Family tree research: How newspapers can help

Posted on June 16th, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

Newspapers are a fantastic resource for family history research. They can reveal incredible details about your ancestors.


View 3 newspaper articles for free

You’ll find millions of pages from local British and Irish newspapers at The British Newspaper Archive. They date from the 1700s to the 1950s.

Register a free account and the first three newspaper articles you view are on us.

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Find a photo of your ancestor

LisamarieLisamarie has a subscription to The British Newspaper Archive. She got in touch to show us the amazing discovery she made.

‘I recently found this photo of my great-great-uncle in a newspaper article on your website.

I have been searching for one since my grandmother told me about meeting him before the First World War. Thanks for making a wish I have held since I was 15 years old come true.’

Lisamarie found a photo of her ancestor at The British Newspaper Archive

Dundee Courier – Saturday 02 September 1916
Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.
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Learn about your relative’s life

There are millions of stories just waiting to be unearthed. Maxine found a reference to her great-great-grandfather in the Aberdeen Evening Express.

‘The article said that he was riding along in 1883 when he came across a herd of elephants!

I love how it states that my great-great-grandfather’s horse was ‘unused to this type of pedestrian’ as well as the comedic sequence of events that followed.’

Maxine found a newspaper article about her great-great-grandfather at The British Newspaper Archive

Aberdeen Evening Express – Tuesday 03 July 1883
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Search for your ancestors

All of the words in the newspapers are searchable, so try looking for a person’s name, a place or historical event to get started.

Search for an ancestor’s name