Monday, 29 June 2015

FindmyPast releases English and Welsh criminal records datasets

The following is an abridged press release from FindmyPast (

1.9 Million Historic Criminal Records Spanning Over 150 Years Published Online for the First Time:
  • Wide Variety of Victims and Perpetrators Revealed Ranging from Petty Crooks to Infamous Assassins and Serial Poisoners
  • Over 1.9 million new records from shed light on 150 years of crime
  • Available online for the first time, these records from The National Archives provide fascinating details of the crimes, punishment and prison standards in England and Wales
  • Spanning 1779-1936, the records allow you to discover villains and victims in your family history and piece together their journey through the criminal system

London, UK, 29 June, 2015 – Leading family history website has today released over 1.9 million digitised crime and punishment records in association with The National Archives. FindmyPast’s collection is now the biggest online set of crime records, with a total of almost 3 million crime and punishment records available online.

The records, covering 1779-1936, reveal many ordinary and extraordinary stories of criminals, victims and law enforcers from the criminal history books. The records include mugshots and coloured images of historical records, as well as detailed accounts of Victorian serial killers, notorious executioners, and the only assassination of a British Prime Minister.

“These new records offer a unique insight into the country’s criminal past. Whether villain or victim, anyone can now discover whether their family tree contains any hidden “black sheep” or victims, from their very own home at the touch of a button. Offering unrivalled detail and content, the records now online make it possible today to trace criminals through the justice systems from details of their arrest to punishment and rehabilitation,” said Myko Clelland, historian at

Caroline Kimbell, Head of Licensing at The National Archives said: “We have worked with Findmypast to digitise this fascinating collection of historic criminal and prison records held here at The National Archives, Kew, making them available online for the very first time. The personal records for those locked up can be heart-breaking, especially those of child convicts. They shed light not just on individual family stories, but on a long history of crime and punishment in England.”

The records released today include records from criminal lunatic asylums, Central Criminal Court, prison registers and the Newgate Prison calendar among many others. The release marks the beginning of Findmypast’s Crime & Punishment month: four weeks of records, guides and stories to help you discover your family’s criminal history. Full details of the content released today and throughout the rest of the month can be found at

COMMENT: The press release, as is often the case from FindmyPast, does not list the sources at TNA, but a browse of the England & Wales, Crime, Prisons & Punishment, 1770-1935 page at reveals that the following record sets are now available:
  • Admiralty: registers of convicts in prison hulks (TNA Ref: ADM 6)
  • Central Criminal Court: after-trial calendars of prisoners (TNA Ref: CRIM 9)
  • Home Office: Convict Hulks, Convict Prisons and Criminal Lunatic Asylums: Quarterly Returns of Prisoners 1824-1876 (TNA Ref: HO 8)
  • Home Office: Criminal Entry Books 1782-1871 (TNA Ref: HO 13)
  • Home Office: criminal petitions Series 1 (TNA Ref: HO 17)
  • Home Office: criminal petitions Series 2 (TNA Ref: HO 18)
  • Home Office: Register of criminal petitions (TNA Ref: HO 19)
  • Home Office: Registers of Prisoners from National Prisons lodged in County Prisons 1847-1866 (TNA Ref: HO 23)
  • Home Office: Prison Registers and Statistical Returns 1838-1875 (TNA Ref: HO 24)
  • Home Office: Judges’ Reports on Criminals 1784-1830 (TNA Ref: HO 47)
  • Home Office: Newgate Prison Calendar 1782-1853 (TNA Ref: HO 77)
  • Home Office: Miscellaneous Criminal Books 1798-1831 (TNA Ref: HO 130)
  • Home Office: calendar of prisoners (TNA Ref: HO 140)
  • Home Office and Prison Commission: prison records (TNA Ref: PCOM 2)
  • Home Office and Prison Commission: Male Licences 1853-1887 (TNA Ref: PCOM 3)
  • Home Office: Old Captions and Transfer Papers 1843-1871 (TNA Ref: PCOM 5)
  • Metropolitan Police: Criminal Record Office: habitual criminals' registers and miscellaneous papers (TNA Ref: MEPO 6)


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