Source Information

Ancestry,com. West Midlands, England, Police Files and Ledgers, 1850-1950 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2020. This collection was indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors.
Original data: Police Files and Ledgers, West Midlands. Birmingham, West Midlands, England: West Midlands Police Museum.

About West Midlands, England, Police Files and Ledgers, 1850-1950

Historical Context

This collection comprises records from files and ledgers relating to the police force in and around the West Midlands. For centuries, law enforcement in English towns and parishes was left to local constables and watchmen. In 1829, Robert Peel introduced the Metropolitan Police Act which established the Metropolitan Police in London. The 1835 Municipal Corporations Act provided for the creation of police forces on a local level, but many municipalities were slow to respond. It was not until the County and Borough Police Act of 1856 that it became compulsory for municipalities to establish a police force.

This Collection

This collection includes a wide variety of registers that recorded appointments of regular and special constables, promotions, disciplinary actions, transfers, lists of applicants, injuries sustained in the line of duty, and physical descriptions. In some cases, the records list the marital status, names of spouses, and birth dates and places. The files and ledgers cover the constabularies of Birmingham, Staffordshire, Coventry, Walsall, West Midlands, Dudley and Wolverhampton.

Details available vary but users may find:

  • Name
  • Warrant Number
  • Birth Place
  • Age
  • Position
  • Birth Date
  • Division
  • Death Date
  • Marriage Date
  • Spouse
  • Date of joining and leaving