More NYS prison records added to Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com has recently added two new databases, Sing Sing Prison Admission Registers, 1865-1939 and Clinton Prison Admission Ledgers, 1851-1866, 1926-1939.

Sing Sing Prison, located in Ossining, opened in 1826. Early registers recorded the inmate’s name, county tried in, crime, dates of conviction and admission, sentence, alias, and county received from. Personal details may include age, place of birth, marital and family status, residence, physical description, and identifying markings (e.g., scars, tattoos, etc.). Literacy, language spoken, religion, habits, and occupation were also noted.

Later years included more detailed descriptions and incarceration history and forms were expanded to include details such as parents, nativity, immigration, military service, and more.

Clinton Prison, located in Dannemora, opened in 1845. The earliest registers included the prisoner’s name, date and county of conviction, crime, sentence, and physical description. The receiving blotters asked for more information and grew more detailed after 1931. They can include details about the inmate’s personal and criminal history and some information about his family:

-prisoner name, alias(es), and number
-sentencing and receiving dates
-county of conviction
-city or town where the crime was committed
-charges, plea, and sentence
-accomplices and whereabouts
-birth date and place
-mental health diagnosis
-nativity and date and port of entry of immigrants
-whether naturalized and when
-parental nativity
-age of prisoner when parents died
-whether prisoner had siblings
-marital status and number of children
-habits
-physical description
-whether literate and able to speak English
-education
-religion
-employment history
-residence
-name and address of nearest relative
-criminal history
-possessions at time of admission

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