Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy


Tracing 19th Century Criminals in the National Archives

Criminal Registers
Search through the Criminal Registers for the appropriate County and time period. Criminal registers list all people indicted for criminal offences and state whether they were found guilty or not.

Middlesex (including the City of London) is covered by HO 26 from 1791 to 1849, after which it is included with the other counties in HO 27 , the covering dates of which are 1805 to 1892. There is a partial name index to some counties, mainly south-western and northern counties, available on microfiche at The National Archives.

The early registers give you a physical description, place of birth, place of committal, the crime, where and when tried and the sentence. The most important piece of information these registers give you is the date and place of the trial. You may then search for the trial documents among the appropriate court records – See paragraph 3.

Calendars of Prisoners
Further details of the crime should be given in the relevant Calendar of Prisoners, and these can be used instead of the Criminal Registers to locate a particular person. Some calendars are pre-trial and others are post-trial. Calendars are held in the following series, but some are closed for 75 years:

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