May 24, 2021

Scottish Indexes – Helping You Find Your Criminal Ancestors

The following announcement was written by the folks at

[Glasgow, Scotland 22 May 2021] Graham and Emma Maxwell of today announce the release of over 100,000 prison register entries to This announcement was made during the Scottish Indexes Conference, the 10th free Scottish family history conference of the pandemic.

It’s perhaps a sad reality that when our ancestors fell on hard times or got themselves into trouble we are much more likely to find out more about them. An ancestor who spent just one night in jail is likely to have had their age, birthplace, height, weight, scars, education level, hair colour and eye colour recorded. This makes prison registers vital not only to tracing your ancestors but also in discovering the people behind the names.

These entries have been added to ‘Scotland’s Criminal Database’ which includes High Court, Sheriff Court and prison records. All indexes on are free to search and the added features such as the free tutorials in the Learning Zone make the website easy to use.

This update includes entries from the following prisons:

Ayr, Ayrshire

Greenock, Renfrewshire

Edinburgh, Midlothian

Barlinnie, Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Duke Street, Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Hamilton, Lanarkshire

Stirling, Stirlingshire

Maxwelltown, Troqueer, Stewartry of Kirkcudbright

Perth, Perthshire

Paisley, Renfrewshire

Stranraer, Wigtownshire

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire

Wigtown, Wigtownshire

Dumfries, Dumfriessire

Dundee, Angus

Lanark, Lanarkshire

Kirkcudbright, Stewartry of Kirkcudbright

Sadly not all prison registers have survived and this is an ongoing project. To see a precise breakdown of coverage of ‘Scotland’s Criminal Database’ please see:

About is run by husband and wife team Graham and Emma Maxwell, both experienced Scottish genealogists. As well as helping clients with their family history, Graham and Emma also index historical Scottish records and make them available for free on their website.

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