View Full Version : Newspapers

Guy Etchells
07-11-2004, 1:52 PM
Newspapers are often overlooked as a source of information to flesh out a family tree, even early newspapers carried useful information.
Cresswell's Nottingham & Newark Journal
Nottingham , May 19, 1775

Whereas Samuel Nix, Apprentice to Mr. John Rudkin, Bricklayer, in the New Buildings, absconded his Master's Service on Sunday the 14th Instant; he is of a fresh Complextion, thin Visage, brown flank Hair, about nineteen Years of Age. Had on a dark brown Coat, Mettal Buttons, Leather Breeches, new Hat and Shoes, and if in his Working Dress; a Drill Frock and blue Waistcoat. He is supposed to be gone to Horncastle. These are to discharge all Persons (as well Military as Civil) from harbouring or employing the said Apprentice, as they will be prosecuted as the Law directs; and whoever will secure and give Notice, or will bring the said Apprentice to me, shall be well paid, and all reasonable Charges.


Bath, August 18 1773
Lately died at East Town, in the parish of Steeple-Ashton, Wilts.,
Assina Newman, a woman, who in the space of two years, had been tapped
40 times for the dropsy, and a full six gallons of water taken from her
each time ; but this diorder did not occasion her death (as she was
remarkably stout during the time of these operations) but her
imprudently taking large quantities of rhubarb.

Nottingham & Newark Journal Sept. 25 1773
Whereas John Tyney, Apprentice to Mr. Robert Brooks, F.w.k. in Butdye,
absconded his masters service some time since; he is 5 feet high, much
freckled, light curl'd hair, hump back, had on a dark frize coat, a
green or red waistcoat, and a pair of leather breeches.
Also, Jouathan Jelly, apprentice to Mr Thomas Roberts, F.w.k. in
Broadmarsh, absented his masters service in July last ; he is 5 feet 4
inches high, strong made, dark hair, had on thickset coat and waistcoat,
with white metal buttons, and leather breeches, Also, John Gracie
apprentice to Mr. Joseph Holwell, cordwainer, absconded his masters
service some time since, he is 5 feet 7 inches high, dark hair, had on
an orange-coloured red coat and waistcoat, and a pair of leather
These are to discharge all persons from harbouring or employing the said
apprentices, as they will be prosecuted with the utmost severity as the
law directs, by the society of Manufactures at Mr. Lee's the Peacock, in
St. Peter's Gate.
Any person who will secure or bring the said apprentices to the club
house shall be amply paid, and all charges Mr. Matthew Booker, Clerk to
the society.


07-11-2004, 2:27 PM
I agree entirely with Guy that newspapers provide a wealth of information about our ancestors. The reports of funerals in local newspapers can be particularly useful. Very often, as well as a brief outline of the deceased's life, there is a list of immediate mourners and then general mourners. The relationship between the deceased and the immediate mourners is usually given, which can lead to branches of the family hitherto unknown. Also read through the list of floral tributes, these can prove equally useful.

Best wishes

07-11-2004, 3:54 PM
Guy, I love the examples :)

Thought these addresses might be useful:

The British Library has a limited number of newspapers available online, at www.uk.olivesoftware.com/

If you can visit in person, there's the "offline" library at Colindale, near London, http://www.bl.uk/collections/newspapers.html - and lots of libraries have local papers.

I've not subscribed to this, but I notice that it has some issues of The Times and a couple of other UK newspaper, although they are mainly American ones. www.newspaperarchive.com

For New Zealand, I've just discovered http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/index.html. It's not searchable, but if you know a rough date, you can browse.

07-11-2004, 5:16 PM
Yes ... one of my ancestral cousins even made the pages of The Times. He was a missionary and spent 34 years in the Loyalty Islands in the mid 1800s, before refusing to leave when the French invaded. He was evicted at an hours notice. Still trying to find out what happened to him.