Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Missouri State Penitentiary Database

Looking to add a little excitement to your family history?  Tired of finding farmers, store clerks, and housewives?  There's a database that might just provide you with a dash of spice to add some variety to your family tree!

The Missouri State Penitentiary database, contributed by the Missouri State Archives, is now available on the Missouri Digital Heritage website. The site offers access to 62,758 records of inmates who served in the prison from 1836 to 1931, including the names and ages of the prisoners, their crimes and sentences, as well as the years they entered and were released from the prison. A limited number of inmate photographs is available because mug shots of incoming inmates were not required until 1928.

Crimes committed cover a large ranges of incidents, from commonly thought of crimes such as murder and rape to the unexpected "larceny of fowl at night" and at least on instance of "Conveying into Butler County jail certain package with intent to aid and facilitate escape of prisoners".  (Apparently there was quite the crime wave of chicken theft over a century ago across the state.)

The Missouri State Penitentiary was the first state penal institution west of the Mississippi River. It opened its doors in 1836 and operated continuously until 2004.  If you would like additional information on the penitentiary and its history, look for "The Missouri State Penitentiary : 170 years inside the walls" by Jamie Pamela Rasmussen on your next visit.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Pull Up Your Genes - Genealogy Lock-in at Jonesboro Public Library

The Craighead County - Jonesboro Public Library is hosting a "Genealogy Lock-in" on Saturday, July 18th, 5 PM to Midnight.

The library is located at 315 West Oak Ave in Jonesboro.  For additional information about the event, they can be reached at 870-935-5133 or through their website: libraryinjonesboro.org