Friday 29 June 2012

Free Prison Registers records on FamilySearch

 'Potatoes' Offence means 'stealing of potatoes'
FamilySearch has added 3,127,594 records from the National Archives of Ireland's collection of prison registers to its free database.

The indexed records include most of the surviving prison registers from the 26 counties of the Republic 1790-1924. Northern Ireland prisons are not included.

This project was done in cooperation with the subscription-based FindMyPast Ireland, where the full register entries can be viewed.

On the FamilySearch database, the records are limited to name, alleged crime, and date of committal, as you can see from the image.

The full record, over on, may contain considerably more information such as physical characteristics, next of kin, address etc. In the 1838 example shown, the additional information gleaned by consulting the paid-for record includes the fact that James was 20-years-old and was arrested and committed along with a Catherine Santry, born circa 1798 (probably his mother), and they were both found 'not guilty' at Clonakilty Petty Sessions.

Although this free index to the records is limited, it's a very useful addition and well-worth investigating before paying out.