U.K. family archive site offers 2.5M crime records to track down family ne'er-do-wells

In UK mug shots of the past, convicts would show their hands for any tell-tale signs that could...

In UK mug shots of the past, convicts would show their hands for any tell-tale signs that could identify them on official records. These hardened blokes are among the UK criminal records now released online by The National Archives and findmypast.co.uk.

Thane Burnett, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:55 AM ET

On behalf of members of the Burnett clan everywhere, apologies to the heirs of David Lunt and Herbert Dyson.

Charles Burnett, a 31-year-old salesman from Lancashire, in northwest England, probably regretted taking your gold watch, Mr. Lunt. And your silver one, Mr. Dyson.

Though likely a misunderstanding, Charles ended up sentenced to a year of hard labour.

The court notation is one of 2.5 million records that have now been posted online, allowing descendants of U.K. families to trace the rapscallions in their DNA.

Some of the newly released files include inmates held aboard prison ships, which were dubbed 'hulks'.

The English and Welsh judicial system documents from 1770 to 1934 range from those who've stolen clothing to infamous criminals such as Amelia Dyer, who killed as many as 400 babies, often tossing their bodies into the Thames.

The records are offered by the family history site findmypast.co.uk and Britain's National Archives, for a cost.


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