Sometimes newspaper reports are the only remaining record of an event.
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If it happened it was in the news

Court proceedings, police activity, probate, bankruptcy, sport – even garden parties. Old newspapers expose every aspect of life as it really was. Old newspapers are a real treasure trove. Revealing the real lives of our ancestors. From transported convicts, crime reports, births, deaths, obituaries and marriages.

Old British News

Lichfield Mercury – Friday 13 December 1878

What can you expect to find in newspapers?

  • Crime reports
  • Obituaries
  • Birth, marriage, death and funeral notices
  • Announcements of life events
  • Social news
  • Activities of clubs and organisations
  • Legal notices, such as those from court cases
  • Police statements
  • Local events and coverage
  • Bankruptcies
  • Advertisements and business notices
  • Weather
  • Major local events, such as fires and floods
  • Shipping
Old British News

Brighton Gazette – Thursday 09 June 1825

How old newspapers help you?

  • Life events data, such as birth, marriage and death notices are the basics for family history.
  • Local news can provide a lot of detail, especially about relationships and residence of various family members. This sometimes picks up lost links or branches of a family who stayed or moved. It may also account for a youngster who was born and died between census enumerations.
  • Many snippets of information are buried in the advertisements and legal notices.
  • Marriages, death notices and other short items
  • Notices of sale of land, bankruptcy, dissolutions of partnership which could give clues to a change of financial status.
Old British News

Stamford Mercury – Friday 10 July 1863

Old British News is devised and operated by Ian Waugh. Find out more here.