A Felon in the Family @ The Treasure House

Family historians can delve into the murky past of their ancestors thanks to a fascinating archive document.

A volume of photographs of convicted offenders dating back to 1875 is now being repaired so that it can be made available to the public by autumn.

Work to restore the volume is being done by the document conservation department at ’s archives and local studies service, based in The Treasure House, Champney Road, Beverley.

The document is currently in such a fragile condition that it cannot be handled by members of the public, so the service’s team of expert conservators has been tasked with the job of mending the document so it can be preserved for future generations.

It is part of a collection of court archives and comprises a series of ‘mugshots’ of convicted criminals, complete with names.  This means that it can be used by family historians to see if an ancestor is mentioned amongst the convicts.

Collections officer said: “The majority of family researchers using our facility tend to focus on the census and microfilmed parish registers, but many of them are perhaps unaware that they also have the region’s archives at their fingertips.”

Ian Mason, archives and local studies manager, said:  “It is well worth looking at our archive catalogues to see what collections we have. This volume of convicted offenders is a brilliant example of a record that can be used to help add ‘meat’ to the ‘bones’ of your family history.”

A sample of some of the pages from this book are on display in the .

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