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Tracing My Convict Ancestors

Replies: 5

Tracing My Convict Ancestors

Posted: 31 Oct 2012 4:31PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 10 Jan 2013 12:59AM GMT
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.
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
LyneeTaylor 31 Oct 2012 10:31PM GMT 
cathnoble 2 Nov 2012 5:41PM GMT 
LyneeTaylor 3 Nov 2012 4:24PM GMT 
cathnoble 4 Nov 2012 3:09PM GMT 
infosending1 23 Dec 2012 1:47PM GMT 
LyneeTaylor 23 Dec 2012 11:42PM GMT 
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