Newspapers - Sources of Irish Genealogy

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Although on of the most enjoyable sources of Irish genealogical research, newspapers can be also the most difficult. There are two principle formats in which useful information appears, biographical notices and, in the early papers, advertisements.

Birth Notices

Up to the 1850s, the former consist largely of marriage notices and obituaries ; birth announcements tend to be sparse, relating only to the wealthiest classes, and often give no more than the father's name. After the mid-nineteenth century, the number of birth notices rose sharply, but the remain relatively uninformative.

Marriage Announcements

Marriage announcements contain a broader range of information, from the bare minimum of the names of the bride and groom, to comprehensive accounts of the addresses, occupations and fathers' names. In most cases, the names of the bride's father and his address are supplied.

Obituaries

Obituaries are by far the most numerous newspaper announcements, and cover a much wider social spectrum than either births or marriages. The information given can vary widely, from the name and address of the deceased to the more elaborate giving occupation, exact age nd family relationships. Because of the poor recording of Catholic burials in church registries, newspaper obituaries are the most comprehensive surviving records of the deaths of the majority of the Catholic middle classes.

1840s

From the 1840s, the numbers of both obituaries and marriage announcements rose sharply; unfortunately these events are by then usually more traceable in parish or civil records.

Advertisements

Advertisements, in the early newspapers especially, were more often paid announcements than true advertisements in the modern sense, and an extraordinary variety of information can be discovered. the most useful types are as follows:

  • Elopements. A husband would announce that his wife had absconded, and disclaim all responsibility for any debts she might contract. Usually his address and her maiden surname are given.

  • Business Announcements. The most useful are those which record the place and nature of the business, which announce a change of address or ownership for the business, or which record the succession of a son to a business after his father's death.
  • Bankruptcies. These generally request creditors to gather at a specified time and place, and can be useful in narrowing the focus of a search for relevant transactions in the Registry of Deeds.
  • As well as advertisements and biographical notices, newspapers obviously reported the news of the day, concentrating on the details of court cases with particular relish. For an ancestor who was a convict, these hold great interest, since much of the evidence was reported, and may provide vital clues for further research. However, uncovering the relevant report depends on knowledge of the date of conviction, as well as the area in which the trial had taken place.


    Major Sources of Irish Ancestry

    Church Records Land Records Directories
    Registry of Deeds Wills Emigration Records
    Newspapers

    Genealogy Sources for each Irish County

    Antrim Armagh Carlow Cavan
    Clare Cork Derry (Londonderry) Donegal
    Down Dublin Fermanagh Galway
    Kerry Kildare Kilkenny Laois
    Leitrim Limerick Longford Louth
    Mayo Meath Monaghan Offaly
    Roscommon Sligo Tipperary Tyrone
    Waterford Westmeath Wexford Wicklow

    MY IRISH ANCESTORS FREE GENEALOGY ASSESSMENT

    If you need advice from one of our genealogy research team send a message and we will be happy to help. click HERE for more information

    OUR PRELIMINARY RESEARCH IS NOW REDUCED

    My Irish Ancestors have reduced our Preliminary Research by 65%

    Was £130 Now £49.99 CLICK HERE for more information