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Any Ancestors Who Were Prisoners?

PrisonYou may have some trouble locating a certain ancestors. You have located their siblings, maybe even their wife and children. One possibility for this elusive relative is that they might be serving prison time. The crime could have been house breaking, stealing a horse, robbery or murder.

Some of the states have online a listing of their state penitentiaries along with the inmates. The years covered are mostly the 1800s into the first half of the 20th century. The listing of names is very complete, including any aliases they went by, along with age or birth date, and the crime they were convicted of and the sentence imposed by the court. Other states have a roster of the executions performed in the state. The person’s name, age, race, the crime and date of execution are given.

The following two blogs will have those states with the prisoner information online. It is worth checking, you never know who you might find.

A hundred years of prisoners, from 1872 to 1972 in Arizona. It provides the person’s full name, the prison number, aliases, and occasionally any special information.

Executions performed in the state of Arkansas from 1820 to 1964 are recorded. The listing is in date order. A prisoner’s name given, race, sex, some with their age at the time of execution, former occupation, their crime, how they were executed (shot, hung), the date of the execution and the county are supplied.

This is the list of prisoners at Alcatraz Federal Prison from 1934 to 1963. There are some 1,576 prisoners.

A prisoner index of names cover from 1871 to 1973. The inmate number is listed. Those prisoners with numbers 3199 to prisoner number 67433 also have a mug shot (photograph) available at the Colorado State Archives. The photos cover 1893 to 1980.

The Wethersfield State Prison listing has inmates from 1800 to 1903. Their name, aliases, sentence and dates of prison time are listed. Sometimes included is the name (s) of their victims.

Executions in the state of Florida are covered from 1924 to 1976. Their name, the crime, race and sex and the county where they were convicted along with the execution date are recorded.

In Chicago, Illinois the homicide cases for that major city from 1870 to 1930 are furnished. An easy search engine using a key word, case number, date, location, criminal and victim’s names are used.

In Greene County, Indiana, there are some 134 prisoners covering 1820 to 1896. Details about the inmates include the prisoner’s names, dates served, for what crime, when they were discharged, released, escaped or died.

More states in the next blog.

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