Newspaper archives can be a wealth of information. One of my favourite activities, is to look up addresses in the newspaper archives. I found the British Newspaper Archives fascinating in this way. Putting in my father’s address for example uncovered an advertisement for a housekeeper. Perhaps that might not seem particularly revealing. However the advertisement was placed in 1944 and mentions an “invalid wife”. By 1945 the “invalid wife”(My paternal grandmother), I already knew from previous research, had died This was but one advertisement for what I knew had been a string of housekeepers who had helped to keep the family home going. This sad advertisement brought me to tears.
It is also great to know the history of a particular address, previous occupants etc.. Sometimes a street address and a surname can unearth an amazing amount.Perhaps one of my most amazing newspaper searches, related to a friend’s family who had lived in a tiny place in the middle of nowhere. Entering the place name and the family surname revealed an astonishing amount of detailed information. The death of a family cow! was described in detail ,as was the 90th birthday of her great grandfather, at which her Mother and her Aunt apparently blew out the candles.The information was printed and compiled then presented to her Mother. She had been too young to remember the 90th birthday of her Grandfather. However she went on to talk about the death of the cow until her own death a couple of years later. Her Father had been a water diviner. There was an amazing article about him, complete with photos. Not only was the information itself of great interest but it jogged memories and much discussion took place-further family incidents and information of interest was revealed. Most precious of all was perhaps the glimpse of her mother’s childhood.
Newspaper archives are an amazing resource and can open up new avenues of research but perhaps the opportunity to strengthen a family’s bonds, through intimate discoveries, is priceless!!
How to search Google News Archives
I will add I did not use Google New archive as my principle resource. However I found it great for research about historical events, which may have been connected to a particular ancestor.