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David Hawkings is a Fellow of the Society of Genealogists in the United Kingdom. He is well known for finding otherwise "undiscovered" sources for family history in the archives of the UK. He brings his considerable expertise full force to this topic. From very early on, the criminal justice system in England and Wales maintained some outstanding records of its workings. For a genealogist, criminal records of various kinds may be the only way possible to "flesh-out" a difficult-to-research ancestor. It's not just criminals who appear in these records, of course. The victims, plantiffs, and witnesses are also mentioned, give statements, etc. Hawkings guides the reader through a multitude of record types and enhances his explanations with illustrations and liberal use of transcribed records given as examples. The various courts in the land and their records are discussed along with transportation records to both America and Australia. Prison and police records are also covered. The book ends with a very illuminating case study. This is a thick book with relatively small print (get your magnifying glass out) thus it is packed with information & examples. Very good value for the money. A great resource for anyone tracing ancestors in England and Wales.
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