Five things you can find out about your ancestors from newspaper clippings


09 November 2023
Mary McKee of FindMyPast shares her expertise on ancestral facts you could discover from an online search of old newspapers

Newspaper coverage about your ancestors can provide you with family clues to expand your tree and enriching detail to bring your family history to life.

Five family history clues from newspapers:

1. Birth notices usually include the names of both parents 

2. Marriage notices may mention guests (ie friends and family members) 

3. Marriage notices may even mention what the bride & groom and other members of the wedding party were wearing

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4. Notices of anniversaries and other special events will reveal what your ancestors deemed important

5. Details of ships sailing may provide clues for emigrating or immigrating ancestors, or occupation-related clues for those who worked on the seas.

By considering the language of the time, you can broaden your search and increase your chances of finding relevant articles. Research the terms for occupations, transport, illnesses etc that were used during your period of interest and search on them to locate newspaper coverage, as reported in your ancestors’ times.

Start your exploration of old newspapers at FindMyPast.

Text extracted from an in-depth FindMyPast guide by Mary McKee in the December 2023 issue of Family Tree. Get your copy here

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