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Identity of 1891 Worcester Police Officer

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Identity of 1891 Worcester Police Officer

Postby bramleyapple » Fri May 02, 2014 9:00 am

I have a fairly close relative (as his photo was near the front of the family album) and taken 1890-92 (from studio dates) - he seemed to be middle aged. This forum has previously helped me establish that the uniform was Worcester police. I know he was officer no. 6 and appeared to be a sergeant, but I’m still struggling to find his name.
I found an 1892 petition on the internet, wherein some Worcester police officers had lost confidence in their Chief Constable, Arthur Sommers, who had committed domestic violence. Alas, officer number 6 was not amongst the signatories. I had been told they would be likely to be full time officers and when I looked some of them up on the 1891 census, they did indeed have police officer listed as their occupation.
I had thought that my relative would probably have the surname Deakin or Smith and live in Worcester, but all likely suspects have a different occupation listed in 1891. So maybe this is a relative I haven’t yet discovered and if I could get names of those serving at the time I could make connections.
However, I cannot establish that the West Mercia police archives can be pursued via the internet (a police museum seems not to exist anymore). I subscribe to Ancestry, but am not aware of any way I could search the census by occupation there or anywhere else. I am currently left with trawling through the complete Worcester enumerator districts for the 1891 census.
I wondered if anyone has any ideas or pointers I may have overlooked or be unaware of. My relative was I think in a desk job at the time of the photo and was probably responsible for paperwork e.g. signing prisoners in and out etc ( a motif on his uniform apparently suggest this), so even if there were part-timers, it seems unlikely that he was one of them. Any assistance would of course be much appreciated. It’s taken a long while to get this far; establishing a name would be icing on the cake!
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Re: Identity of 1891 Worcester Police Officer

Postby callbrian » Fri May 02, 2014 1:06 pm

Hi
I thought I might be able to help you with your query. I was going to point you to the current issue (86) of WDYTYA? magazine and the article on Police ancestors. The link for West Midlands seems to be broken. Maybe the TNA is the place to look. I assume some of these museums maybe closing due to the cuts in budgets!
Good Luck
Brian
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Re: Identity of 1891 Worcester Police Officer

Postby bramleyapple » Fri May 02, 2014 5:25 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. I'd also tried the broken police website and assumed it had become a funding cut. I haven't found anything on TNA yet either, but I will keep looking.
Martin


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Re: Identity of 1891 Worcester Police Officer

Postby paulberyl » Fri May 02, 2014 6:06 pm

Unfortunately West Mercia Police do not have a museum.

Some records relating to Worcester City Police and Worcestershire Constabulary (prior to the creation of West Mercia Police) are held by Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service who are probably your best port of call.

There is a, now out of print, book "A history of the Worcester City Police 1833 - 1967" which is available through AbeBooks.co.uk

As an aside Dave Cross who did an excellent job in running the West Midlands Police Museum in Birmingham has now retired and in the absence of a new curator to all intents and purposes the museum is closed and is currently not dealing with any enquiries with the website closed down.

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Re: Identity of 1891 Worcester Police Officer

Postby bramleyapple » Fri May 02, 2014 6:44 pm

Thanks Paul for clarifying the museum situation. I was aware of the book and have discovered an inter library loan would be no cheaper than buying it. So I probably will make the purchase - no doubt I will find it of interest, but from what I can gather, it probably won't contain the info I want. To establish whether the information is even available I will probably have to approach The Hive, as you suggest. Thanks for you help.





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Re: Identity of 1891 Worcester Police Officer

Postby ianbee » Fri May 02, 2014 8:52 pm

Hi
You can search the 1891 census by occupation on findmypast, you don't have to be a subscriber to do this and see the index. In fact their new site has one advantage at least over the old one, you don't have to put a name in!
So putting in police sergeant as an occupation in the county of Worcestershire did seem to bring up a couple of names on that petition, Charles Thomas, 49, and Frederick Tarrant (transcribed as Sarrant) age 33 - both living in the parish of Worcester.
Other names that came up living in Worcester were John Richards, 44, Francis E Brotherton, 38, James T Chare, 31, Thomas Hinde, 29, William James, 45, Henry Joyner, 42.
I think it is the constables on that petition who have the numbers, and Nathan Harper is 6? They sometimes give those numbers in newspaper reports involving the police, and a PC Harper (No 6) might feature in a Worcester City Police report in the early nineties. There is a Nathan Harper from Worcestershire, but don't think he is a policeman in the census. Probably would not be your middle aged man!
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Re: Identity of 1891 Worcester Police Officer

Postby bramleyapple » Sat May 03, 2014 8:25 am

Many thanks to Ian. I never cease to be amazed at how helpful forum members are and how some member's respond to research queries with work well beyond what could reasonably be hoped or expected. I'll be exploring all your suggestions and post an update with any progress.

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Re: Identity of 1891 Worcester Police Officer

Postby bramleyapple » Thu May 15, 2014 8:10 pm

Ancestry 0 FMP 1, in spite of recent criticism? Further help needed please. Unfortunately, I have not managed to established any connections with my family tree from any of the police sergeant names Ian found via FMP on the 1891 census for Worcester.
I knew the photo was taken 1890-92, so maybe it was taken in 1892 to celebrate his promotion and I should be looking for a police constable in the 1891 census. I thought I'd eventually managed an occupation search on Ancestry, but results were hopeless. A couple of emails to Ancestry asking for clarification resulted in them admitting that, whilst other fields had been indexed, 'occupation' had not as far as there website was concerned - so a search by occupation wasn't possible! They offered their apologies.
I'm afraid I still need detailed guidance to the occupation search on FMP. Ian says you don't have to subscribe - I managed to find options to search other fields in the 1891 census for Worcester, but not an option to enter keywords that worked or an occupation. Any assistance much appreciated.
Martin
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Re: Identity of 1891 Worcester Police Officer

Postby junkers » Thu May 15, 2014 9:13 pm

TNA only hold the records of police officers of the Metropolitan Police (except when their cases were referred to the Home Office or another Government department) and I think contacting The Hive in Worcester may be useful, perhaps there was a local Police Gazette or staff association journal for that time.
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Re: Identity of 1891 Worcester Police Officer

Postby poolmat » Sun May 29, 2016 8:10 am

Hello, apologies for the late reply to this topic. The Sergeant is a Frederick Peacock who was promoted to Sgt 6 around 1892. He later became Inspector. Hope this helps. Regards Matt
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