Thursday, February 5, 2015

Your British ancestors (or their relatives) in the Old Bailey (British Court)

You've heard of The Old Bailey. There is a website: The proceedings of Old Bailey: London's Central Criminal Court, 1674-1913. Chances are, if you have an ancestral name that might have flitted through London during those years you may have a distant relative whose case was tried in the Old Bailey. It may not be an ancestor you can easily identify, but just seeing that that last name with which you are so familiar is there in the prison can be oh so fun. The transcripts of the cases are there, easy to find and read, and all very entertaining.

Just for example, if you put in the surname Ninnes you find the abstract of the record for William Ninnes, including his crime (stealing 12 postage stamps from his master) and his punishment (18 months in prison). An easily clickable graphic takes you to a scan of the original record from the 1800's.

The website is very easy to use and to search: Old Bailey of London. Enjoy!