Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy


Does your family have a criminal past?

Was your ancestor a murderer? Did your forefathers make their money through theft and deceit?

Judges’ reports on criminals from 1783 to 1830 are currently being catalogued by The National Archives and could shed some light on your family’s shady past. The first 12 volumes of reports, in the document series HO 47, are now available. They will be of immense interest to social and family historians and are searchable on The National Archives’ online Catalogue:

To find out if your ancestor was on the wrong side of the law:

Go to The National Archives online Catalogue
Choose ‘search the catalogue’
Enter the surname in the first field
Enter HO 47 in the third field
Press search!
If your search tells you that your family does have a criminal past you can visit The National Archives in Kew and see the original documents for free.

The HO 47 series comprises two major sets of records: the ‘memorials’ or lists of pardons written by judges at the end of the assizes or local courts; and reports by judges and magistrates on individual criminal trials recommending or denying pardons


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