Sunday, 3 October 2010

Police Summons Sheets

An interesting series that I recently used for the first time is Rockhampton Police Station summons sheets 1898-1905 (Queensland State Archives series ID 6545). The three volumes (item IDs 212364-212366; previous system A/146-A/148) cover 1 Nov 1898 - 13 Jul 1900, 29 Apr 1902 - 1 Sep 1903 and 6 Nov 1904 - 7 Feb 1905. Details shown are date, plaintiff (sometimes 'police'), defendant, offence, judgement and magistrate's name. Entries are chronological.

A wide variety of offences are listed. They include larceny; assault; insulting words; obscene language; excessive use of liquor; boarding a train while in motion; breaches of various Acts and By-laws; child desertion; wife desertion; disobeying a maintenance order; failing to contribute to support of children in an orphanage; and affiliation. ('Affiliation' refers to a court order against a man alleged to be the father of an illegitimate child, requiring him to make payments towards the child's upkeep.)

One entry in A/146 shows that Bob LONG, charged with 'larceny, lollies', was 'convicted but not punished upon condition that his father flogs him'.

To check whether similar sources exist for other towns, search for the phrase summons sheet in ArchivesSearch.

Other 'unusual' sources are described on my Web site, which lists over 53,000 names from records in Archives.


  1. hi Judy I've nominated you for the Ancestor Approved Award as thanks for all your hard work in Queensland FH research. Pauleen

  2. Pauleen, thank you so much! I have been away and without Internet access for almost a week, so this was a lovely surprise when I came home last night. I have been preoccupied with family problems, executor duties, helping friends during the floods, etc. Hopefully I can find a bit of time for writing during the coming weeks.


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