The days are gone when researching old newspaper articles meant a trip to a library. Nowadays there is a fantastic online resource for anyone trying to trace lost relatives or researching their family tree. The British Newspaper Archive has almost 11.5 million newspaper pages on its archives from the 1700s onwards, across 473 UK newspaper titles. As part of my research for Ignoring Gravity, I read countless newspaper and magazine articles about adoption, the stories of birth mothers, adoptees and adoptive parents.
I tested the BNA database. A random search for ‘Sandra Danby‘ produced three results, none of which were about me. Here are two:-
May 6, 1950 Hull Daily Mail [above]: Sandra Danby was a principal performer at a concert in Hessle Town Hall, along with Elsie Meek, Sylvia Cowling and Michael Goforth. I’ve made a note of the name Elsie Meek, inspiration for a character name perhaps?June 19, 1950 Hull Daily Mail [above]: Sandra Danby from Hessle came second in the Haltemprice Fancy Dress Prize Winners ‘Most Attractive’ section, she was dressed as a Dutch girl. First prize was won by Patricia Partington, who dressed as Bo Peep.
Next, I searched for ‘Rose Haldane’ and had more success with 13 entries, so perhaps not such an uncommon name. Ten of the 13 articles were from Scottish newspapers, here is one:- April 2, 1908 Southern Reporter, Selkirkshire [above]: Rose Haldane of The Grange, presented prizes to the winners of the bulb-growing competition.
Read this post from the BNA’s blog with advice on how to search the archive for a person’s name.
Want to know more about Ignoring Gravity? Click here to watch the book trailer.
This post was inspired by the article ’50 family history websites to watch in 2015’ in the January 2015 issue of the UK’s Who Do You Think You Are? magazine. Click here for more information.
‘Ignoring Gravity’ by Sandra Danby [UK: Beulah Press]
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Searching British newspapers #familyhistory http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1Kh via @SandraDanby