Did your ancestors live in Bath? Search our database to
see if you can find out more about them.
The database covers the years 1603-1990, and
contains information taken from original records held by the Record
Office. The records have been indexed and transcribed by volunteers
over many years, and we are very pleased that - through the
efforts of Simon Caldwell, another volunteer - we are now able
to make the results of their hard work available online.
The database includes brief information taken from the
original sources, usually enough to enable you to identify
individuals, although in some cases the information in the original
is itself very limited. The original document will often
contain further information - if you find relevant
records on the database, you can
order copies for
a small charge.
Search the Bath
Latest Addition - Prisoners' Portrait
In the 1890s, Bath City Police, like many other police forces,
started to take advantage of the possibilities of
photography. They photographed 'prisoners' - generally
individuals charged with crimes - and fixed the photographs
into books. Information on the name, age, and physical
appearance of the person was added, along with the history of their
crimes and convictions. They now provide us not only with a
'Rogues' Gallery' but with a fascinating insight into crime in late
Victorian Bath. Crimes of deception seem to have been
particularly prevalent, as confidence tricksters and plausible
fraudsters preyed on the genteel middle-class citizens of Bath.
You can search the database for individual criminals,
or see all the 'prisoners' portraits' . On the search page simply
click on 'Clear all sources' (at the bottom of the list of
sources) and then click on the box next to 'Bath City Police
Prisoners' Photograph Books' (towards the top of the
list). If you want to search for a particular name, put this
in the surname search box - if you want to see all the photographs,
leave this box empty - then click on 'Search Now'.
An article by Graham Davis on 'Crime and Criminal
Portraits in Victorian and Edwardian Bath', which discusses
the Prisoners' Portrait Books, is published in Bath
History, volume XI, 2009.