Findmypast.co.uk have just announced that over 200 British newspaper titles are now available on their site. It is the same database that is available though the
The British Newspaper Archive (BNA). Both sites are owned by the same company: brightsolid.
On Findmypast (FMP) it is available to those with a world-wide subscription or by pay-as-you-go credits. The search is a little more flaky compared with the BNA site. It is almost impossible to use boolean searching to drill down to reduce the number of responses.
Also when I wanted to request page 5 of particular newspaper from the results, I paid pay-as-you-go and as was presented with page 4 instead. That cost me 5 credits. Not at all satisfactory. I hope this is just a glitch.
For subscribers, however, it seems that it may be worthwhile as a mistake like this will not matter. It certainly challenges ancestry.co.uk as to which company now offers the best value for money.
For more information on using newspapers to research your family tree see our article on Newspaper archives for family history research.
At first glance the newspaperarchive.com is a largely American audience aimed newspaper archive, but there are a surprising number of British titles in their archive. The site is a subscription based, but they do allow a number of preliminary views of the newspaper before insisting on the opening of a subscription.
What is interesting about this archive is that many of the titles have a very short run of dates. Perhaps one, two or three years. Newspapers and magazines which only lasted a short time and then finished, or just that the archive have access to a limited number. This, however, has an advantage as these smaller and short lived newspapers have not yet been archived on other newspaper archives.
There are also several newspaper titles published in Britain specifically with news from the colonies. For instance, the China Telegraph published bi-monthly on the arrival of mails from china, Japan, Siam, Java and Singapore. A potentially good resource for researching your ancestors if they travelled to the Far East.
When searching one carry narrow down to just British newspaper titles.
The latest podcast from the National Archives gives some useful information on how Coroners’ Inquests can be tracked down and what sort of information can be extracted from them.
You do not necessarily have to be seeking information about how your ancestor died, for an inquest can not only reveal in great detail about how the person died, but also often contained detailed evidence from several witnesses each of whom provide their names, a little about themselves and what they witnessed. Sometimes this gives us a brief glimpse into their daily lives.
Not all Coroners’ records have survived, but Coroners’ Inquests were the bread and butter newspaper reporting during the 19th century so detailed reports on inquests may be found in the newspapers. See out article on newspapers.
Articles of Clerkship is a new archive on Ancestry.co.uk.
This is all about the legal profession. Articles of clerkship were contracts between an apprentice clerk, who wanted to become an attorney or solicitor, and an attorney who agreed to train the clerk for the profession. The contracts were often entered into by fathers (or other sponsors) on their sons’ behalf, with terms typically lasting 5–7 years.
A quick look at the archive reveals there are over 800 records which give the apprentice clerk’s residence as Essex (it also gives the town or parish). Although you may not have a legal professional in your family tree it is worth checking. They may have dropped out and did not complete the apprenticeship.
The records come in two forms: an affidavit and registers. Both can provide information such as clerks name, father’s name, place of residence, attorney’s name, date and terms of clerkship.
The latest monthly bulletin from the Essex Record Office has just been released (pdf).
In September, the Record Office’s Discovery Day is being attended by Dr Nick Barrett family historian and television presenter and he will be on hand to answer questions.
On 14 July there is a conference on an often under-used historical record, the Hearth Tax Returns. See our article on the Hearth Tax for more information on this tax and why it was levied.
Read the story of Frederick Kempster, at 7 feet 9 inches tall, he stood well above the heads of his Essex friends.
Ancestry.co.uk have now finished indexing the final parts of the 1911 Census. That now means that Essex is at long last is available.
To celebrate the completion of the index they are offering free access to the 1911 Census for the week-end of 11-14 May 2012.