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Help with newspaper archives.

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Help with newspaper archives.

Postby KimWalton » Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:58 pm

I'm new to this site so sorry if i ramble on a bit too much.

After watching the last episode of who do you think you are with Greg Davies in, i was reminded of one of my family members, who hasnt got their fathers name listed on their birth certificate.
Realising that he was able to find more information in newspaper archives, i thought this may be the answer i needed to find similar information.
It seems like this particular branch of my family tree is a bit mysterious, we dont have much information about them at all, just a very passed down rumour that there could have been a travellers/gypsy connection on that line.

Anyway, i've always struggled with newspaper archives, i literally have no idea where to start.
I know that some of my family members have been in the newspapers before and i have clippings from those newspapers provided by my mothers cousin, but i have never been able to track them down myself.
Has anyone got any useful hints or tips to help me find something?
Apologies if this sort of thing has been answered before.

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Re: Help with newspaper archives.

Postby Sylcec » Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:19 am

It's a bit hard to provide a useful reply to such a broad question. I haven't seen the Greg Davies WDYTYA as I am on the other side of the world. However, the lack of a father's name on a birth or marriage certificate is usually an indication of illegitimacy. In a few cases a mother will register her child with a middle name that corresponds to the putative father's surname.

Newspapers can be a wonderful source of information for some family researchers. However, before embarking on a fishing expedition, you need to have an idea of what you might be looking for. This may include:
1. announcements of birth marriage or death - but you need to consider whether your family are likely to have placed such a notice for which a fee was payable.
2. obituary or accident report - even if your family were not the sort to place an announcement, if they lived in a rural area and lived to, say 100 or more, then an obituary may appear as a news item. Similarly a person killed or badly maimed in a railway, or horse and cart accident for instance may also be mentioned in an article. If killed, then you would probably find an inquest report in the paper.
3. Criminal activity would be the subject of a news item and could mention both victim and perpetrator.
4. Social standing - the gentry and commissioned officers in the military get frequent mentions in the press.
5. Advertisements - traders, rooms to let, schools, craftsmen, missing persons - these and many more can provide a fertile field for searches.
So - before embarking on a search, think about what sort of record may mention your ancestors and what sort of newspaper - there is no point searching The Times if your ancestor lived in a village in Derbyshire for instance.
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Re: Help with newspaper archives.

Postby ksouthall » Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:38 am

It also depends on how common their surname was. If it was an uncommon surname you could enter that in the search criteria then narrow down the results by using the filter results options. I have used the filter by date and by county options on FindMyPast and these have helped me find quite a few articles. You can also filter by newspaper and article type.

I have managed to find details out about illegitimacy cases through reports of claims for maintenance. That was more by luck than judgement though.

You could try with one of the less common names in your family first so that you get used to how the website works. I am assuming you are talking about British newspapers.
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Re: Help with newspaper archives.

Postby watfordp » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:11 pm

Let me know who you are looking for and possible events and/or dates and I am more than happy to search 3 different newspapers archives I have access to.


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Re: Help with newspaper archives.

Postby KimWalton » Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:19 pm

watfordp wrote:Kim,
Let me know who you are looking for and possible events and/or dates and I am more than happy to search 3 different newspapers archives I have access to.



That would be really helpful Phil, i hope you'll be able to track some things down

The main person i would like some help with is my 3rd Gt Grandmother -
Ann Dobbins
This is the relative that doesnt have her father listed on her birth certificate.
I have ordered the marriage certificate in the hopes that they rekindled their relationship and he was included on the certificate.
In the case of Greg Davies, the information on his relatives marriage certificate was incorrect, but the occupation of the father was correct, so i thought if the same had happened, it may provide a hint.
Her mother was -
Elizabeth Dobbins
BIRTH 1828 • Whitehaven, Cumberland, England
DEATH JUL 1867 • Northumberland, England

Elizabeth also had a son -
William Dobbins
BIRTH SEP 1850 • Delavel, Northumberland, England
DEATH Unknown

The reason i am so interested in this particular line is -
number one, i know from Ann's birth certificate that elizabeth couldnt read or write, as in the signature of the mother box, it has a cross with the words "the mark of elizabeth dobbins" next to it.
and number two, it seems almost every line in the family that has derived from Ann Dobbins, has given one of their children the name "Ann Dobbins" in some format, we have an "Annie Dobbins Watson" or an "Ann Dobbins Wakenshaw" for instance, So she must have been quite a well respected lady.
I would love to know more about them and their way of life.

Thank you so much in advance!
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