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Your Ancestors in Newspapers A Summary of the talk to the Phyllis Court Club Family History Interest Group 20 th August 2012 ) copyright Richard Heaton.

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Presentation on theme: "Your Ancestors in Newspapers A Summary of the talk to the Phyllis Court Club Family History Interest Group 20 th August 2012 ) copyright Richard Heaton."— Presentation transcript:

1 Your Ancestors in Newspapers A Summary of the talk to the Phyllis Court Club Family History Interest Group 20 th August 2012 ) copyright Richard Heaton

2 Slide Summary Your Names Key UK Online Resources Key Non UK Online Resources Beware the Long S and common errors Other Sources

3 Your Names You know how to spell your surname – but while it might be the same spelling as your grandparents and great grandparents used, for uncommon surnames there is a strong possibility that spelling has not always been consistent.

4 Know Your Names - One Approach Write out your surname and drop out the vowels If I take the surname SPANSWICK I try SP*N*W*CK* (I drop out the centre S as well) SPANSWICK, SPANWICK, SPONWICK, SPENWICK, SPANDWICK, SPANSWYKE, SPAINSWICKE This can include virtually all the variant spellings

5 Major UK Resources Times Digital Archive from 1785 (Thomson Gale) * Scotsman from Observer & Guardian from 1791 and London Gazette from 1665 ** 19 th Century British Library Newspapers * Burney Collection 17 th and 18 th Century British Newspaper Archive + Minor resource Last Chance to Read + Some Key Online Resources * May be free through your local library, + Pay for View, ** Free Online

6 British Newspaper Archive Basic Search from from screen using “ “ will deliver results matching exact spelling e.g. “John Jones” Portsmouth will find John Jones’s with the word Portsmouth nearby. For frequently occurring surnames filter by location then search for your name (s) and of course search within date range You can use * as a wildcard to help pick up some of the misspelt entries of interest e.g. Duncan Macmill* Free to Search & Pay for View

7 19 th Century British Library Newspapers Basic Search from from screen using “ “ will deliver results matching exact spelling e.g. “John Jones” Portsmouth will find John Jones’s with the word Portsmouth nearby. You can search within newspaper title and within date ranges You can use * as a wildcard to help pick up some of the misspelt entries of interest e.g. Duncan* Macmill* Available free [?] to those in Higher Education. Free Access through many Library services e.g. Buckinghamshire – or you will have to go to Colindale

8 A Minor Resource Last Chance to Read Type in the name – exact phrase and leave fuzzy box unticked (use Fuzzy Search to look for near matches) Any Questions just ask

9 Key Non UK Online English Language Newspaper Sites Top left Papers Past – New Zealand, then Chronicling America, then Top Right Fulton Post Cards (18m NY pages free) ; bottom left Australian Newspapers, and bottom right Peel’s Prairie Provinces - Canada

10 Beware the Long S and other common Errors

11 8 Further Challenges Capital H = II or Il (I and lowercase L) Capital W = VV and more rarely AV Capital J = I Lowercase d = cl or il or tl (interchangeable) Lowercase h can appear as b or li Lowercase m = in Lowercase n can appear as u (common) Lowercase l for an i (so John Sharples may appear as John Sharpies)

12 If a word has printing in lower case the “Long” S could appear “Jessop” Johnson” “Joseph” If the Text (surname) is in Capitalised or the first S is Capital “Stanhope” or the last letter is an S “Edwards” or “Cocks” no impact Up until c.1790 – c.1806 the Printed Word in the UK and elsewhere in Europe had a serpentine S Your Problem is it can be confused with f

13 Other Sources Online Newspaper Transcript sites Recommended Reading and Sites to Research (to understand what other titles might be available not yet online)

14 Regional Sites and Transcript Sites (Slough, Cumberland & Westmorland, Richard Heaton’s Newspaper Transcripts

15 Other Sources LLocal Newspapers 1750 – 1920 Gibson Guide ““Newsplan” (just type this into Google) and British Library Catalogue (filter on newspapers)

16 Summary Be Methodical Prepare in advance format for record searches (successful or not) Think about your names and potential errors such as the long s and II and use wildcards where possible to sidestep them Search all available online databases for references – even if the new database contains the same newspapers as an earlier one Use the Gibson Guide to understand which other newspaper titles your ancestors might have appeared in


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