Prison Registers Indexing Project

We have now completed our project to index the Scottish Borders Prison Registers held at the National Archives of Scotland. They are packed with fascinating information about the thousands of individuals who were in prison, including their height, colour of hair and eyes, their offence and sentence, and much more. We are making available indexes in book form for each prison, from which you can order from us an inexpensive transcription of the full entry if you locate someone of interest. We also have the records for the prisons of Dumfries and Galloway and Lanark, but these are not yet indexed. We can make searches in these unindexed registers for a particular name for a small fee until such times as we have indexed the records. Please contact us by email for more information.

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Free Online Prison Record Search

We have now made available an online searchable database for all the prisons we have indexed so far. This index does not contain all the information in our prison index books, such as the crime, but contains a free online search to enable you to identify someone in the records so that you can obtain more information.

Click here to search the online Prison Register Database.


Indexes now available in book form

Greenlaw Prison Index, Volume 1 1840-1848 - This index contains details of the crime the prisoner was accused or convicted of. The index also contains the birthplace, residence, occupation and approximate birth year of prisoners, enabling you to identify individuals in the much more detailed original records held at the National Archives of Scotland, for which we can provide full transcriptions/copies for a small fee. The Greenlaw Prison Index, Volume 1 is available for 7.99, with our usual bulk discounts and postage rates for publications applying.

Buy Greenlaw Prison Vol. 1 Index

Greenlaw Prison Index, Volume 2 1848-1862 - This index contains details of the crime the prisoner was accused or convicted of. The index also contains the birthplace, residence, occupation and approximate birth year of prisoners, enabling you to identify individuals in the much more detailed original records held at the National Archives of Scotland, for which we can provide full transcriptions/copies for a small fee. The Greenlaw Prison Index, Volume 2 is available for 9.99, with our usual bulk discounts and postage rates for publications applying.

Buy Greenlaw Prison Vol. 2 Index

Hawick Prison Index 1844-1862 - A new updated version of this index is now available, which also contains details of the crime the prisoner was accused or convicted of. The index also contains the birthplace, residence, occupation and approximate birth year of prisoners, enabling you to identify individuals in the much more detailed original records held at the National Archives of Scotland, for which we can provide full transcriptions/copies for a small fee. The Hawick Prison Index is available for 7.99, with our usual bulk discounts and postage rates for publications applying.

Buy Hawick Prison Index

Jedburgh Prison Index, Volume 1 1843-1848 - This index is in the same format as the index above, and contains details of the crime the prisoner was accused or convicted of. The Jedburgh Prison Index, Volume 1 is available for 9.99, with our usual bulk discounts and postage rates for publications applying.

Buy Jedburgh Prison Vol. 1 Index

Jedburgh Prison Index, Volume 2 1848-1869 - This index is in the same format as the indexes above, and contains details of the crime the prisoner was accused or convicted of. It is a large volume, running to 4,061 entries. Many of the people of the Scottish Borders and beyond are recorded. The Jedburgh Prison Index, Volume 2 is available for 12.99, with our usual bulk discounts and postage rates for publications applying.

Buy Jedburgh Prison Vol. 2 Index

Kelso Prison Index 1844-1862 - This index is in the same format as the indexes above, and contains details of the crime the prisoner was accused or convicted of. The Kelso Prison Index is available for 7.99, with our usual bulk discounts and postage rates for publications applying.

Buy Kelso Prison Index

Peebles Prison Index 1848-1862 - This index is in the same format as the indexes above, and contains details of the crime the prisoner was accused or convicted of. The Peebles Prison Index is available for 7.99, with our usual bulk discounts and postage rates for publications applying.

Buy Peebles Prison Index

Selkirk Prison Index 1828-1840 - This index is in the same format as the indexes above, and contains details of the crime the prisoner was accused or convicted of. This Selkirk Prison Index contains 284 entries and is available for 4.99, with our usual bulk discounts and postage rates for publications applying.

Buy Selkirk Prison Index 1828-1840

Selkirk Prison Index 1853-1878 - This index is in the same format as the indexes above, and contains details of the crime the prisoner was accused or convicted of. This Selkirk Prison Index contains about 3,000 entries and is available for 11.99, with our usual bulk discounts and postage rates for publications applying.

Buy Selkirk Prison Index 1853-78


Obtain a full register entry

If you find an entry or entries in one of our prison indexes for which you would like to see a full transcription, please e-mail us below. You can see a sample prison transcription by clicking here. For a fee of 5.00 per entry, the transcriptions will be sent to you promptly via e-mail.

Pay for a full prison register entry
E-Mail a request for a transcription


What do the indexes contain?

The index contains the full name of the prisoner, their residence and occupation, as well as their approximate year of birth and birthplace, and the crime they were accused or convicted of. The year of imprisonment is also indexed, together with a reference number we have added which is unique to each entry. Some place name spellings have been standardised, but other spellings have been left as in the original register. An asterisk in the index indicates an entry which is substantially incomplete due to damage to the original register.

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What kind of information is included in the original record?

This information is included in the Hawick prison register, even more is included in the some of the other registers.

Prior to about 1848 the registers ususally include the following information: Date of admission; By whom committed; Name; Sex; Age; Birthplace; Residence; Where spent greater part of their life; Height (feet/inches); Hair colour; Eye colour; Distinguishing marks etc.; Precise offence (including article stolen etc.); Clean/dirty; Drunk/sober; Clothes good repair/ragged; Direct from arrest or from another prison, if so which one; Occupation; Previous imprisonments with entry numbers for such; Liberated without trial when and by whose authority; Tried when and by whom; Convicted or acquitted; Sentence; Liberated or removed after conviction when, by whose authority, to what place; Number of days in prison; Conduct during confinement.

After about 1848 the registers usually include the following information: Date of admission; Previous imprisonments with entry numbers for such; Name; Age; Sex; Height (feet/inches); Birthplace; Residence; Where spent greater part of their life; Distinguishing marks etc. (includes hair and eye colour); Precise offence (including article stolen etc.); Occupation; Religion; Education on Admission Cannot read/reads a little reads well and Cannot write/writes a little/writes well or Education superior to mere reading and writing; Whether education improved during confinement; Apparent state of health on admission; Untried prisoners under examination by whom, committed till liberated in due course of law by whom; Liberated without trial when and by whom; Tried when and by whom; Convicted or acquitted; Sentence; Liberated or removed after conviction when, by whom, to what place; Number of days in prison; Conduct during confinement good, tolerable or bad.

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