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Records from criminal courts

They came in all sizes, shapes, colors. They were men, women, and even children. They acted out of greed or foolishness or just desperation. And they became the criminals.

They’re among the most colorful characters in our family trees. They didn’t toe the line, they went their own ways, and they did one thing that can’t help but warm a genealogist’s heart: they left records. Arrest records. Conviction records. Prison records.

And one week from today, Family Tree University is hosting The Legal Genealogist in a one-hour webinar presentation: Using Criminal Court Records — Research Strategies from The Legal Genealogist.

The records created by the criminal justice system are just plain fun, and they’re wonderful additions to any family history. And you don’t have to have had a bad guy as an ancestor to want to look at these records. You may find that a family member played a different role: as a police officer, or a constable, a judge, juror, or witness. He may have been a jailer, or ridden with a posse, or signed a petition to get a friend out of jail — or to keep an enemy in.

We’ll take a look at a whole range of records created after a crime was committed, from police reports all the way to prison records. We’ll look at cases prosecuted in local courts, state courts and federal courts. We’ll look at some records from other countries.

And we’ll look at ways to find the records that relate to our ancestors in the many roles they played in the criminal justice system and what those records tell us about the times in which our ancestors lived.

So come on out and join me on Tuesday, the 11th of December, at 7 pm EST / 6 pm CST / 5 pm MST / 4 pm PST, for Using Criminal Court Records — Research Strategies from The Legal Genealogist. Like all of the Family Tree University webinars, advance registration is required (it’s $49.99).

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