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Finding Your Famous and Infamous Ancestor

Booking

Court: United States

 

  • Ancestry Library Edition: Court, Governmental & Criminal Records

Search by name and keyword for records created in response to criminal offenses. Records include prisoner indexes, commutations, pardons, and executions. Collections include "U.S., Album of Criminals, 1906"; "U.S. Circuit Court Criminal Case Files, 1790-1871"; "North Carolina, State Supreme Court Case Files, 1800-1909"; "U.S., F.B.I. Deceased Criminal Identification Files, 1971-1994"; and more. Ancestry Library Edition is only available in all Gaston County Public Library branches.

Court: North Carolina


  • Ancestry Library Edition: Court, Governmental & Criminal Records

Search by name and keyword for records created in response to criminal offenses. Records include prisoner indexes, commutations, pardons, and executions. Collections include "U.S., Album of Criminals, 1906"; "U.S. Circuit Court Criminal Case Files, 1790-1871"; "North Carolina, State Supreme Court Case Files, 1800-1909"; "U.S., F.B.I. Deceased Criminal Identification Files, 1971-1994"; and more. Ancestry Library Edition is only available in all Gaston County Public Library  branches.

Court: Gaston County, NC


Family Search


Microfilm copies of the following Gaston County Clerk of Superior Court records are in the North Carolina Collection at Gastonia Main Library:


The State Archives of North Carolina have the following records:

Gaston County Criminal Action Papers, 1860-1968
Record ID: CR.040.326
Date Expression: 1860-1968
From Date: 1860
Thru Date: 1968

Scope and Content

Processed criminal action papers (1860-1910) are arranged in chronological order. Unprocessed criminal action papers (1911-1967) are in roughly chronological order; unprocessed criminal action papers (to 1968) are in roughly chronological order.Criminal case files from magistrates courts, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, Superior Court, and, in some counties, other inferior courts, usually arranged chronologically. In most counties, records also include executions issued supplementary to criminal actions. Series 10, subseries 928, Miscellaneous Records, may also include loose criminal actions.

Search the Discover Online Catalog by the title, "Gaston County Criminal Action Papers, 1860-1968." These records are available at the Archives.


Court: Lincoln County, NC


Family Search


Microfilm copies of the following Lincoln County records are in the North Carolina Collection at Gastonia Main Library:

  • Minutes, County Court, 1779-1868 [6 rolls];
  • Minutes, Board of County Commissioners, 1870-1896;
  • Minutes, Superior Court, 1816-1876 [2 rolls];
  • Orders and decrees, 1868-1880;
  • Index to orders and decrees, special proceedings, etc., 1868-1968 [2 rolls].

 

Print Sources in the North Carolina Collection at Gastonia Main Library:

  • 929.3 LIN NCC Lincoln County, North Carolina : Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions. - Anne Williams McAllister & Kathy Gunter Sullivan. Publication Date: 1987. 5 vols. 1779-1812.
  • 975.678 LIN NCC Lincoln County, NC trial and appearance docket (1783-1795), Albert B. Pruitt. 2016. ("Most of the cases are about debt." "There are a few ejectments and cases of assault and battery.")

The State Archives of North Carolina have the following records:

Lincoln Criminal Action Papers, 1782-1894
Record ID: CR.060.326
Date Expression: 1782-1894

Scope and Content

Includes processed and unprocessed criminal action papers. Unprocessed criminal action papers (1800-1889) are loosely chronological in arrangement. Contains criminal case files from magistrates courts, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, Superior Court, and, in some counties, other inferior courts, usually arranged chronologically. In most counties, records also include executions issued supplementary to criminal actions. Series 10, subseries 928, Miscellaneous Records, may also include loose criminal actions.

Search the Discover Online Catalog by the title, "Lincoln Criminal Action Papers, 1782-1894." These records are available at the Archives.


Lincoln County Criminal Dockets, Superior Court and Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, 1792-1869

Record ID: CR.060.CR
Date Expression: 1792-1869

Scope and Content

Trials in criminal court were recorded in Crown Dockets in the colonial period, State Dockets from the colonial period to 1868, and Criminal Docket; Criminal Issues Docket; or Judgment Docket, State Cases, post-1868. Recognizance Dockets track appearance in criminal court.

Search the Discover Online Catalog by the title, "Lincoln County Criminal Dockets, Superior Court and Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, 1792-1869." These records are available at the Archives.

Court: South Carolina

Prison

Executions

Asylums

Lunacy Records
  • Lunacy records 1871 -1896 (C.R.040.928.4) held by the Archives of North Carolina are part of the North Carolina, Gaston County, miscellaneous records, 1847-1910.
    Go to: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C3MX-QS1L-B?cat=3000395
  • Microfilm copies of the following Gaston County records are in the North Carolina Collection:
    Gaston County Clerk of Superior Court
    • Index to lunacy & inebriety, 1963-1969;
    • Record of lunancy, 1899-1968 (vols. 1-10) 
  • The State Archives of North Carolina hold the following records:

    Inebriates, Lunacy, and Judicial Hospitalizations Records, 1899-1941 (Gaston County, North Carolina)
    Record ID: CR.040.919
    Date Expression: 1899-1941
    From Date: 1899
    Thru Date: 1941

    Scope and Content  Records include documentation of hearings for commitment of insane persons and inebriates, listing the name of the alleged lunatic, oaths of parties testifying to his/her lunacy, and copies of the clerk's order of commitment and the superintendent of the state hospital's order of release. Papers may include appointment of guardians to oversee the property of the unfit. After 1899, the clerk was required to keep lunacy matters in a distinct volume, entitled Record of Inquisition of Lunacy or simply Lunacy Docket. From 1868 to 1899, lunacy proceedings were recorded in the Orders and Decrees (922). See also Court Records subseries 922, Orders and Decrees and Special Proceedings. 

    Search the Discover Online Catalog by the title, "Inebriates, Lunacy, and Judicial Hospitalizations Records, 1899-1941"
    Search Record ID: CR.040.919 for Gaston County. These records are available at the State Archives of North Carolina.

 


Dorothea Dix Hospital

In 1848 Dorothea Lynde Dix, advocate for the needs of the mentally ill, presented a proposal to the North Carolina General Assembly to establish the state’s first mental health facility. The hospital opened as the North Carolina Hospital for the Mentally Ill in 1856 at South Boylan Avenue in Raleigh and admitted its first forty patients.  The hospital was renamed “Dix Hill” after Dorothea Dix’s grandfather, Dr. Elijah Dix. In 1956, the N.C. General Assembly changed the name of the asylum to "Dorothea Dix Hospital." In 2012, the facility closed and the remaining patients were moved to the state's medical facility in Butner, N.C.

  • Dorothea Dix Hospital Cemetery, Raleigh, Wake County, N.C.
  • State Agency Finding Aid: Dorothea Dix Hospital, 1881-1956
  • Dorothea Dix Hospital Register
  • Annual Report of the Board of Directors and the Superintendent of the North Carolina Insane Asylum, for the Year Ending November 30, 1884
  • The North Carolina Genealogical Society journal. 
    Call Number: 929.1 NOR NCC
    Volume 43 (2017) Number 1. NC Insane Asylum in Raleigh – Wake & Vance Counties (c. 1856-1889).
    Volume 43 (2017) Number 3. NC Insane Asylum in Raleigh (c. 1856-1889)

Court Martial

Military Personnel Records, SF-180. Use Standard Form 180 (SF-180) to request military service records. Records may contain copies of court martial documents.
Go to: https://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/standard-form-180.html

Requesting Copies of Older (pre-WWI) Military Service Records includes the NATF forms that must be submitted for pension and military records. There is a fee.
Go to: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/pre-ww-1-records.html

Series: Court Martial Case Files, 12/1800 - 10/1894.  Series contains some records online and is part of Record Group 153: Records of the Office of the Judge Advocate General (Army), 1792 - 2010.
Go to: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/301659

Records of General Courts-martial and Courts of Inquiry of the Navy Department, 1799-1867. NARA Series M273. Information given in the records includes, when applicable; name of the sailor charged; his rating, ship or station, and other service information; the alleged offense; place and date of trial; and the sentence.
Go to: https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/573135

Coroner's inquests

Coroner's inquests 1871 -1890 (broken series)
Go to: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C3MX-73T?i=1131&cat=3000395

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