Every family has them. If you do more than scrape the surface, genealogically speaking, you’ll find them in your family. The black sheep, the bad boys and girls.

Some folks find them embarassing. I find them fascinating. And now you have resources to find out more about them.

The North Carolina Department of Correction website is crammed with information.

But the state line is not the limit. You can find links to dozens of crime and prison databases at Prison Search, which provides national and international coverage, including 16th century English records and lists of persons “shipped” from Scotland, Wales and Ireland to Australia and the Americas.

And if you can’t find what you’re looking for there, try Googling, something like “prison inmate genealogy” and maybe a specific location. There are hundreds of databases worldwide.

Good sleuthing!