Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Name Lists in Old Papers - Ratepayers in 1867

I am making increasing use of the British Newspaper Archives (via FindMyPast) and there are some pages that keep turning up when they are not what is wanted - but which can be very useful for other reasons. One of the pages that turns up in searching for a surname and place is:
From the Herts Guardian, 28th December, 1867
This is a petition, signed by over 3000 rate payers (their names take up nearly a page of the original paper), organised by town or village, including people who were opposed to the act.

On the main news page I have listed all the towns and villages mentioned, with the number of names, and also listed the 50 names that signed in the parish of Sandridge. (Sorry - I don't have time to produce and check a list of every name in the county.) While it will not include every rate payer it at least confirms that the named individual was associated with Sandridge in 1867, and gives a clue as their opinion on the law change.
The important thing is to to remember that old newspapers include many list of names, recording shareholders, people attending weddings or funerals, winners of prizes in village horticultural shows, school prize givings, etc. Some of these may mention your ancestor! Good List Hunting in 2013.

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