Penal registers

Penal registers where mainained by municipalities. They chronologically record the offenses & crimes committed by local inhabitants with a reference to the verdict of the court and the exact start and end of imprisonment.

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 Penal register 1899   (District archive Brno-venkov located in Rajhrad, Czech language)

This is an example of the penal register from the village Opatovice. The first entry records the misdeeds of Jan Kordík, 29-year-old worker, married, belonging to Růžová, born in Moravské Bránice, who was sentenced according to the 9th, 197th, and 199th letter of the law and articles 202 & 55 of the penal code to 6 weeks (in jail) with fasting each 14 days. Jan Kordík had previously been sentenced on 9 December 1897 to 2 months in heavy jail in Brno for theft. He was to start the sentence on 1 September 1899. He is able to read and write.


WHY were they collected?  Evidence of offenses and crimes committed by inhabitants
WHEN were they collected?   1850-1950
WHO collected the records? Municipalities
WHAT information can be found? Name and surname, age, birth place, right-of-domicile, previous penalties, subject of delict, verdict, beginning & end of the imprisonment, physical & mental status
In which ARCHIVES are they held?

District archives

In which archive FILES can they be found?  Archive of town (Archiv města), Archive of village (Archiv obce)
LANGUAGE of records Czech, German
AVAILABILITY  Rarely preserved, if available very interesting
What must be KNOWN before getting started? Name, place of residence and time scale when the offenses could happen. Records are kept in chronological order.
Czech expression Trestní kniha (plural = Trestní knihy)
German expression Index