I have currently indexed 12 West Country newspapers - please choose from the list below. In general only names from Somerset/Dorset/Devon/Cornwall have been included. For the Bridgwater Advertiser 'The Alfred' 1832, only Somerset, Devon and Dorset entries have been included. Each year's index contains around 3000-5000 names.
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Sherborne and Yeovil Mercury 1773A-F G-M N-Z
Sherborne and Yeovil Mercury 1774A-F G-M N-Z
Sherborne and Yeovil Mercury 1775A-F G-M N-Z
Sherborne and Yeovil Mercury 1776A-F G-M N-Z
Sherborne and Yeovil Mercury 1777A-F G-M N-Z
Sherborne and Yeovil Mercury 1778A-F G-M N-Z
Taunton and Bridgwater Journal 181419 Feb only
Front page of first Taunton Courier1808
Taunton Courier 1810A-F G-M N-Z
Taunton Courier 1811A-F G-M N-Z
Taunton Courier 1812A-F G-M N-Z
Bridgwater and Somerset Advertiser (Jan 1831-Aug 1831)A-F G-M N-Z
Bridgwater and Somerset Advertiser (Aug 1831-Dec 1832)A-F G-M N-Z
Bridgwater and Somerset Advertiser (Jan - Dec 1833)All
Bridgwater Times 184728 Jan only
Taunton Journal 1725-27 All
Norris's Taunton Journal contains little local news
If an entry mentions no location it is likely to be in London
WW1 Soldiers in Bridgwater Mercury photos index to photos
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Newspapers of this period contained many snippets of information of use to family and local historians. Some articles are very brief with names often being just part of a long list. Of most interest are the following:
Insolvent debtors - These often list place of birth and previous parishes
Runaway Apprentices - A vivid description of the runaway is often listed including age and appearance.
House and land sales - Tenants names are usually given and sometimes their age.
Deaths and notices to creditors - these sometimes link up the various members of a family from far flung parishes.
Besides Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall entries there are a number of names from other parts of the country. Where a person is mentioned many times during a year I've included only a few entries.
Good luck with your research.
P.S If you've found these indexes useful I'd appreciate it if you would let me know of any Mansfield's/Manfield names you come across in your research in the Somerset area particularly any William Mansfields born around 1760.
Copies of the Sherborne and Yeovil Mercury are held at the Somerset Studies Library Paul St Taunton
Copies of the Bridgwater Advertiser are held at Bridgwater Library Binford Place
Copies of the Taunton Courier are held at the British Newspaper Library in London
Thanks to the Admiral Blake Museum Bridgwater for the Taunton and Bridgwater Journal and the Bridgwater Times
Last updated 2/01/2005