Finding out about crimes that my ancestor committed

If your ancestor committed a crime, you could search the records of courts of law held at the Record Office.

We hold the archives of the Herefordshire Quarter Sessions, which include, with gaps, minute books that name prisoners, 1679-1971, lists of prisoners, 1802-1971, and rolls of papers giving details of individual cases, 1697-1971.

We also hold registers of less serious cases heard at the Petty Sessional courts of Herefordshire covering the period 1884-1975. 

Hereford was part of the Oxford Assize Circuit and Assize Court records are held at The National Archives. An index to the registers of cases appearing at this court is available on the Ancestry website.

Herefordshire prison register index, 1849 – 1915

This is a combined index to prisoners awaiting trial at the General Quarter Sessions for Herefordshire, 1849 - 1881, and convicted prisoners at Hereford County Gaol, 1881 - 1915. It comprises over 15,000 names and gives details of crimes ranging from theft of small items to murder. You can search the database in a range of ways, including the names of both prisoner and victim, type of crime and location of offence. It is a resource for family historians and students of social and judicial history alike.  

Search the Herefordshire prison register index