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Find your Infamous Ancestors

These records cover wanted persons, absentees and deserter records in TheGenealogist’s latest release


Over 56,000 individuals and 20,802 further aliases from The Police Gazette have been released by TheGenealogist covering the years 1901, 1911, 1921 and 1931 and are now available to Diamond subscribers in their Court and Criminal Records Collection.


Searchable by name, alias, offence among other keywords, these records have been transcribed by volunteers from UKIndexer to provide an effective resource for discovering descriptions of our wayward ancestors.


MEPO 6 on TheGenealogist includes the Police Gazette for 1901, 1911, 1921 and 1931


These newly released Police Gazette records (sometimes known to researchers by its historic name of Hue and Cry) are a part of the MEPO 6 criminal records on TheGenealogist that also include Habitual Criminals Registers and Miscellaneous Papers.


The images of the pages from the Police Gazette publication on TheGenealogist were originally published by the Metropolitan Police and circulated to Police forces in the British Isles. They include a number of portraits of the offenders and always give descriptive written details of the individuals. Expect to see the names of persons charged who were known but not in custody, and also the description of those who were not known, their appearance, dress, and every other mark of identity that could help identify the person. Also included in the Police Gazette were the names of accomplices and accessories, with every other particular that may lead to the apprehension of the individuals


Wanted for Theft and Desertion

Sections of the Police Gazette were devoted to “Deserters and Absentees” from the military and those “Discharged for Misconduct”. These provide interesting details about ancestors missing from the Army and the Navy. As an example we can find Albert Eyre, 45, a Colour-sergeant in the 1st Battalion Royal Rifles Reserve Regiment. He appears firstly in the alphabetical list on the front page of “Deserters and Absentees from Her Majesty’s Service” in January 1901.


Albert Eyre in the portraits of persons wanted and list of Deserters and Absentees from the Police Gazette 


Eyre then warrants several mentions, including a photograph of him, on the inside pages of subsequent editions. He had by then also become wanted, along with a female accomplice, by Portsmouth Police for “Stealing a considerable amount of Money.” The fugitive was described as: age 45, height 5 ft. 5 in., complexion sallow, hair brown, moustache and imperial dark, eyes grey; dress, black overcoat, dark suit, grey cap.


We can read that he had left Portsmouth accompanied by an unnamed woman whose unflattering description is also published: age 23 (looks older) height 5ft. 5 in., stout build, complexion sallow, hair (short) dyed auburn colour, 1 front tooth deficient.


TheGenealogist has an extensive Court and Criminal Records collection that can be used to discover trouble-making ancestors that include the MEPO 6 records that embrace Registers of Criminals as defined by sections 5-8 of the Prevention of Crimes Act 1871, with examples of the Police Gazettes. 


Read TheGenealogist’s featured article where a search of the MEPO 6 Criminal Records discovers female gang leaders known as the Queen of the Forties: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2023/the-queens-of-the-forties-1683/ 


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TheGenealogist releases Metropolitan Police Habitual Criminal Registers


TheGenealogist has added to its Criminal Records collections with the release of the Metropolitan Police Criminal Records Office: Habitual Criminals Registers and the Habitual Drunkards Registers.


These are high quality transcripts with original colour images of the registers, as well as registers created by the Police to supervise released criminals.

One of the most interesting features of these records are the photographic portraits taken from the Registers of Habitual Drunkards. These feature two photographs - face on and profile - per individual, and some records may also give distinguishing features. The Habitual Drunkards Registers were distributed to licensed premises and the secretaries of clubs to prevent the convicted person from buying alcohol.

  • Entries contain a description of the individual and date of discharge from prison
  • Some records may also give distinguishing features of the individual
  • See face on and profile Photographs of habitual drunks.
  • It may also give the name of the prison, length of sentence and previous convictions.
  • Includes registers created by the Police to supervise released criminals including spies!

These new records from The National Archive’s MEPO 6 are available as part of the Diamond Subscription at TheGenealogist.


The Criminal Records on TheGenealogist could reveal the darker side of your family tree. Read TheGenealogist’s article:


About TheGenealogist


TheGenealogist is an award-winning online family history website, who put a wealth of information at the fingertips of family historians. Their approach is to bring hard to use physical records to life online with easy to use interfaces such as their Tithe and newly released Lloyd George Domesday collections.


TheGenealogist’s innovative SmartSearch technology links records together to help you find your ancestors more easily. TheGenealogist is one of the leading providers of online family history records. Along with the standard Birth, Marriage, Death and Census records, they also have significant collections of Parish and Nonconformist records, PCC Will Records, Irish Records, Military records, Occupations, Newspaper record collections amongst many others.


TheGenealogist uses the latest technology to help you bring your family history to life. Use TheGenealogist to find your ancestors today!

About The National Archives

The National Archives is one of the world’s most valuable resources for research and an independent research organisation in its own right. As the official archive and publisher for the UK government, and England and Wales they are the guardians of some of the UK's most iconic national documents, dating back over 1,000 years. Their role is to collect and secure the future of the government record, both digital and physical, to preserve it for generations to come, and to make it as accessible and available as possible. The National Archives brings together the skills and specialisms needed to conserve some of the oldest historic documents as well as leading digital archive practices to manage and preserve government information past, present and future.

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/  http://www.legislation.gov.uk/



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