Saturday, 14 June 2014

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

While researching my Tait family I came across a reference to an announcement of one of the daughters' wedding in the newspaper for Bath, Somerset. I only have the one family that was in Bath for one generation from Scotland then immigrated to Canada, so I don't have a subscription for that set of British Newspapers. I asked in a group and a kind person offered to look it up for me and she found that article and two others.  These are the two stories:

On the 1st of May, a beautiful spring day in 1901, Alice Tait and her brother Andrew went boating on the Avon River with some friends, starting in the morning at Maynard’s Boating Station and going upriver past Bathampton to Warleigh. They spent the day there and headed back to the Boating Station around 6:40 in the evening. Alice was in a boat with Mr Roberts, and Mr and Mrs Pope who got off the boat at Bathampton and walked home. They waited for the other boat holding Mary Davidson and her sister, Mr Cottle and Andrew Tait. They passed under the bridge and Andrew’s boat got too close to the weirs and tipped over, the misses Davidson screaming for help. Mr Robert jumped out of his boat to help the girls, and Alice also got out of her boat and ran for help, then returned and jumped back in the river to help her brother Andrew, who was having trouble against the unusually strong currents. Mr Robert couldn't save Miss Mary Davidson and she drowned in the water. There was a coroner’s inquest the next day at which Alice had to testify. Andrew was seriously ill for a while but slowly recovered.

Alice and Andrew didn’t know while they were going through their ordeal on the Avon River that their father Andrew Smith Tait had a stroke and died not long after they left the house that morning.

Besides birth, wedding and death announcements, also look for bankruptcies, gossip columns (Mrs Jane Smith is getting a visit from her niece Miss Eliza Jones from England), probate announcements (to notify creditors), ship arrival and departure notices, unclaimed mail, society meetings, estate auctions, etc.  

You may find some archives of local newspapers in city libraries, universities or historical societies. Below are some links to newspaper archives, and some collections may overlap but better to have more than to miss some.
Relevant Links:

Google News - varied collection - 2-2000 issues

Wikipedia List of Online Newspapers

Family Search list of Digital Historical Newspapers

Australia Newspapers

Ireland Dublin Library

Word on the Street - UK Broadsides

Crime Broadsides (Harvard)

New York Times May 1915, Oct 1915, July 1919

Extracts from old Newspapers - USA

British Newspaper Archives (free to search $)

Greenfield (Mass) Gazette Centennial Edition 1892

Helen Keller Newspaper Notices

Chronicling America LOC Newspapers

Newspaper Collection Wisconsin University

New Hampshire Newspapers

Netherlands Newspapers

The London Gazette

Some Canada Newspapers

Canadian Newspaper Databases & Indexes 

Newspaper Links on Active History

Newspaper info at LAC

Nova Scotia Newspapers Online

Republican Advocate, Batavia NY

Ontario Newspapers 

Manitoba Newspapers

Saskatchewan Newspapers

The Gazette - UK and Ireland

Quebec Newspapers at BANQ

Church of Ireland Gazette - 1913-15

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