Do you have ancestry in Queensland?

The Queensland Police Gazette describes its entries as “Information received in cases of Felony and of Misdemeanor, and against Receivers of Stolen Property; reputed Thieves and Offenders escaped from custody, with the time, place and circumstance of the Offences, and description of those who are not known; the appearance, dress, and other marks of identity, with every particular which may lead to their apprehension; and a Description, as accurate as possible, of Property that has been Stolen, Horses, &c.”

This database provides an index to the approximately 31,200 names and aliases mentioned in the Queensland Police Gazette from its commencement in 1864 to 1874. For each person mentioned in the Gazette it lists the name (and aliases), title (or rank), topic (including where possible the age, nationality, description of offence, occupation, supposed destination), and the reference to enable location of the entry in the gazette (page, date and volume number).

The topics cover a wide range of items of interest to family historians in general, not just those who had family serving in the Police force. During the eleven years covered by this index, topics cover:

  • A range of offences including murder and attempted murder, highway robbery, theft, incendiarism, wife and child desertion, absconding from hired service, rape, and abduction. The Gazette records the names of the victim and suspected offender, addresses, place and circumstance of the offence, age of offender, and nationality, appearance, dress and other marks of identity, and a description, as accurate as possible, of property that has been stolen, horses, &c.
  • Information on offenders - arrests, escaped prisoners, ship and military deserters, suspected offenders, discharged prisoners, and warrants issued. A variety of information is given including the nature of the crime, aliases, a description of the dress and physical appearance of the offender, age, nationality, &c.
  • Lost property - reports the name of the person, circumstances of the loss, description of property, and location.
  • Lists of licences including retail spirit dealers, wholesale wine and spirit dealers, publicans, packet, billiards, bagatelle, auctioneers, medical practitioners, and chemists and druggists. Most lists, giving the date and location of the licenses, commence in February 1871 and are extracts from the Queensland Government Gazette. Lists commenced earlier for medical practitioners (January 1865) and chemists & druggists (February 1870).
  • Police miscellaneous information - for the entire period 1864-1874, the Police Gazette includes lists of appointments, promotions, resignations, discharges, dismissals, reduction in rank, and transfers (1864-1868 only) with the register number, date and place (where appropriate). Rewards to police officers also appear in the Gazette.
  • Missing friends - these are normally people whose whereabouts is sought by relatives or friends. The gazette details (where known) the name, physical description, time last seen, occupation, age, nationality, supposed destination, and other relevant information to assist in their location.
  • Government appointments - these cover Justices of the Peace and Magistrates
  • Returns of deaths reported to the police in which inquests are held - from December 1869, the Gazette records the name of the deceased, occupation, age, physical description and dress, date and place of death, supposed cause of death, and the names of the persons last seen in the company of the deceased.
  • Extracts from Police Gazettes in other colonies - where it was supposed that an offender had travelled to Queensland, extracts from other Police Gazettes were published in the Queensland Police Gazette, particularly in the case of serious offences. Notices from the New South Wales, Victorian, Tasmanian, South Australian and New Zealand gazettes appear during the period covered by this index.

So if you're building a family tree or exploring your family history, and have ancestors who resided in Queensland - whether or not they were involved in the police force - this is a valuable genealogy tool worth searching.