29 January 2010

Wanted: Tracing criminal records

Ron Arons was surprised to learn that his great-grandfather had done time in Sing Sing Prison.

Maybe there’s more to your own family history than you know! Search the Sing Sing Jewish Inmate Database for what might surprise you.

His first book, "The Jews of Sing Sing," was a resounding success, and his new book, "Wanted! US Criminal Records," should be just as successful.

The 380-page book covers 50 states and the District of Columbia, federal records (state by state), where to find prison records, parole, execution, a short primer on considerations for criminal research. Ron's years of experience have certainly contributed to this new field of genealogy.

While Ron says the price ($49.99) might shock some people, he believes that if he can save anyone even one hour in their search for information, the price is justified. "I think I can save people hours and hours of time," he added, during a phone call when we discussed the new book.

The book should be of interest to professional genealogists, libraries, social sciences, true crime, mystery writers - in short, anyone who wants to research criminals for many reasons.

"Wanted! U.S. Criminal Records Sources & Research Methodology" seems to be a one-step reference for information sources about criminals from America's past.

It lists archives, libraries, courts and online sites containing numerous sets of criminal information, such as prison records, criminal court records, parole records, pardon records, execution information and more. There are also examples of documents in repositories and how to conduct genealogical research on criminals.

The new book is for sale on his website. Go to STORE and scroll down to the book ($49.99, including $5 S&H, but not taxes).

Ron will also be speaking at various venues across the country, such as Jamboree 2010.

In March, he'll appear March 15 at the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) in Boston and March 16 at the New York Public Library (NYPL). See his website for his current list of appearances.

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