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Digital Subscriptions > Family Tree > Family Tree March 2018 > A policeman’s lot?

A policeman’s lot?

Explore the serious, sublime and the ridiculous facets of family history in this genealogical miscellany. This issue, Tom Wood attempts to make sense of some census conundrums and unusual birth records

Dear Tom

Genealogical miscellany

We’ve had a fair number of puzzling occupations in these columns in the past, but this one from Lorna Young is a new one on me. Lorna tells me her ancestor Jane Stroud married a police constable named John Cameron and on the 1891 Census they are living in Camberwell. Nothing unusual so far you may think, however, in the occupation column of the census sheet it says that John is a ‘Police Constable in charge of empty house’. What does this mean, Lorna wonders? Was he disaffected with his job or is there a better explanation? Let’s hope so! Incidentally, Lorna says her ancestor Jane had two sisters: Margaret Bessie, who also married a police constable (called George Whatley), and Sarah Ann, whose husband was called James Constable! Perhaps, as Lorna says, it was a family theme!

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Where would today's family historian be without the wonders of the web? This issue we give you bespoke clues to help you mine that nugget of ancestral gold from among the billions of records available the major family history websites. But family history isn't just about researching facts. It's about recording and treasuring that family story. So to help you do just this, we also have a guide to building your own website for your genealogical discoveries - an online home for your family archive. Step up, and see where you can take your research next!