Tracing Villains and Their Victims

A Guide to Criminal Ancestors for Family Historians

Jonathan Oates

Date Published :
July 2017
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
40 illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9781473892569

Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stockPages : 192
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In this practical handbook Jonathan Oates introduces the fascinating subject of criminal history and he gives readers all the information they need to investigate the life stories of criminals and their victims. He traces the development of the justice system and policing, and gives an insight into the criminal world of the times and the individuals who populated it. In a series of concise chapters he covers all the important aspects of the subject. At every stage, he guides readers towards the national and local sources that researchers can consult the libraries, archives, books and internet sites that reveal so much about the criminal past. Sections focus on the criminal courts, trial records, the police and police reports, and on punishments transportation, execution and prison sentences. Details of the most useful and rewarding sources are provided, among them national and local newspapers, books, the Newgate Calendar, coroners records, photographs, diaries, letters, monuments and the many internet sites which can open up for researchers the criminal side of history. Tracing Villains and Their Victims is essential reading and reference for anyone who seeks to trace an ancestor who had a criminal record or was the victim of crime.

About The Author

Dr Jonathan Oates is the Ealing Borough Archivist and Local History Librarian, and he has written and lectured on the Jacobite rebellions and on aspects of the history of London, including its criminal past. He is also well known as an expert on family history and has written several introductory books on the subject including Tracing Your London Ancestors, Tracing Your Ancestors From 1066 to 1837 and Tracing Villains and Their Victims.


"This book is really useful for archive sources, chapters on researching family history for criminal ancestors, and lots more. I'd really recommend this!"

- Infamous Liverpool

"No one wants to discover that one of their ancestors was a criminal, but when you're looking at censuses and someone's missing, and you think they should be there, where else do you look? Jonathan Oates's excellent books provides a shoe-in for amateurs and professionals alike to discover the truth about their ancestors' criminal pasts."

- Books Monthly

This book succeeds in leading the reader through the sources available for researching criminal record sources while recognizing that the definition of a crime has changed over time...The book ends with a listing of useful addresses and a short bibliography. It is a good guide to the types of records that can and should be explored by anyone who may have a criminal and/or a victim among their ancestors.


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