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October 13, 2009

Tutorial: Using British Newspapers 1800-1900

British Newspapers, 1800-1900 is a fantastic site with over two million pages of 19th century newspapers. However with such a large database it becomes nessasary to find ways of narrowing your search so you can find the info you want quickly.

One way to narrow your search is to Browse publication by location. This will allow you to narrow your search to the geographical location that you are interested in. To do this simply choose the Browse by Location tab located in the navigation bar near the top of the screen. This will bring you up a map of England, Scotland and Ireland. On the map you will find blue icons that correspond to newspapers for that location. For example if you click on London you will get a list of London newspapers to choose from.

If you find you are interested in one of the Newspapers simply click on it and it will take you to a page containing information on that paper. You will also find several different ways to search the paper depending on your personal preference.

On the left you will find a search box labeled Search within this publication. This will allow you to search the entire database for that newspaper. So for example if you are looking for any Smiths that were ever mentioned in that newspaper this will bring them all up.

However you can also search a specific issue of the paper. This feature is handy when you are looking for a event that you have a good idea of the date. For example if you are looking for an obit for great grandpa smith and you know he died on October 15th 1900 then you would go and look at first issue published after that date. To search a specific date, simply start back on the page containing the information on that paper. If you look down the page you will see an About this Publication box that you can use to pick the publication date of your choice.

I'm hoping to explore British Newspapers 1800-1900 more fully over the next week and will post about my experiences plus any tips I can share to help genealogists use this wonderful website!


teresathom said...

but ya still have to purchase accesss. I'm getting somewhat fed up with u saying how much free info there is on your site when their isn't much for anyone researching the UK. After all the vast majority of searches must be for UK info.

Genealogy Blogger said...

Dear teresathom - You're joking, right?

Surely you would not complain that something FREE (namely my website) is annoying you just because you can't find your ancestor(s) on it.... or would you?

However in case you're serious, let me explain - I began

Olive Tree Genealogy
13 years ago in Feb. 1996 as a personal website devoted to items that had something to do with my own ancestral lines.

I rather quickly began to bring FREE databases online for all to enjoy. These FREE databases were of topics and locations of interest to me in my own research. That means North America.

Olive Tree Genealogy is still my personal website - my baby if you will. That means it's mine to do with as I choose, and I choose to bring data online that pertains to areas and topics I'm familiar with. That means North America. Right now there are thousands of FREE databases on my site and yes, most are for N. America!

The operative word is FREE. My grandmother always told me "don't look a gift horse in the mouth", and I think that applies well here.

Having said that, I *do* have some UK data online. Not a lot, as that is not my area of research, or of expertise. I also have a website AllEnglishRecords which has UK data online and links to UK data.

You might find something there of interest. If you don't find your ancestor(s) there, I hope you will head out to your nearest Family History Centre, choose a database for the UK and transcribe it to be published online. I'm happy to accept volunteer transcriptions for UK data!