The Making of The Fife Kalendar of Convicts
This talk includes the launch of ‘Kalendar of Convicts’ CD/digital download
Over 20 years in the making (first begun in 1994), The Fife Kalendar of Convicts (1790-1880) CD, is an indexing to many of the Courts in Fife, as well as the High Court Records (AD14 precognitions and JC26 Trial Records, which have been indexed up to 1900).
Also indexed up to 1900 are the Jury Trials of Cupar Sheriff Court and Dunfermline Sheriff Court held by the National Records of Scotland. For the Summary Trials of Dunfermline Sheriff Court we have indexed the Criminal Libels, 1825-1873, in the SC21/23 Series.
Only one volume of Summary Trials of Cupar Sheriff Court has been retained from 1847-1849 in the SC20/58 series, and for the Criminal Libels from 1825-1884 the SC20/63 series has been indexed. The Summary libels up to 1853 have only been preserved in this series, and for the summary cases after 1853 we have gone to the local newspapers.
We have also indexed the Justice of the Peace records held by the National Records of Scotland and Fife Council Archives (these deal mainly with poaching), and the Burgh/Police/Magistrates Court records held by Fife Council Archives and St Andrews University Library.
For those convicts who were transported, we have searched the Australian Convict Records held on Ancestry. Most were held in English Jails prior to transportation, as well as those who were sentenced to longer periods of penal servitude (over 5 years).
For those prisoners we have searched the English Convict Prison records on FindmyPast. To put more flesh on the bones information on the convicts has also been extracted from the Fife newspapers, beginning with the Fife Herald, founded in 1822.
Other newspapers searched include the Fifeshire Journal (Cupar), Fifeshire Advertiser (Kirkcaldy), Fife Free Press (Kirkcaldy), and East of Fife Record (Anstruther). Finally, extensive searches have been made into Statutory Registration and OPRs to add Births, Marriages and Deaths to the Convicts, as well as searches in the Census Returns.
Illustrations have been added where found, from the published trial pamphlets to the FindmyPast records. It really has been an enormous task.
The Fife Kalendar of Convicts has been compiled by a Andrew Campbell, a noted local genealogist, who has been editor of The Fife Family History Society Journal for over 25 years, and who has indexed many of its records over the years, including Fife Shopkeepers and Traders (1820-1870).
He also helped to co-ordinate the pre-1855 Fife Death Index CD, published by the Society, which has over a quarter of a million entries.