Thursday, December 5, 2013

Kingston Penitentiary: Home to Canada’s most notorious criminals

The four men are Albert McKeowan, James McDonald, Philip Benoit, and George Marles. These photos were taken in 1915.  Credit: Library and Archives Canada, RG73-C-6 

The Library and Archives Canada has just released the ledgers from the Kingston Penitentiary for you to research if your ancestor spent time there when it opened in 1835.   

Located in Portsmouth, now part of Kingston, this institution was designated for the incarceration of prisoners from both Upper Canada and Lower Canada.

Kingston Pen, as it is commonly known, closed its doors on September 30, 2013.

These ledgers, which have been digitized and can be viewed on the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) website at

You will have to know the name of the person you are looking for in this instant.    

The ledgers provide photographs (mug shots) of inmates and information such as name; alias; age; place of birth; physical description; occupation; crime committed; and date, place and length of sentence.

Special Holiday Season Membership Gift

The Museum of Civilization and the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa are offering a special Holiday Season Membership Gift to you.

If you sign up for a standard membership, you will receive an extended Membership Level Membership, and your membership will be extended by one extra month. If you purchase a Plus Level Membership, your membership will be extended by two extra months.

Put in the promotional code AC138 in the printed copy of the sign-up form, and bring it to the box office, or you can call the box office at 819.776.7100.

To see the levels of membership, you can go to