the internet and began researching the development of Leamington in that time. I found several pages that told me about the history of the town and in particular the Historic England website which has a handy search tool to find listed buildings in England.

 

I didn’t find the actual house in their database but one further down the road. This had the helpful historical information that ‘Grove Street was laid out in 1828, the west side and lower part of the east side were built by 1834’.

So the villas were new houses at the time that my ancestors moved in.

I went on to find several pdfs online about the conservation of the area and discovered that my intuition was right when I assumed that the redbrick houses were later 19th century. I read that there was ‘some Edwardian infill on the East side of the street’ built on land that had once been the garden of a large house belonging to Dr Jephson.

Now I knew that there hadn’t been a 41 on the east side of the road when my great-great grandparents moved in as this had been a garden. It lead me to suppose that the houses in the road had been re-numbered at some stage! While I may never be able to pinpoint which property had been theirs at least I had an inkling of the type of residence that they inhabited.

 

So when you come to look for your own ancestor’s houses, whether on foot or via the Google street view, be aware that the houses may well have been renumbered such as this example below of another of my ancestors, this time in Plymouth, Devon. In this case it retains its old number in the widow light and has its new number screwed above the door.

I wish all were as helpful!

 

 

Have you checked out my English/Welsh family history course? I still have some great special offers running.

https://www.familyhistoryresearcher.com/course

 

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