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Police Stories

The Kilted Ancestors Theme for June was 'Police Stories'

Ok so let’s face it not everyone has a Policeman in their Family Tree, or do they?

We do in fact have two, James Mather was Born 13 Aug 1887 in Tillicoultry & was the cousin of my Great Grandfather. He would marry Jessie Ramage in 1909 & at this time was living in Bellshill, Lanarkshire & was noted as working as a Police Constable.

Later in his career he would move to Airdrie where he was the local Policeman or ‘Beat Bobby’ in one of the villages there.

Interestingly his son Robert who had been born in Shettleston Police Office in 1909 would go on to become a Policeman & would live & work in Airdrie where he would reach the rank of Inspector. I have been told that he was called in to officiate during the Nuremberg Trials following World War 2, something I still need to research if any records of officials exist!

Inspector Robert Ramage Mather circa 1958 (centre) - Image Monklands Photographic Collection

If you do have a policeman in the family as a few of my clients have then a search of the local newspapers is a must! You are bound to find information in relation to court cases, petty crime or perhaps just an announcement that a new child was born into the family.

It was not long ago in Scotland that Local Bobbies were a big part of the community, I remember ours only too well. They were much respected, known by everyone & perhaps even feared by some!

Whilst carrying out some family research myself recently I uncovered the death of a 21-year-old lad who did not keep well & had been known to take fits. On going for a lie down in the afternoon his father later went to wake him, but when he could not wake him up, he ran out into the street & summoned the local Bobby to assist. On examining the boy, the Policeman told his father that he seemed to be dead & called for the local doctor who confirmed his suspicions.

Inverness Constabulary Policeman & Car circa 1950 - Creative Commons - Wikipedia

Not only did the Local Policeman assist with matters of crime, lost property, dog licenses and many other duties…they assisted the local residents in any way they could & I am sure in doing so built up a trust with the locals.

In some ways it is a shame that we no longer see Local Policemen….the days of knowing your local policeman by name have long gone & in fact when I last called to my towns police office it too had closed.


Why not join in with some of the amazing events taking place in my Kilted Ancestors Facebook Group which will also be embracing Year of Stories during 2022!

Interested in having a piece of research completed on your behalf or need some tutoring to help you break through that brick wall in your research? Visit our home page to find out more

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