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. Sometimes newspaper reports are the only remaining record of an event.

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

If it happened it was in the news

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
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