The Irish collection of Outrage Reports contains details of criminal events between 1836 and 1840.
The collection has over 18 thousand records from the entire island of Ireland.
This article looks at what you’ll find in this collection on Find My Past. We also give you tips on searching for what you need.
What Does The Outrage Reports Collection Cover?
Did your Irish ancestors fall victim to a crime between 1836 and 1840? Or were they perhaps the perpetrator?
They may be recorded in this collection of reports prepared by the Royal Irish Constabulary. The historical records are in the British National Archives.
One advantage of this collection is that the time range is earlier than records start for Irish births, marriages, and deaths. You may be able to glean information about their circumstances or property at that time.
Some of the crimes you may see include:
- drunkenness at market fairs
- cattle stealing
- assault and robbery
- violence against property and assets e.g. crop burning
- violence against landowners (perhaps motivated by political unrest)
- murder (this is rare)
Sometimes the perpetrators were unknown at the time of the report. So, you’ll just get the details of the victim (and the constabulary involved).
Don’t be surprised if some ancestors turn up as the criminal. It’s worth being aware of the history of this period. Times were hard, and impoverished people resorted to desperate measures of robbery.
But those times also saw growing agrarian protest i.e.tension over unfair distribution of land and the poor treatment of tenant farmers. Hence the incidences of crop burning that you may come across in these records.
What Do The Records Tell You?
If you’re browsing or searching the collection on Find My Past, the transcripts include these basic details:
- Last name (sometimes the first name is present but not always)
- parish and county
- date of event
Be sure to look at the image of the record! There will be an account of the incident, and this is not included in the transcript.
If you’re working extensively with this collection, you’ll get used to reading handwritten cursive text.
If you’re having trouble deciphering the handwriting, then you could show it to someone of an older generation.
Alternatively, there are many genealogy groups on forums or Facebook that people upload images they can’t decipher. Someone will be sure to help out.
How To Browse The Outrage Report On Find My Past
I suggest that you browse through a few pages of the collection before you jump into searching for specific people.
Here’s one way to browse the collection:
- Use the top Search menu to “Search all records”
- Set the country in the left navigation pane to Ireland
- Expand the “Institutions & organizations” category in the left pane
- Click on “Government”
- Click the “Browse Record set” link beside the Record set input box
Here’s a picture of the steps above (already uploaded).
The “Browse Record set” link opens a pop-up window that lists all the record sets under this chosen category within Ireland.
You’ll see a collection named Outrage Reports in the list. Select this record set and apply the filter.
There are over 18,000 records in the collection. You can now apply some extra search criteria. Here are some tips from my experience.
Searching the record set
Many of the records don’t record a first name. So, I suggest that you restrict a name search to the last name and browse what’s available.
I also have good success when searching on a county.
Some of the collections on Find My Past don’t do well with searches on a specific county. This is because the parish or townland is part of the searchable index but the wider county isn’t included.
However, the Outrage Reports seem to have the county information indexed properly.
Related Collections On Find My Past
If you find your ancestors in an Outrage Report or you want to check other collections related to crime, check out these tutorials:
- Irish Court Sessions (Petty) on Find My Past (these are for lesser crimes)
- Irish Prison Records on Find My Past
- Dublin Prison Records on Find My Past
- Newspapers on Find My Past
Are The Irish Outrage Reports On Other Sites?
The source archive is held at the National Archives in the United Kingdom. You can browse their website using the reference number HO100 (HO stands for Home Office).
However, the actual images or transcripts aren’t online on the National Archives website. Instead, they give you a link to Find My Past.
If you have access to visit the National Archives building at Kew Gardens in London, then you can browse the collection in person.
I have found subsets of the collection available online elsewhere. Some county libraries in Ireland have extracted the specific records for their county and made them available.
However, Find My Past seems to be the only comprehensive online collection.
Overview Of Irish Court And Prison Records
The linked article covers the main paid and free sites that have collections with online access.