I suspect one of my ancestors served time in prison in the US. Does FS have prison records?
You didn't give me a name, but I found a site through the FamilySearch Wiki you might want to view. Go to search, wiki, then in the search box enter Ohio Prison records. A great site called Blacksheep Ancestors comes up. There is a place to choose Ohio, click on that and there are a couple of sites you can use for your search. As it was mentioned before, prisons and other institutions also appear on the censuses, so be sure to check those, too.
Actually, inmates can show up on Censuses taken in the vicinity of prisons.
more or less what year would this have been and any idea what prison?
It would have been 1900, in the vicinity of Cleveland Ohio. This is a family rumor. There is circumstantial evidence in that he was married in 1892 in Cleveland, and he and his wife had 3 children before 1900. Then in the 1900 census, his wife and children are in the household of her widowed mother. She is listed as married. Where is he? Perhaps in prison, or perhaps they were separated.
Do you mind sharing the name with us?
I would be happy to do a little looking for you.
feel free to message me privately if you so desire.