Over 4.5 million new records and newspaper articles are available to search this Findmypast Friday Including;
Covering both civil and minor criminal cases, the Court of Petty Sessions’ brief was wide, making these records a powerful resource for those with Australian ancestors. Your ancestors may appear as a witness, defendant, complainant or even as a Justice of the Peace. Cases ranged from merchants who had not paid duty on their goods, to workers suing for unpaid wages. Debts were collected and disputes settled. Public drunkenness was a common offence, as was assault and general rowdiness.
These cases, brought before a magistrate, would usually not involve a jury and complaints regarding money were originally limited to sums not exceeding £20. Today, the Magistrates’ Court addresses issues that would have been brought before the Court of Petty Sessions.
Dating back to colonial days, the Court first convened in 1838 in Melbourne. Over time, additional courts were established throughout Victoria and by 1880 there were 235 Petty Sessions in operation across the state.
The registers available in this collection cover the years between 1854 and 1985. Transcripts will list the event date, your ancestor’s role (whether plaintiff, defendant, etc.), cause or reason for the case, the court it was held at, the date and brief description. Images may provide additional details such as how they brought before the court (arrest on view, warrant, or summons), notes on any fees, the court’s decision, a memo of conviction, or order and any additional remarks.
Over 14,600 new articles from 46 assorted titles have been added to the Periodical Source Index this month. The new additions have been made to a variety of English, Scottish and American publications that will allow you to access articles, photos, and other material you might not find using traditional search methods.
This month’s enormous Irish Newspaper update contains over 1.2 million articles. Seven brand new titles have also been added including the Leinster Leader, Donegal Independent, Kildare Observer & Eastern Counties Advertiser, Wicklow News-Letter & County Advertiser, Longford Journal Wicklow People and the Ballyshannon Herald.