Historical Irish Newspapers

Before the invention of radio, television and the internet, newspapers were the most important source of local and national news. The nineteenth century style of newsgathering and reporting make newspapers an invaluable source for family historians.

They style of newspaper reporting in the nineteenth century was detailed and colourful. Personal details such as names and addresses, that would be omitted today to protect the identity of informants, witnesses, and victims were often published, and national newspapers got much of their content from regional newspapers.

In the nineteenth century most newspapers were just four pages long and the front page was given over to advertisements and notices. In the early days of newspapers they were often published only once a week, some publications then grew to twice or thrice weekly. The dailies were published Monday – Saturday. Sunday newspapers were separate publications.

Findmypast has digitised papers from each of the four provinces with more to come.

Newspapers and family history

Digitised from the collections of the British Library the Irish newspaper collection on findmypast is a rich resource for genealogists in search of their Irish roots. Using newspapers vague family stories come to life and entirely new ones are discovered.

Making national news part of your personal history.

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  1. News Reports
    Local and national events. These include detailed reports of court hearings (which often include transcripts of the proceedings), annual reports from charitable organisations and the Workhouse Unions.
  2. Family Notices
    Birth, marriage and death notices. You will also find notices of engagements, anniversaries and birthdays.
  3. Letters to the Editor
    Letters to the editors reveal the topics your ancestors were thinking about
  4. Obituaries
    Detailed obituaries can reveal a wealth of detail about your ancestors’ lives.
  5. Advertisements
    Usually found on the front page of nineteenth century newspapers advertisements include notices of auctions, items for sale, lost & found, job offers and travel deals
  6. Illustrations
    Early newspapers were illustrated with engravings, later they were crammed with photographs of big events and local weddings and social events.
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