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My passion is genealogy and family history. I host a podcast about Australian family history, Genies Down Under. In my day job, I work as a lecturer and a researcher in higher education, teaching pre-service teachers.

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Saturday, 24 November 2012

So, that's what they looked like?

After searching through the NSW Police Gazette recently 1854–1930, I found quite a few references to some of my ancestors who were listed under the following types of entries

  • missing persons/ missing friends
  • people who had had items stolen
  • criminals who had been apprehended

One of the aspects of the NSW Police Gazettes that is so useful for anyone who ever had ancestors in NSW is that the information is provided about "the lives of people on both sides of the law". In other words, people who had committed crimes as well as people who were victims of crime.

Here are a couple of references I found to my ancestors under the "Missing Friends" section:

24 March 1926:
Missing, since the 13th instant from her home, 7 Connemarra-street, Bexley, - LUCY NORTHCOTE, 50 years of age, 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high, medium complexion, black hair, turning grey, blue eyes; dressed in a striped Fuji de luxe dress, black hat and black shoes and stockings; has been despondent of late. Information to her husband at the above address.


Missing since 2nd August 1925, from his home, Murralong-avenue, Five Dock, - ALFRED JAMES NORTHCOTT, 50 years of age, 5 feet 6 inches high, medium build, fair complexion, brown hair, and moustache, grey eyes; dressed in dark tweed trousers, double-breasted navy-blue coat, dark nigger-brown boots and  a brown felt hat; a labourer; a bachelor. Informration to his mother, Margaret Northcott, at the above address.
[apologies for the politically incorrect description of Alfred's boots]

The Police Gazettes can be accessed and searched through Ancestry.com.au. If you don't have paid subscription access to Ancestry, you can access it through computers at some libraries, archives offices and family history centres. Or, you can buy them from Gould Genealogy for about AUD$40.


  1. I just discovered a great free online resource for searching archived USA based small town newspapers (news, photos, obituaries, etc) via the website of archiving company Small Town Paper’s website. It’s definitely worth checking out!

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    Yours in service,