If your relative was in a state prison–as opposed to a local or county jail–see if there are records of his or her incarceration. Chances are, the prison’s earlier records have been transferred to a state archives or other statewide facility charged with maintaining the records. If they do not have the records, they may be able to point you in the direction of other agencies or facilities that may be able to help you.

Prison registers may provide physical information or biographical information on your ancestor not located in court records.

This page on the National Archives website contains a list of state archives throughout the United States.

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