South West England Genealogical Indexes

From the early years of the 18C a number of Newspapers were produced in the Somerset area. Bristol, Bath, Sherborne, Yeovil and Taunton were the locations of some of the first though few of the earliest publications survive. By the 19C newspapers had become far more stable in their production and the quantity of local news they covered increased. Major items were often the gruesome accidents of the times, drownings, shootings and fatalities involving the new machinery of the industrial revolution. Property sales, war details , runaways and notices to creditors often give useful genealogical and local history leads not found in any other records of the time. Details from these papers cover the whole of the South West of England majoring on Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset. Details from the early newspapers are generally very brief and thus please donít be too disappointed if you go to the trouble of getting a copy of an article only to find that all that is mentioned is a name and location. References to lawyers and solicitors are usually just an appendage to a property sale. House sales, post mortems and runaway apprentice notices often give much more information especially in the later articles. I have indexed a selection from three different newspapers in these pages. These cover the years 1773-1778, 1810-1815 and 1831-1833.
The Trade directory is a publication by Butcher and Cole and covers most of the main Somerset towns but not Bristol.

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