Source Information

Ancestry.com. Belfast, Northern Ireland, The Belfast Newsletter, 1738-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
Original data:

The Belfast Newsletter. Belfast, Northern Ireland. Periodicals & Newspapers, Irish & Reference. Linen Hall Library, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

About Belfast, Northern Ireland, The Belfast Newsletter, 1738-1925

This database contains images of the Belfast News-Letter, an Irish newspaper.

Historical Background

The Belfast News-Letter began publication in 1737 as the Belfast News-Letter and General Advertiser and is in the running for the title of oldest continually published, daily English-language newspaper. The paper started with two four-page issues a week, eventually becoming a daily in 1855. The News-Letter contained both local and international news and advertisements.

What You May Find in the Records

The copies of the News-Letter contained in this database chronicle almost two centuries of Irish history, including the Great Famine, the country’s own political upheavals, and World War I, when the paper printed long lists of death notices after actions such as the famed Ulster Division’s attack during the Battle of the Somme. Genealogically significant items researchers may find in the News-Letter’s pages include, amongst others,

  • death or memorial notices
  • notices from or about ships or passengers that arrived safely
  • people taking out game certificates
  • notices from trade groups or guilds
  • premiums paid
  • notices of executions
  • marriages
  • births
  • lists of sheriffs
  • announcements for ships that will be leaving
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