Wednesday, 30 April 2014

The West Yorkshire Collection now available on Ancestry

From Ancestry (, news of several new collection from Yorkshire. I've abridged the press release:


Tattoos, pigeon theft and financial fraud all detailed in newly digitised collection –

* More than 9,000 reformatory school records reveal criminal behaviour of kids as young as five

* Collection includes information on each crime, newspaper clippings and ‘mugshot’ photographs

* Records also detail nearly 400,000 adult convicts, with offences ranging from petty theft to cold-blooded murder

Thousands of 19th century child criminal records have been published online for the first time – shedding light on the delinquent and destitute children of Victorian Britain.

Digitised by, The West Yorkshire Collection 1779-1914 details the crimes of thousands of boys admitted to Calder Farm Reformatory, East Moor Community Home School and The Shadwell Children’s Centre. Close to 400,000 adult offenders in the West Yorkshire area are also featured within the records. Crimes range from gambling and petty criminality through to forgery, burglary and violent assault.

The first reformatory schools were established in the UK following the passing of two Youth Offender Acts in 1854 that required the Home Office to certify certain institutions in which to place not only juvenile offenders but neglected or abandoned children.

In addition to child criminals, the details of nearly 400,000 adult offenders are also included within The West Yorkshire Collection 1779-1914. Each record contains the prisoner’s name, age, occupation, nature of the offence, sentence, and dates of admission and discharge. Selected records also give background information and physical descriptions.

Physically located at the West Yorkshire Archive Service, The West Yorkshire Collection 1779-1914 collection is now available exclusively online at

Also launched today as part of The West Yorkshire Collection 1779-1914 are over 32,000 historic Police Records and nearly 3,000 registers pertaining to local Militia.

Reformatory school records are available at
Prison records at
Police records at
Militia records at

(With thanks to Bryony Partridge)


Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians. And for those wishing to take Scottish ancestral research a bit further, my next Pharos course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Records, commences May 14th 2014.

No comments:

Post a Comment