David Hawkins, well-known author of genealogical books, gave a talk at the June meeting on “Criminal Ancestors”. Far from being ashamed, he said he was proud of such people who were convicted for crimes as petty as allowing an animal to steal grass from a neighbour’s field. Whatever the crime, records exist and David outlined some of these. For England and Wales the Home Office records from 1805-91 are available online. Trials are included even for those found not guilty. Proceedings of the Assizes can be found at The National Archives while Quarter Sessions reports are at County Record Offices. The annual registers under HO168 are for every county of England and Wales up to 1883. Other records include lists of prisoners’ effects, licences (for being let out on licence) and lists of pardons. David talked about penal transportation – to America from the early seventeenth century whilst it was a British Colony and to Australia from 1786 until 1868. From 1880 photographs of prisoners were taken and many of these remain. There are also records for the Prison Hulks, again with many available online.