View Full Version : Crimes
22-12-2006, 7:04 PM
Evening all :o)
My friend who is also researching her family history, came upon a distant relative, who has written Sparrows-Bedfordshire-Transportation-Australia that book. It's a Bedfordshire based book mostly about the WHITE family (who are not mine.) On flicking through the book last night, i saw a couple of names that are my family names, and so i was curious - how DOES one find these crimes?
Are they reported anywhere? Do you just ask for some court records? It would be nice to flesh out the stories of my ancestors (and juicy gossip also good).
what would be the best way? :)
22-12-2006, 9:50 PM
A good place to start would be the Proceedings of the Old Bailey, http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/. That's due to be extended to 1913, which will make it even better, but we've a year or more for that to come on line. Another excellent place would be the Times digital archive covering from 1785 - 1985 - fully searchable online, but you'll need to access that at your local library (if they have it) or most county reference libraries and ROs have it. If you're lucky your county library will make it accessible to you at home. Local newspapers are probably the best source, but you'll have to trawl through them on film or in the flesh, as it were; there are none on line as far as I'm aware, but some local studies may have compiled indexes. Some ROs have indexes to local trials.
The other starting point might be finding a relative in prison at census time or dieing there, but that doesn't happen too often unless your family is full of rogues :D .
I'm sure others will have more suggestions, but that will start you off.
23-12-2006, 11:48 AM
Thanks for that. My uni library has the times on it, but doesn't seem to be the digital archive. I assume that's going to be something different then. I shall wait until i can get to the library :o)
23-12-2006, 3:31 PM
On flicking through the book last night, i saw a couple of names that are my family names, and so i was curious - how DOES one find these crimes?Court records may be at a local record office, or at The National Archives, it depends to some extent on the type of offence - its seriousness . See TNA's research guide for some sources:
If you know someone was convicted (e.g. they are in a gaol in a census return), and you know roughly when they went there, local newspapers are often the best source to try, often containing a lot more information than surviving court records.
23-12-2006, 10:46 PM
Thanks for that. My uni library has the times on it, but doesn't seem to be the digital archive. I assume that's going to be something different then. I shall wait until i can get to the library :o)I would be slightly surprised if the uni library didn't have on line access, it might appear under Thomson Gale Databases. But even if you only have the Times index (on CD-ROM) (the proper title for the index escapes me) it would be worth searching.
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