The prompt for Week 2 of the 52 Ancestors Challenge is “favourite”. Some of the best finds come from newspapers. Yes the official records will tell you where an ancestor was born and died, who they married etc but those records won’t tell you much about the type of person they were. Newspaper articles can tell a lot and it’s not always good news.
I loved this article from May 1890 where local police have planned an operation into the illicit sale of alcohol. After a period of surveillance a number of properties were raided on the same day resulting in “the greatest haul ever got in Wishaw”. I’d love to see the paperwork in relation to this case.
My great great grandfather, whom I had no reason to believe was anything other than a respectable hard working man was one of the accused. Born in Clonallon, County Down, Patrick Keenan came to Scotland in the 1850s. In 1856 he married Agnes Haughey. The couple,eventually settled in Newmains, Lanarkshire and had 10 children. Life was not always easy and there were occasions when , through ill health, Patrick had to turn to the Parish for help. The Lanarkshire Poor Law records can be viewed at the Lanarkshire Heritage Centre in Motherwell. They are now also available to view online.
A couple of weeks after the raid Patrick was up in front of the Justice of the Peace court. it made me smile that he claimed that the alcohol was kept for his grandsons to have an occasional drink. Seems like they didn’t believe him!