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The Irish Prison Registers 1790-1924 on Findmypast are an excellent source for tracing your Irish ancestors, providing a wealth of information about the person who has been incarcerated including their name, address, place of birth, occupation, religion, education, age and even physical descriptions.

The prison registers have also become a popular record set for historians to browse through as an alternative source for tracing the history of rebellion in Ireland. Some of Ireland’s most famous patriots feature in the registers, having found themselves on the wrong side of the law in their struggle for Irish independence.

In there, you’ll find Robert Emmet’s 1803 arrest for “Rebellion” and his sentence to death from Kilmainham Gaol. Another record features the arrest of William Smith O’Brien and Thomas Francis Meagher for “Serious Treasonable Practice” in 1823. They would go on to become leaders of the Young Irelanders during the 1848 Rebellion.

In later years, you’ll discover Irish Republican Brotherhood leader John Daly along with his brother Ned and their arrest in 1866 for “Being a member of the Fenian conspiracy and assisting in making & concealing bullets for treasonable purposes”. In 1916, Eamonn DeValéra’s arrest for “armed rebellion” is also listed in the registers.

It’s not only famous revolutionary leaders that feature in these fascinating records though. Over 3 million names have been recorded covering a period of over 130 years of Irish history. Explore the Irish Prison Registers today and see if you can uncover the black sheep in your Irish family tree.

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