A happy and successful New Year to you all!
New year, new venture...
The British Newspaper Archive has the Carlisle Patriot from January 1817 to February 1821. There are also some much later years but I have decided to concentrate on the early ones as they are from the time before Civil Registration and before censuses that contained personal information.
As information about individuals at that time can be hard to come by I have broadened the scope of what I am transcribing.
Like the Carlisle Journal, the Carlisle Patriot was published weekly on Saturdays, and each edition consists of four pages. However the pages appear to be smaller and only have six columns each.
The first page usually starts with a column or two of national news. The rest of the page is filled up with adverts which continue in the first few columns of page 2. Next follows a column called "Postscript" with national news. Then comes a lengthy article headed "CARLISLE", which first has editorial comments on the national and international (and occasionally local) happenings of the time, followed by various local news. After that (by now we are usually on page 3) there are various articles with reports about meetings held locally, Quarter Sessions or Assizes, Sports News, or on specific subjects; page 3 also contains the BMD column, Commerce and Agriculture (market news and bankruptcies), Shipping Intelligence, and an article entitled "SCOTLAND" with various Scottish news. Page 4 starts with a poem and then usually contains articles of general interest. "Letters to the Editor" can be on pages 2, 3 or 4. If there was a huge amount of news (usually after the Assizes) the paper occasionally produced an extra two pages.
I have transcribed the following parts of the papers:
1. Adverts. I have picked out the local adverts, a lot of them for farms/houses/land to rent or sell. They usually name the owner, the current occupier, and the auctioneer and/or solicitor. They are also useful if your ancestor lived on that farm at some point as there will be a description of the farm and buildings and the acreage. There are also advertisements by local businesses. Some adverts have whole lists of subscribers to local charities or other good causes. I also included some local job adverts. And there are a lot of legal notices about bankruptcies, which name the bankrupt, the assignees, and the solicitor dealing with the case. And occasionally there are some hilarious announcements, e.g. of a husband refusing to pay the future debts of his wife, or someone publicly apologising for having verbally or physically abused someone else... Many adverts appeared repeatedly over several editions and I have transcribed each advert only once. I have not transcribed the ubiquitous adverts for national lotteries and for some very dodgy cure-all medications.
2. Local news. From the long "CARLISLE" article I have extracted those snippets that name local individuals and sometimes interesting local pieces of information, e.g. illnesses currently rampant, new chapels opened, major projects being undertaken, etc. Reports on criminal goings-on are particularly good at naming local people either as perpetrators or victims of crimes. The term "local" is used fairly liberally and extends as far as Northumberland, Durham, North Lancashire and Southern Scotland. Some snippets I have transcribed even if they did not name people because I found them entertaining.
3. BMD columns, of course! They are generally much shorter than the ones in the 1840s. There are hardly any births, and the deaths of young children are rarely mentioned.
4. From the "SCOTLAND" article, any news mentioning people that lived fairly local to Carlisle, i.e. in the Borders.
5. Reports on Cumbrian Quarter Sessions (but not the general business part of them) or Assizes.
6. Occasionally articles about a local event but I have refrained from transcribing the never ending reports on public meetings or council meetings – although they do give the names of the speakers, those tend to be the same people all the time, and the speeches are usually very lengthy and quite boring.
7. Anything else that struck me as interesting or useful.
Please note that in some of the papers the print was quite poor, and some of the BMD columns (particularly if in column 6 of page 3) were extremely hard to read, and as always there may be transcription errors as well as typos.
Formatting will be a problem. Newspaper columns are very narrow and list messages (or forum postings) have a lot more space. Centred headings may end up being in the centre of the posting but nowhere near the left bound short paragraphs that they are heading! As it would be very hard work trying to get the formatting right (and actually impossible because different people's list emails or forum settings vary) please excuse any bizarre formatting. In the end it is the contents that matters most.
I have, as always, capitalised surnames. However, particularly in adverts, the whole names of people usually were already capitalised (including their first names) in the paper. And in addition, weekdays, months, place names etc. were often in capitals in adverts. What was already in capitals I have left in capitals, but any surnames not in capitals I have capitalised.
Please let me know if you find anything that is useful for your own research or if you simply enjoyed something! Transcribers like me thrive on feedback from their audiences, and I am always glad to hear when my transcriptions have helped someone.