100,000 free to search prison register entries added to ScottishIndexes database


24 May 2021
Graham and Emma Maxwell of scottishindexes.com have announced the release of over 100,000 prison register entries to the Scottish Indexes database.

The announcement was made during the Scottish Indexes Conference, the 10th free Scottish family history conference of the pandemic.

It’s perhaps a sad reality that when our ancestors fell on hard times or got themselves into trouble we are much more likely to find out more about them. An ancestor who spent even just one night in jail is likely to have had their age, birthplace, height, weight, scars, education level, hair colour and eye colour recorded. This makes prison registers vital not only to tracing your ancestors but also in discovering the people behind the names.

These entries have been added to ‘Scotland's Criminal Database’ which includes High Court, Sheriff Court and prison records. All indexes on Scottish Indexes are free to search and the added features such as the free tutorials in the Learning Zone make the website easy to use.

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Which areas are included?

The update includes entries from the following prisons:

  • Ayr, Ayrshire
  • Greenock, Renfrewshire
  • Edinburgh, Midlothian
  • Barlinnie, Glasgow, Lanarkshire
  • Duke Street, Glasgow, Lanarkshire
  • Hamilton, Lanarkshire
  • Stirling, Stirlingshire
  • Maxwelltown, Troqueer, Stewartry of Kirkcudbright Perth, Perthshire
  • Paisley, Renfrewshire
  • Stranraer, Wigtownshire
  • Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire
  • Wigtown, Wigtownshire
  • Dumfries, Dumfriessire
  • Dundee, Angus
  • Lanark, Lanarkshire
  • Kirkcudbright, Stewartry of Kirkcudbright

Sadly not all prison registers have survived and this is an ongoing project. To see a precise breakdown of coverage of ‘Scotland's Criminal Database’ please see Scottish Indexes.

QUICK LINK: How to use kirk session records for Scottish family history research