17 January 2011

Resources you might not have thought of: Classified Ads in Newspapers

Newspapers can be a wonderful source of information on births, deaths and marriages, but you can find out about your ancestors from other sections of the classified ads as well. The image above was a sale notice in the Argus for some property owned by my great grandfather and which he sold in 1919. It describes the property and the date of the auction. Some real estate ads also list furniture and household chattels as well. This property was sub-divided and the area is now a suburb of Melbourne, so finding the description here really took me back to the way things were in 1919.

If your ancestor had a business then they may have advertised their goods or services in the local newspapers, as well as the big city publications. Check the court sessions if you think your ancestor may have crossed paths with the law.

The NLA newspapers can be accessed through TROVE. Here is the link.
Remember that not all of the images have been transcribed yet, especially the classified sections, so if you think your ancestor had reason to be listed in a classified ad then don't just rely on the site's search engine. You might have to comb the images themselves.