Robert Peters, a missing detective?

Discussion in 'Empire & Commonwealth' started by Steve Bumstead, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Steve Bumstead

    Steve Bumstead Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if anyone with access to Australian records can help, but I'm trying to track down the career of a very distant cousin, Robert Peters (1838-?). He was born in the village of Chew Magna in Somerset in 1838, the son of Samuel and Ann. The first real record I have of him is his marriage in Nailsea (not too far from Chew) to Mary Jane House in February 1873. he is described as a 'Customs Detective officer' and the licence gives him as 'detective with the Chinese (?) Force'. Was he perhaps in Hong Kong? I certainly can't find him on the 1871 census.
    He appears in 1881 as a publican in Bristol, England with his wife and two daughters, Mary and Emily , both born in Melbourne, Australia, so presumably they had been there between 1874 and 1878 when the girls were born. In Bristol, Jane gave birth to their son, Robert House Peters (later a Hollywood star of the silent movies), and in 1891 this Robert was enrolled in a school in Adelaide, Victoria. Can anyone help with any records from Australia which might help track the family down? On Ancestry World wide there are a possible couple of police records from Australia, but I don't have a sub for that - I wonder if he worked there as a policeman or if he was in trouble with the law. Thanks in advance for any offers,

    Steve
     
  2. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    If you access to Trove there hundreds of pages mentioning the actor 'House Peters' as he was known.
    Adelaide is in South Australia.;)
     
  3. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    Probably not the same man,..
    19 Nov 1913
    ...Redfern-A warrant has been issued by the Children's court Bench Sydney for the arrest of Robert Peters aged 32, 5'8' tall fair complex. light brown hair, thin build, clean shaven has a habit of twitching when speaking scar on one cheek generally dressed in grey sac suit & soft felt hat a cordial maker or barman
     
  4. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    There is a Robert Peters arriving on the Arhambra in September of 1874 to Melbourne from British ports Foreign and New Zealand. If from Hong Kong then that would make sense
    Or June 1873 on the Norfolk another Robert Peters no Mary though listed
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  5. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    Life a bit later for Robert's son.

    Code:
    https://prabook.com/web/robert.house_peters/1918740
     
  6. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    This looks like it sailed from Dunedin though.
     
  7. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Ah ha!
    In Memorium
    PETERS In memory of Mary wife of Robert who died at Sydney NSW 26th March 1890, late of Bristol England. Inserted by her loving children, South Terrace, Adelaide
    South Australia Register 26March 1896
    By this we can deduce that the family were living in Sydney in 1890 and in Adelaide in 1896 and that Robert doesn’t seem to be in the picture.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  8. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Mary’s death is registered at Waterloo an inner Sydney suburb
     
  9. Steve Bumstead

    Steve Bumstead Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all for your input - Archie's Mum: thanks especially for the death of Mary. It seems as if the family moved around - just a year later they were in Adelaide (South Australia - my apologies for the the error!) although obviously still there in 1896. I think their arrival in Australia would have been directly from England, although I can't be sure - Robert was possibly in Hong Kong pre-1872 and returned to England to marry. Ma-dotcom - thanks for the links and information. The age in the 1913 case fits the son, Robert House Peters, but I'm sure he was in the USA by then - he seems to have arrived there via South Africa where his biography claims he was a mining engineer and also fought in the Boer War. I would like to find out what happened to Robert pere, but perhaps he too moved on after his wife's death.
     
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  10. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    I will see if anything else shows up relating to the two girls, perhaps a marriage.
    So far Robert has evaded detection.
     
  11. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Do you know what school in Adelaide his son Robert House Peters was enrolled in?
     
  12. Steve Bumstead

    Steve Bumstead Well-Known Member

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    Hi Sue,

    I found the record on Family Search - the date of admission was 15th January 1892 and dob given as 12th March 1881. The school was Currie Street School and the parent was Robert Peters, Labourer of 2 Fern Place(?). Previous school was Sidney (sic. - which would fit with Mary's death), leaving in the previous December. It looks like the lad stayed at the school until the middle of 1894, although there is no official date of leaving given - the attendance record just stops. I assume children left school at 13/4 in those days anyway.
     

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