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Tracing Your Prisoner Ancestors (Paperback)

A Guide for Family Historians

British History Family History True Crime P&S History 19th Century 19th Century

By Stephen Wade
Imprint: Pen & Sword Family History
Series: Tracing Your Ancestors
Pages: 208
Illustrations: 33 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526778529
Published: 30th October 2020


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RRP £14.99

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The history of the British prison system only had systematic records from the middle of the nineteenth century. Before that, material on prisoners in local gaols and houses of correction was patchy and minimal. In more recent times, many prison records have been destroyed.

In Tracing Your Prisoner Ancestors, crime historian Stephen Wade attempts to provide information and guidance to family and social history researchers in this difficult area of criminal records. His book covers the span of time from medieval to modern, and includes some Scottish and Irish sources.

The sources explained range broadly from central calendars of prisoners, court records and gaol returns, through to memoirs and periodicals. The chapters also include case studies and short biographies of some individuals who experienced our prisons and left some records.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Excellent resource for genealogists and historians on available prison records in the UK. This book includes a comprehensive history of the prison system and the social and cultural reasons for the changes that ensued. Case studies in each chapter step through the process to uncover information about the prisoner. Informative illustrations and ephemera accompany the text and help the reader imagine life in Victorian times, for example, and the challenges facing prisoners of the era. A helpful glossary of legal terms and prison terminology is included.

NetGalley, Nydia Hanna

As I've been tracing my family's history for over thirty years, this book caught my attention.
It was a very interesting read and I even learnt about a gaol in my home town.
The author has certainly done lots of research and I can highly recommend this book.

NetGalley, Tracey Ford

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I eagerly look forward to any new Pen and Sword publications as I know how beneficial they have been to my family history research.
Even as someone who has been compiling their family tree for a while now I seem to find something of use in every new publication .
A very interesting and informative read even if you haven’t a ‘ Black Sheep ‘ in your family !

NetGalley, Alison Bevington

This is a guide to how to find your ancestors.

It tells you about the history of the prisons and gives you case studies of different people.

It was very informative.

NetGalley, Natalie Power

This is a helpful resource and tool to help one search for and find their ancestors. I highly recommend it.

NetGalley, Jessica Murdock
 Stephen Wade

About Stephen Wade

Stephen Wade is a social historian, specialising in the history of crime and the law in Britain and Ireland. Amongst his many published true crime and crime history books are those he has written for Pen & Sword's Family History series. These include Tracing Your Criminal Ancestors, Tracing Your Legal Ancestors and Tracing Your Police Ancestors. He has also contributed to Family Tree Magazine, Who Do You Think You Are? magazine and other periodicals.

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