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Tracing My Convict Ancestors

Tracing My Convict Ancestors

Posted: 1351722671000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1357804792000
Surnames: Barry, Sandell
I wonder if someone could give me some advice on how to go about tracing two of my ancestors who spent some time in prison.

The first is my maternal grandfather, Jeremiah Barry. I haven't been able to find a birth certificate for him and there is some doubt as to whether he was born here or in Ireland. His father was Irish and I know that he was here before Jeremiah was born and I have also found Jeremiah on the 1891 census in Poplar, London, stated as being 8 years old. I also know from family stories that he spent 1 year in prison for attacking an army officer. This would have been after 1907, as my aunt, who was born that year, said that she was taken to court by her mother to plead for him not being given the death penalty by firing squad. Knowing that he had spent time in prison, I recently came upon the Old Bailey online. I thought I would search for his name, not thinking that I would actually find something, but I did. I found a trial at the Old Bailey on 26th June 1905 for a violent theft/robbery. The defendents were 3 people, one of which was Jeremiah Barry aged 26. Going by the 1891 census, Jeremiah would have been 22 then, but there are too many coincidences. Firstly, Jeremiah was a docker and in the transcript of the trial, the men say that they were waiting where the ships come in to unload coal. Also, it is in the area of Ratcliffe, which was around about Wapping. My family, came from the Isle of Dogs, which is very close. The paperwork also mentions that Jeremiah had one previous conviction of felony at the Clerkenwell Sessions on 1st April 1895.

The second is my paternal great grandfather, Albert Ernest Sandell. He was born in St Leonards Road, Bow in 1872. He had a brother called Alfred, who was born in 1875. Electoral Registers show Albert living with his wife Rebecca at 12 Annabel Street, Poplar. Once again, family members say that he was not a stranger to the police. The confusion arises in 1901, when at 12 Annabel Street, I find Rebecca living with Alfred (it says he was born in 1872) and that she is his wife. I also find a Albert Edward Sandell (born in 1872 in Old Ford, Bow, which is the same area as St Leonards Road) on the census for Wormwood Scrubs. I don't know which is the real Albert Ernest Sandell.

My question is how can I find out if the Old Bailey Jeremiah is indeed my grandfather and if the Albert Edward Sandell in Wormwood Scrubs is my great grandfather (could they have made a mistake with his name)? What information would court records give me to prove this and where would they be held? I would like to find out about the 1895 case at Clerkenwell, the 1905 case at the Old Bailey, the other case for Jeremiah when he spent a year in prison and about why Albert Edward (Ernest) was in Womwood Scrubs in 1901. I have tried to look to see what the London Metropolitan Archives has, but can't find any records that cover these dates.

Any advice that anyone could give me would be gratefully appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Re: Tracing My Convict Ancestors

Posted: 1351878108000
Classification: Query
A lot of info about trials at the Old Bailey is at TNA in Kew, see their link For the prisoner at Wormwood Scrubs, I've checked the LMA leaflet online and annoyingly it does appear that records for Wormwood Scrubs are not available for the dates you need, either at the LMA nor at TNA. The only way to find anything i think would be to do a speculative search for Albert Sandell in the Middlesex criminal registers and/or calenders of prisoners if they exist for this date. Once you have worked out which court tried him, you could look for remaining court records in quarter session or assize records, again, if they exist for the dates you want. Have you found Albert on the 1891 census? Was he definately 'out' on that one? You would need to try and narrow down the number of years to do any speculative search. Good luck with it all! :-)

Re: Tracing My Convict Ancestors

Posted: 1351959858000
Classification: Query
Hi Cath,

Thanks for your reply. I posted my question on a couple of other ancestry sites and received this reply from someone:-

'If you search in the 19th Century British Library Newspapers or the subscription site British Newspaper Archive for "Albert Sandell" you will find a reference to a hearing at the Thames Police Court of 'Albert Sandell, 29, a married man, of 12, Annabel-street, Poplar' on a serious charge (details are given but I won't post them here: be warned that they are most unpleasant). (Reynolds's Newspaper, 30 December 1900). The article refers to him having been awarded a medal for saving lives in the 'Albion' disaster.

The magistrates 'committed the defendant, who denied the charge, to the sessions for trial.' As the trial must have been in 1901 it is too late for the 19th Century newspapers website.'

I have looked the article up and it's not very nice, but unless it's a complete coincidence it would seem that this is Albert Ernest Sandell in Wormwood Scrubs. However, I do need to try to find out more before I make assumptions. The court he was tried at was the Thames Police Court, so I need to find out if there are any records for this court and time period anywhere. Thanks ever so much for your help. All the best

Re: Tracing My Convict Ancestors

Posted: 1352041762000
Classification: Query
I have sent you a personal message.

Re: Tracing My Convict Ancestors

Posted: 1356270443000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Barry
This post was deleted by the author on 4 Dec 2013 11:37PM GMT

Re: Tracing My Convict Ancestors

Posted: 1356306120000
Classification: Query
I don't know if you mean to come across the way in which you are, but it sounds like you are calling me stupid or a liar.

I am working from present to past. I have found Jeremiah on the 1891 census. However, he is listed under the name of Jeremiah Goggins, which is the name of his mother's second husband. It says he was born in Poplar. I haven't found him on the 1901 census, but I have found him on the 1911 census, where the aunt I mentioned, Lily, is also listed. This census also says he was born in Poplar.

I only said that there was some doubt as to whether he was born here or in Ireland, because I can't find his birth certificate and my older cousins were under the impression he was born in Ireland. I thought that it could have been possible for his father to have gone back to Ireland at the time that he was born and registered the birth there, but for Jeremiah to think that he was born here.

I have found his father Stephen on the 1871 and 1881 census, which state that he was born in Ireland. I don't know much about tracing Irish relatives yet, but I assume that I would need to take a trip to Ireland to find out more, but I am still researching this.
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