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News Items - A Source of Information and Education about our Ancestors...


Local newspapers are a great source of information for family historians and researchers. We are especially lucky in Aberdeen with records of one paper - The Aberdeen Journal - dating back to the 18th century. In this section we will record just a few snippets of local interest from our papers - some trivial, some tragic, but all fascinating. Let's hope you find something of interest - I'll be surprised if you don't!

The Aberdeen Journal, February 3rd, 1819

 Mr Barclay of Ury has given 50 Bolls of Coals to the poor in the Newtown of Stonehaven. For several preceding winters he has made the same generous donation to the great benefit of many indigent families.

A meeting of the Parishioners of Strachan was held on the 18th January, 1819 for the purpose of stopping the influx of vagrants and wandering beggars into the parish when a Constable was appointed to carry into effect this salutary measure and a liberal subscription was made to defray the necessary expenses of its accomplishment.

At the annual market (St Anthen's fair), held last Wednesday at Laurencekirk, there was not much business transacted. Married ploughmen engaged for the year from Whitsunday next were bargained at from 5 to 8 sterling with a house, cow, meat, and the usual allowance of potatoes, etc. The hiring of unmarried servants is now delayed until towards the term of entry.

The Aberdeen Journal, February 24th, 1819

The inhabitants of Stonehaven having come to the resolution of establishing a Dispensary there under the medical charge of Mr John Taylor, surgeon, for the benefit of the Poor of the Town and neighbourhood, it was opened on Monday last at apartments in the house belonging to Mr Knox, Allardice Street. Mr Knox, the Treasurer, will thankfully receive whatever the benevolent may be inclined to bestow towards supporting this useful charity.

The Aberdeen Journal, March 10th, 1819

Died at Ravelston, on 26 ult., Alexander Keith, Esq. of Dunnottar.

The Aberdeen Journal, June 2nd, 1819

Stonehaven 1st June, 1819 - A most distressing accident happened here yesterday afternoon. Just as the mail coach was descending from the Bridge of Cowie, and making a quick turn into the Bridge Street, a child of between 3 and 4 years of age, belonging to Mr David Henderson, merchant here, unfortunately chanced to be in the way of the coach and but a very little distance ahead of her, when running to get out of the road, it fell just before the horses and although every possible exertion was made by the driver to stop the horses and by some people near at the time to save the child, one of the wheels passed over the poor infant's head and part of the breast and crushed it to death. The whole blame lies in the abominable bridge over the Cowie Water - its excessive narrowness and steepness besides the acute turn which it causes in running into the town of Stonehaven. It is much to be wished that a new bridge were put up, of the proper breadth and higher up the water for no person can be safe to pass the present one on foot at any time but particularly at night.

The Aberdeen Journal, June 9th, 1819

Last week, without any object but the common wages of industry, a labourer in Stonehaven, in the course of one day, carried from a vessel in the harbour, across the deck of another vessel, 600 bags of coals, and placed them in carts on the quay, thus having borne on his back the astonishing weight of 38 tons, and walked during the time on very insecure footing, about 9 miles.

The Aberdeen Journal, December 18th, 1822

In consequence of information lodged with Messrs George Sutherland, riding officer of Excise, and John Anderson, supernumerary, of Aberdeen Collection, they proceeded on the morning of the 10th inst, to the farm of Crossgate, parish of Dunnottar, where they discovered an extensive private distillery at work, in which were three tuns, containing 210 gallons of wash, in a state of fermentation, which they destroyed. One mash tun, upwards of 200 gallons content, and from which worts of a very high gravity were running off, two coppers at work boiling worts, and and five bags, containing 20 bushels of dried malt, they seized and lodged in the Excise Office, Stonehaven. The distillery, being contiguous to a small rivulet, was calculated to defraud the revenue a very condiderable amount weekly.

The Aberdeen Journal, January 8th, 1823

Last Friday night , Captain Barclay of Ury's Gamekeeper, in returning from Stonehaven, missed his way, and by some traces of him to the bank of the water of Cowie, it is but too certain that he is unfortunately drowned. Every search has been made for his body, but without effect. He has left a widow.

The Aberdeen Journal, March 5th, 1823

On Saturday, the 2nd ult., Mr Alexander Cormick, supervisor, Messrs Reid, Money and Young, officers of Excise, Montrose, and Mr Morrison of Brechin Ride Division, were approaching the Cairn-o-Mount, they met with a strong party of smugglers, and after some alteration succeeded in seizing about one hundred and forty gallons of Highland whisky, which has been safely lodged in the Excise Warehouse, Montrose. This is the greatest seizure that has been made in that quarter for several years, and much praise is due to these officers for their activity on the occasion.

The Aberdeen Journal, October 27th, 1823

On Friday night, an attempt was made to set on fire the Weaving Shop in Barclay Street, occupied by Messrs Maberly & Co., by throwing a lighted peat or other combustible stuff in at the broken pane of glass in one of the windows. The malicious intention was not, however, carried into effect as the fire had gone out.

The Aberdeen Journal, March 17th, 1824

On Sunday night, a child of William Donald's forester to Mr Duff of Fetteresso fell into the water of Carron, opposite the Kirktown, and was drowned. The child had been playing with some others, at the foot of the yard close by the water, and having got up on a stone generally used for beetling clothes, was precipitated into the water by the violence of the wind. The body was afterwards found at the Tannery, a distance of about a mile; but the vital spark had fled; and all attempts to restore animation were without effect.