Saturday, August 3, 2013

Society Saturday - Folsom Prison Blues - 1879-1942

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Denise Hibsch Richmond.

Publications Donated to Folsom Prison Museum

Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society recently donated two of its publications to the Folsom Prison Museum in Folsom, California.

The California State Prison, Folsom, Numerical Register 1879 - 1903 (cover photo shown above) contains an alphabetical list of convicts and their Folsom Prison-assigned number.  The Folsom Historical Society generously gave Lois A. Dove access to the original book from which she extracted these records.

Folsom Prison, Folsom California, List of Convicts July 26, 1880 - December 31, 1942 (cover photo shown above) is based on the original journal of Folsom Prison from its beginning in July 1880.  The microfilms of these records are located at the California State Archives in Sacramento, California. 

Excerpts of the journal (sample shown above, click to enlarge) precede the convict list and show the detailed information available for each prisoner.

The convict number is key in defining the prisoner in the original records and when many similar or identical names exist.  The convict number was assigned to each prisoner as he arrived at Folsom and processed into the system.  The numbers are sequential according to the date the convict was admitted.  Since many convicts were repeat offenders some of them had more than one Folsom number, and they even had numbers from other prisons both inside and outside of California.  A large number of the Folsom prisoners were transferred there from San Quentin Prison.  Know too that the convict had a different prisoner number at San Quentin.

Was your ancestor on the wrong side of the law? 
It's worth considering prisoner records
when you have gaps in an ancestor's history.

Further Research
These publications were made possible by members of Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society and are available for purchase or research assistance.

Visit the Folsom History Museum website for extended history about the institution.

Contact the California State Archives regarding a specific prisoner's records.

Shop and Support Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society.
Click here for details.

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