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Newspaper Articles - A useful source of Information about your Ancestors...


Items from local newspapers can bring to life events of long ago. During my research into the fisherfolk of Kincardineshire I came across many such articles. The discovery of your distant ancestors in this way is a thrill that you will never forget. Suddenly its no longer just a story - its part of your history. Check out the following newspaper pages. Are your relatives mentioned? Only one way to find out, start reading!

The Aberdeen Journal, Wednesday, January 20, 1858

Serious and Alarming Fire - Yesterday afternoon about five o'clock, a fire broke out in the premises occupied by Mr Montgomery, pawnbroker, corner of Barnett's Close, Guestrow. The fire originated, it is said, whilst gas was being lighted - the flame having, according to conjecture, caught some of the soft goods with which the room was filled; of course, it soon spread through the premises. The wind was blowing strongly from the south-west at the time, and the fire assumed a very threatening aspect from the first. The narrow street (Guestrow) was quickly spanned by the flames, which, but for prompt and efficient counteraction, would have found abundant and fit material, and the conflagration might have become a very extensive one, entailing fearful consequences. The Firefly engine from the Watch-house was brought rapidly to the spot, followed soon by four other engines, including that from the Barracks. A plentiful supply of water was at hand, and the engines being efficiently wrought - the wind meanwhile moderating somewhat - happily the flames were confined nearly altogether to the premises, some damaged being, however, done to a contiguous house. The fire commenced in the upper storey of Mr Montgomery's premises, and the goods, as indicated, and also the wood work of the house, being of a nature to feed the flame, very soon the whole roof fell in, and a large part of the flooring. The house is a double one of three storeys, and well packed with goods, a very small proportion of which was saved. We learn that the property is uninsured, so that the loss must be heavy. The poor people who had left their clothing and effects, it is said, take the risk; the proprietor, however, must also be a loser. In about two hours the flames were greatly subdued, and soon afterwards all but extinguished. Praise is justly due to the officials and firemen; also to the Lord Provost, Mr Thomson, banker, and other gentlemen who were promptly upon the spot, as well as Colonel Fairtlough, and the military under command of Captain Brown, 93d, for their efficient assistance. The fire was witnessed by crowds, who filled every adjoining street and approach to the burning pile; but we are glad to say there was no accident worthy of mention.

Melancholy Accident - A boy named Lawrence Dempster, son of John Dempster, seaman, residing in Baltic Street, was missed from home on Friday. Yesterday, we regret to state, his body was found in the harbour within the Dock Gates. It appears he had been amusing himself by throwing a string with a hook at the end of it down into the water attempting to bring up floating pieces of wood; the string having been found in his grasp. The deceased was between nine and ten years of age. We learn that the amusement referred to is very common among youth, and that many narrow escapes take place, not withstanding the vigilance of the police. The sad case now reported will, it is hoped, prove a warning.

Launch - On Monday, Messrs A Duthie & Co. launched a very handsome clipper ship, named the "British Queen." She belongs to local owners, and is intended for the South African trade.

Launch - On Thursday last, there was launched from the building-yard of T H Wood, Esq., of Sunderland, a fine clipper ship constructed so as to have a screw-propeller applied, if required. She is the property of our enterprising townsman, Andrew Anderson, Esq., and has been named the "Countess of Fife." She is to be commanded by Capt Collie, late of the "Ariel" of this port. Her dimensions are - length over all, 148 feet 2 inches; extreme breadth, 27 feet 9 inches; depth 18 feet 1 inch; tonnage 534 O.M. 510 N.M. Class 9 years A1.