Newspapers are perhaps the most underutilized genealogical resource of the day. I don’t know how often I have been unable to either locate or confirm the correct death record (without having to order ten or more for a client) yet have then found an obituary or a death notice in the newspapers, giving me the correct year so I could order the relevant record.
Or the amount of times I have lost an ancestor for many years, yet a search of the newspapers uncovers what he/she was doing.
Do not underestimate the incredible information you can get from newspapers; they are invaluable gems.
Today most of these are digitised and just waiting to be searched online; these are the best websites for Australia, New Zealand and the UK:
- National Library of Australia’s TROVE website – http://trove.nla.gov.au/
- National Library of New Zealand’s PAPERS PAST – https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/
- Find My Past’s BRITISH NEWSPAPER ARCHIVE – http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/ (also available on Find My Past with full subscription)
So recently, my own local rag went online on TROVE; the Beaudesert Times. The years 1908-1954 have been digitised, and so I thought…why not take a look and search for the name “Nutley”…see what comes up?
Of course I was not only surprised by the first entry, but I was very amused too…an article about my father in law when he was just 9 years old (he’s now 72). He had told us this story before…and although we did believe him (or did we?)…this just goes to show that newspapers will sometimes confirm those old family stories (or may do the complete opposite!)
Source: 1953 ‘CHILD BITTEN BY SNAKE’, The Beaudesert Times (Qld. : 1908 – 1954), 6 November, p. 3. , viewed 14 Jul 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article216391231