More than one million prison, workhouse and school archives from institutions across Manchester and parts of Lancashire have gone online. Records going as far back as 1700 include baptism and birth registers, cemetery and death records, marriage registers and apprentice records.

Some of the prison records show harsh penalties. People caught in the 1700s stealing a piece of coal would be sentenced to seven days hard labour. A boy aged 10 was given five years detention in 1901 for associating with bad companions and truancy.

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