Australia, Victoria, Petty Sessions Registers - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Australia, Victoria, Petty Sessions Registers, 1851-1937
This article describes a collection of records at
Victoria, Australia
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Location of Victoria, Australia
Record Description
Record Type Court
Collection years 1851-1937
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Victoria Public Record Office

What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection includes court cases from the Petty Sessions Registers which covers the years from 1851 to 1937. The Court of Petty Sessions was originally intended to hear minor criminal cases. These cases included, but were not limited to drunkenness, minor assaults, and for matters under twenty pounds; typically, without a jury. Court cases are heard before the magistrate. The original records are housed at the Public Records Office Victoria in North Melbourne, Australia.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

  • Name of ancestor
  • Address of ancestor
  • Role of ancestor in case (plaintiff or defendant)
  • Complaint
  • Date of complaint
  • Ruling on case

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Image[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • Your ancestor's name
  • Some identifying information such as residence
  • Other ancestors who may be named in the complaint
  • Possible years he or she may have been involved in a criminal case

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • Use the information to find the person in other records
  • Analyze the entry to see if it provides additional clues to find other records of the person or their family

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • The person may be recorded with an abbreviated or variant form of their name
  • Try searching by surname only
  • Not everyone in a given locality will be in these records, only those involved with minor court cases.

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Australia.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.