Prisoner records

Derby Gaol in the 18th century

Tracing information about criminal ancestors is not always easy, and therefore we will be making indexes to those featured in Calendars of Prisoners available on our website.


Calendars of Prisoners provide details of inmates in the county gaol and in houses of correction within the county.

The information given varies greatly, but they usually give name, details of the crime and place. Occasionally, age is also given.

We hold the records of the Court of Quarter Sessions, which contain a near complete run of Calendars of Prisoners between 1761 and 1888. In addition, we have a few later calendars and some that go back as early as 1558.

The period 1729-1913 is available to search online. Note the reference numbers of any entries of interest and we will be pleased to advise you about the possibility of obtaining copies of the original entries.

Was one of your ancestors transported to Australia?

The Queensland Government has compiled a convict transportation registers database within their online state library. This is an index of over 123,000 convicts transported to Australia between 1787 and 1867. It includes:

  • name of convict, including any known aliases
  • place of trial
  • term of years
  • name of ship and date of departure
  • place of arrival
  • miscellaneous notes for example died at sea, ticket of leave.

Information on other websites