family history – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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Sunetra Sarker explores her Indian heritage

This week’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? took us to India and Bangladesh with Sunetra Sarker.  During the program, Sarker became familiar with her Indian ancestors and learned how the tragedies of war affected her family.  With the use of newspapers, Sarker was able to place her ancestors into the context of public events and gain a deeper understanding of the lives they led. At the beginning of the episode, Sunetra conveys a feeling most of us

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Newspapers for Family History

Newspapers are an invaluable resource for researching your family history. Contained within their pages are tens of millions of reports, advertisements, and notices that can help you break down brick walls and tell richer stories about your ancestors. The Archive works with the British Library and publishers to bring you 300 years of newspapers from the UK and Ireland.  Get the most out of our historical newspapers with these hints and tips. What newspapers do we have? We add more

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A Lost Great Grandmother found

I started researching my family history over 20 years ago. I knew that my Grandmother and her sister had been left with guardians in Boston, Lincolnshire when they were very young. My Grandma died when I was young, but in later years my Granddad told me that her parents, my great-grandparents, had gone to Canada and had promised to call for their daughters when they were settled. They never did. As I started my research I soon discovered the names

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Greg Davies’ family secrets and regal ancestors discovered

Last night on Who Do You Think You Are? comedian Greg Davies, best known for his role on The Inbetweeners and Cuckoo, explored his Welsh ancestry.  Through newspapers, Davies discovered that his great-grandfather was taken to court to pay child maintenance, and his great-great-grandfather was killed in a tragic accident.  Finally, Davies discovered he was descended from royalty. Using The British Newspaper Archive, we will delve deeper into the Davies family stories and extract more details about the lives of

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All in the (McKellen) family

  ‘Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more’. – William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act V, Scene V These are the lines with which Sir Ian McKellen opens his episode of Who Do You Think You Are? As a septuagenarian, looking backwards to discover from whence (and from whom) he came, it is fitting that he should read these particular lines of Macbeth’s. Furthermore, they are

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The Homeward Mail – News from the East

The British Newspaper Archive brings you news from India, China, and further East during the height of the British Empire.  The Homeward Mail from India, China and the East was first published in 1857 by Messrs. Smith, Elder, & Co. and provided Britain with news from its colonies in the East.  The publishing company also produced the first Dictionary of National Biography and worked with major authors such as Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, Alfred Tennyson, and Arthur Conan Doyle.  Along

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How to search The British Newspaper Archive for a person’s name

Newspaper articles can provide incredible detail about peoples’ lives, whether you’re looking for your ancestors or researching a particular character from history. Watch this short video tutorial or follow the steps below to see how you can search the newspapers for a person’s name:   Search for a person’s name –>   Searching newspaper articles for an ancestor or person from history   Enter the name of the person you’re looking for in the search bar at the top of the homepage. Put a

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Join us for a week of prize giveaways, starting on Saturday 27 December

We’ll be giving away some fantastic prizes and celebrating the different types of research our newspapers can help with next week. Simply check The British Newspaper Archive’s Facebook page at 12pm (GMT) every day from Saturday 27 December – Friday 2 January to take part.   Visit The British Newspaper Archive’s Facebook page   Win some great prizes with The British Newspaper Archive There are lots of exciting gifts on offer, whether you’re interested in genealogy, local history, studying World

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Twiggy on Who Do You Think You Are? – Grace Meadows in the newspapers

Twiggy used historical newspapers during her WDYTYA? episode to research the life of her great-great-grandmother, Grace Meadows.   Grace Meadows charged with stealing bank notes The York Herald printed the following article about Twiggy’s ancestors on Thursday 9 July 1874. Grace Meadows and her 14-year-old daughter Lucy were charged with stealing ‘three Bank of England notes for £20 each’ from Lucy’s employer. The newspaper article states that Twiggy’s ancestors were initially discharged as there was no evidence. Grace Meadows was said

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Meet the Product Director of The British Newspaper Archive

Ever wondered what happens behind the scenes at The British Newspaper Archive? We sat down with Product Director Ian Tester to find out who he is and what he does.   What does your job involve? I’m responsible for growing the business in all its myriad forms. My role covers marketing, building a better product, tweaking the pricing, choosing newspapers that we think will be of most interest and generally keeping everything running smoothly. Less excitingly, it also involves balancing

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