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Laura Berry (criminal ancestors)

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Laura Berry (criminal ancestors)

Postby Jon Bauckham » Mon Oct 06, 2014 3:07 pm

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Re: Laura Berry (criminal ancestors)

Postby researchgranny » Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:14 am

It is extremely likely that my g grandfather & his brother, following their trial, were imprisoned in the Cold Bath Fields prison London between 1880 to 1882. The 1881 census records inmates by initials only, but the dob & place of birth look right. I have checked at both LMA & TNA for the records, but TNA does not have them, or at least not catalogued as such. The prison closed around the time they were released and inmates transferred elsewhere. I am wondering if the records were sent with the prisoners and now archived with the records of that prison. Any ideas where I can look next?

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Re: Free help with tracing criminal ancestors

Postby sandyscott21 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:58 pm

In 1832 my 5th great grand aunt was found guilty of abusing her niece (my 4th great grand aunt). She had the child up tied up, starved her and beat her. The newspaper reports suggest the trial generated a lot of interest - as it would today. The Aunt was fined and imprisoned for 1 year for cruelty. All the details I have are from the newspapers. The only court record I have seen is one line in a ledger recording the name, crime and punishment of the aunt. Would there be other detailed court records with full witness statements or is the newspaper account the best I can hope for in 1832? I am related through the brother of the poor abused girl and I would love to know where he and rest of the family were at the time. Thankyou.

ps. The offence occurred in Writtle, Essex.
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Re: Free help with tracing criminal ancestors

Postby ermin79 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 8:54 pm

I have a relative who, aged 19 in 1909, was sentenced at Croydon to 18 months hard labour, Wandsworth Prison (according to the Home Office Calendar of Prisons) however underneath it says Borstal system recommended . Is there a way to find out where he actually ended up?
The same man later deserted from the Australian army in WW1 and was caught in England after he went AWOL. He was sentenced to 10 yrs hard labour and was in Pentonville Prison for 4 weeks before being returned to Australia. Despite the circumstances is it possible that he would still show up as a prisoner if I searched prison records?
Many thanks

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Re: Laura Berry (criminal ancestors)

Postby JonathanJB » Fri Oct 10, 2014 10:44 am

My 3x Great Grandfather, Israel Shiplee, born 1806, was found guilty of being an accomplice to the murder of a policeman in Gisleham, Suffolk in 1844. A fact I only stumbled upon when looking at old newspapers and using variations of the spelling of his name. I've located online records showing he was imprisoned and "sentenced to transportation for life" being ultimately sent to Norfolk Island/Tasmania in 1946. I can't however find any subsequent records.

Do you know whether records may exist to show if he died there? Would it be likely that he could have changed his name, if he was released?

His removal from his family does explain why in the 1951 census I found his wife and children as recorded as living "in the street" in Mutford, Suffolk - tough times!

Any assistance would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Re: Laura Berry (criminal ancestors)

Postby Editor » Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:01 pm

A big WDYTYA Forum welcome to Laura Berry, lead genealogist for the TV series, who is going to come on now for the next hour to answer your questions about your criminal ancestors (Laura did the research behind Twiggy's episode) or any questions you might have about the series generally.

It's all yours Laura!
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Re: Laura Berry (criminal ancestors)

Postby Laura Berry » Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:13 pm

researchgranny wrote:It is extremely likely that my g grandfather & his brother, following their trial, were imprisoned in the Cold Bath Fields prison London between 1880 to 1882. The 1881 census records inmates by initials only, but the dob & place of birth look right. I have checked at both LMA & TNA for the records, but TNA does not have them, or at least not catalogued as such. The prison closed around the time they were released and inmates transferred elsewhere. I am wondering if the records were sent with the prisoners and now archived with the records of that prison. Any ideas where I can look next?

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Calendars of prisoners for Cold Bath Fields prison, also known as Middlesex/Clerkenwell House of Correction, should be found at the London Metropolitan Archives. They have a record set covering the period 1880-1882, held under refs. MJ/CP/B/027-030. If you haven’t done so already I would recommend viewing them. Though there is contradictory information online about the date that the House of Correction at Cold Bath Fields closed, the London Metropolitan Archives' information sheet at https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things- ... ecords.pdf confirms that it was open until 1886, and certainly that is the date that the records go up to.
Best wishes,
Laura
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Re: Laura Berry (criminal ancestors)

Postby townender66 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:16 pm

Hi Laura
One of my relatives was recorded as being in North Lancashire Reformatory in 1881. How do I find out why he was sent there?
Thanks, Paul
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Re: Free help with tracing criminal ancestors

Postby Laura Berry » Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:30 pm

sandyscott21 wrote:In 1832 my 5th great grand aunt was found guilty of abusing her niece (my 4th great grand aunt). She had the child up tied up, starved her and beat her. The newspaper reports suggest the trial generated a lot of interest - as it would today. The Aunt was fined and imprisoned for 1 year for cruelty. All the details I have are from the newspapers. The only court record I have seen is one line in a ledger recording the name, crime and punishment of the aunt. Would there be other detailed court records with full witness statements or is the newspaper account the best I can hope for in 1832? I am related through the brother of the poor abused girl and I would love to know where he and rest of the family were at the time. Thankyou.

ps. The offence occurred in Writtle, Essex.


Generally, newspapers are the best place to find really detailed accounts, as few witness statements survive. The location of any extant court records will depend on which court the trial took place at. They will either be held at Essex Record Office in Chelmsford or The National Archives - the latter’s guide at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/reco ... nd-law.htm explains which type of court records are held where. Since you know the date of the trial and presumably the court from the newspaper accounts it could be worth you contacting Essex Record Office anyway to see what they have for that date and court, to assess whether it’s worth you making a visit (contact details are at http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.u ... /A13533128).

Best wishes,
Laura
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Re: Laura Berry (criminal ancestors)

Postby Tigertabby » Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:32 pm

Hello Laura, typically how long does it take to research each episode? The obvious channels of Ancestory etc I guess don't take long, but once you get beyond that, do you literally visit the relevant parishes? I'd absolutely love to work on my family tree full time particularly as I have Scottish ancestory so need a trip to Scotland, but persuading my husband is a different matter! Thank you!
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