FiFind­my­pastdt addsdd crim­i­naliil recordsd

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - ON THE RECORD -

Re­searchers could dis­cover shady char­ac­ters lurk­ing in their fam­ily tree fol­low­ing the digi­ti­sa­tion of his­toric doc­u­ments from The Na­tional Ar­chives.

Ge­neal­ogy site find­my­ has added more than 1.9 mil­lion new records to its Eng­land & Wales Crime, Pris­ons and Pun­ish­ment col­lec­tion, re­veal­ing de­tails of con­victed kin as far back as the 1790s.

Fully search­able, the col­lec­tion – com­pris­ing 18 in­di­vid­ual record sets – can pro­vide users with in­for­ma­tion such as their an­ces­tors’ names, ages, ad­dresses, the crimes that they com­mit­ted and the pun­ish­ments they re­ceived.

In some cases, a mugshot pic­ture may also be en­closed within the file, en­abling peo­ple to see their an­ces­tors in the flesh.

“Th­ese new records of­fer a unique in­sight into the coun­try’s crim­i­nal past,” said Myko Clel­land, his­to­rian at Find­my­past. “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.”

The records have been made avail­able on­line thanks to an on­go­ing Find­my­past part­ner­ship with The Na­tional Ar­chives to digi­tise its key crim­i­nal col­lec­tions, which saw an ini­tial tranche of 500,000 records – in­clud­ing prison hulk reg­is­ters – up­loaded to the site in Fe­bru­ary 2013.

A Find­my­past spokesper­son told WDYTYA? Mag­a­zine that a fi­nal batch of records would be added later this year.

The col­lec­tion fea­tures 18 record sets, some of which fea­ture haunt­ing mugshots

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