Coverage - Scotland's Criminal Database

Scotland's Criminal Database includes an index to all surviving High Court Precognitions and Trial Papers between 1790 and 1919, an index to the Crown Counsel Procedure Books from 1863-1871, and a large selection of prison registers. We have also began adding Sheriff Court criminal records to the database. All in all, the database currently amounts to 334,940 entries.

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High Court Criminal Records

The High Court index contains the names of all the accused and also details of victims in many of the cases. It includes all surviving High Court Precognitions and Trial Papers between the years 1790 and 1919, amounting to 139,529 entries in all. You can find out more about these fascinating records in our Learning Zone.


Sheriff Court Criminal Records

As well as the High Court trial records mentioned above, we have began indexing Sheriff Court Criminal Records, with the help of volunteer indexers. Here is a list of those indexed so far:

Duns Jury Trials 1883-1919


Crown Counsel Procedure Books

We have indexed 22,391 entries from the Crown Counsel Procedure Books so far, covering the period from 28 November 1863 to 21 September 1871. More entries will be added shortly.


Prison Registers

The database also includes 172,767 prison register entries. Many of our ancestors spent a night in jail, some spent longer. The information is truly valuable as the full entries often give places of birth which may not be available anywhere else as well as giving personal details such as eye color!

Find out more about prison registers in our Learning Zone.

Here is a list of the prison registers we have indexed so far. If you can’t see the one you need please get in touch with our genealogists, Graham and Emma Maxwell.

Aberdeen Prison 1836-1839, 1884, 1888-1889
Ayr Prison 1888-1892
Banff Prison 1848-1878
Cromarty Prison 1841-1871
Dumbarton Prison 1828-1840
Dumfries Prison 1841-1936
Dundee Prison 1900-1902
Edinburgh (Bridewell) 1814-1817, 1824-1835
Edinburgh (Calton Jail) 1841, 1848-1851
Edinburgh (Lock-up House) 1826-1832
Glasgow (Barlinnie) Prison 1891, 1900, 1901-1903, 1916, 1918, 1921
Glasgow (Duke Street) Prison 1878, 1884-1885, 1899, 1912, 1918
Greenlaw Prison 1840-1862
Greenock Prison 1859-1864, 1870, 1879-1885, 1888-1889, 1930
Hamilton Prison 1828-1841
Jedburgh Prison 1811-1841, 1843-1869
Jessiefield Borstal (Maxwelltown) 1912-1926
Kelso Prison 1844-1862
Kirkcudbright Prison 1791-1811, 1815-1826, 1841-1883
Lanark Prison 1848-1881
Maxwelltown Prison 1840-1874
Paisley Prison 1857-1858, 1861, 1866, 1871
Peebles Prison 1848-1862
Perth Prison 1916
Port Glasgow Prison 1848-1855
Selkirk Prison 1828-1840, 1853-1878
Stirling Prison 1828-1840
Stranraer Prison 1840-1883
Wigtown Prison 1840-1875

Search Scotland's Criminal Database