Welcome, fellow genealogists! My blog will teach you about U.S. land records and United Kingdom research. My family has roots in Niagara County, New York; Norfolk, England; and northeast Germany.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday: Essex Police Museum

The Federation of Family History Society recently emailed a message from the Essex Police Museum. They have a large archives and a website to help people tracing their family history. The museum is open every Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm, although the office is staffed Monday to Friday for enquiries and group tours. Further information can be found on their website http://www.essex.police.uk/museum/

Note: This seemed like a small museum that may only help a few people, but their website is a big surprise. I recommend you spend some time reviewing its features, and I wonder if other counties have similar facilities or websites.

It is easy to look for the service records of an ancestor that you suspect might have been a policeman in Essex. I entered the surname “BRETT” and got four results. They had the full records for one person, and I could order the file for £20. The other three were considered incomplete, but here is one as an example which I think contains a fair amount of information.

145 Alfred Brett served between 1842-05-24 - 1842-07-31

Unfortunately we have no complete record of service for Alfred Brett but we do have the following information:

Date of birth: 1814

Place of birth: West Hanningfield

Occupation: Labourer

Date of death: 0000-00-00

Reason left force: Discharged - Incapacity

Copyright: the Essex Police Museum

The museum also publishes a series of booklets collectively known as ‘History Notebooks’. There are over 50 titles many of which have a person’s name included, such as ‘The Murder of Sergeant Eves’. Each one is downloadable as a pdf file at no charge.


Becky Wash, Museum Curator
Direct Dial: 01245 457 150
Essex Police Museum, PO Box 2, Headquarters, Springfield, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 6DA

Are there other police museums out there? Yes! I googled ‘police museum UK’ and got the following and a few more.

Greater Manchester Police Museum www.gmpmuseum.com
City of London Police Museum www.citypolicemuseum.org.uk
West Midlands www.westmidlandspolicemuseum.co.uk

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