Saturday, 1 December 2012

Old newspapers

Yesterday afternoon, knowing we were going to spend the weekend at my mum's in Everton, Ntt I paid for a two day subscription for the British Newspaper Archive (BNA).  My mum has broadband (which we set up for her so when we go to visit we can get the Internet without walking up into the nearby woods and walking up the hill!) and an ipad - she's very proud of it as well as I observed at the village cabaret last time we visited.

Unfortunately I had a bad night and didn't get up today until 10am so that's some valuable time lost.  And it's been so long since I last searched the BNA that I will probably waste searches looking for things I've already not found ... I'm sure you know what I mean. 

I have searched the site thoroughly in the past for Hutton, Mordey, Bormond and our other common family names - not much point putting Moderate in as I would get thousands of hits on it as a common word.  And Elstob - now the trick with Elstob is to change the s into an f, in other words to search for Elfob - this is because in the older papers at least that's how they wrote s.

From the Newcastle Courant 30th May 1778 (BNA)
In case you are having a bit of bother with this the relevant part reads, "Last week, at Sunderland, Mr John Elstob, a Landwaiter in the Customs there, to Miss Hen. Brown, a daughter of Mr Nicholas Brown of the Customhouse in that port; a young Lady possessed of may valuable accomplishments, with a handsome fortune."  John Elstob is my 5x great grandfather and by my calculations Henrietta was his third wife of four.  Poor woman, she doesn't last long, having a son Nicholas (after her father of course) the following year and dying the year after that.  Little Nicholas did not long survive his mother and John Elstob married again in 1781.

As an OU student I have free access to a selection of 19th century newspapers, however the only one on that site for the North East (where my family originate) is the Newcastle Courant, and as the title of the site states, strictly between 1800 and 1900.  Some libraries offer this site as a freebie to their members - I recently discovered that I could join Newcastle Library (even though I live in Barnsley) and once they had sent me a library card I could get free access the (restricted) 19th century newspapers and the Times index from the comfort of my home. 

This weekend I thought I would look for more about the Whealleans family, whom you may remember I was researching a few weeks ago.  A tentative search on the BNA at the time showed quite a few hits in the Alnwick Mercury and the Morpeth Herald neither of which I can access on the free site.  Another idea for making best use of the credits was to search for mentions of Cudworth for the history group I attend in the local library.

... just off to Retford for some Christmas shopping - back soon!



8 comments:

Jacqi Stevens said...

So glad to have found the announcement on GeneaBloggers today regarding your blog! Welcome!

Interesting thought about the "s" to "f" for optical character recognition in searches through the old newspapers. It does take some getting used to it to mentally make the switch while reading those old resources.

Historian said...

Thank you Jacqi - today's posting was meant to be longer, but what with one thing and another (mainly Christmas related) I'm beginning to wonder if I'll get my money's worth from my BNA credits this weekend!
Thanks again!

Jim (Hidden Genealogy Nuggets Blog) said...

Welcome to Geneabloggers. Newspapers are one of my favorite resources for research.

Regards, Jim
Hidden Genealogy Nuggets

Historian said...

Thanks Jim, I love them too, but with common (or easily mispelt) family names I'm finding them very frustrating!
Thanks for your comment!

Cathy von Hassel-Davies said...

I saw your bog listed on geneabloggers, Welcome! Glad I stopped by it is very interesting.

Historian said...

Thanks Cathy.

Lisa Taisey said...

I wish I had acess to more old newspapers. I thought my World Ancestry subscription would cover it but not what I am looking for. I also have severe Fibromyalgia and that is partly the reason I have so much time to research my tree. My husband had severe Crohn's disease for 6 years and is in remission and back to work as a pilot. Some new medication he was taking for a year did the trick. It's a horrible disease and to have both of them combined is awful. E mail me privately and I can tell you his meds that has made him better. May I also suggest a visit to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ?

Historian said...

Hi Lisa
Thanks for you comments. I followed your threads and read up about Ancestry's move into newspapers, it seems a cynical attempt to get us to part with more cash! Some countries, such as Australia (http://trove.nla.gov.au/ where I've found many of my relatives), New Zealand and Hong Kong (and these are just the ones I've found) provide free searches of their newspapers, I wonder how they found the funding? I'm in England, and being treated on the National Health here, so things happen slowly but eventually. It took them a few years to work out what was wrong with me but now they have things do appear to be improving.
Thank again for your interest.