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18th-century Deserters in newspapers

Posted: 06 Aug 2020, 20:31
by VALLMO9
For those with 18th-century British Army ancestors, don't forget that military deserters often appear in local newspapers. In addition to birthplace and regiment info, some will also include physical descriptions, nicknames, and other helpful details. Like the talented chap below:

Newcastle Courant 13 November 1756
"John Cuthbertson, 23 years of age, five feet nine inches high, fresh complexion, long visage, brown hair and eyes, born at Warkworth, near Alnwick, Northumberland, wig maker, plays on the violin, went off from the Grenadier Company in a light brown coat. N.B. His father keeps an ale-house in Warkworth aforesaid".

One important search strategy to consider is not all newspaper reports used the deserter's full name. Sometimes the first name is abbreviated.

I would imagine using the deserter's surname + key words such as: deserted, deserter, regiment, age, complexion, apprehends, shillings will help locate an 18th-century newspaper report (if it exists).

When searching, remember that newspapers used Old English text, including words with the long s ("fpeaks" for speaks, "refided" for resided, "Majefty's for Majesty's), etc.

Re: 18th-century Deserters in newspapers

Posted: 16 Aug 2020, 14:41
by Norfolk Nan
Thanks for that Vallmo9, a useful tip. :D

Re: 18th-century Deserters in newspapers

Posted: 16 Aug 2020, 17:47
by VALLMO9
Norfolk Nan wrote:
16 Aug 2020, 14:41
Thanks for that Vallmo9, a useful tip. :D
In another life, I would've loved to compile a list/database of 18th-century army deserters from newspaper reports. :)

Re: 18th-century Deserters in newspapers

Posted: 18 Aug 2020, 16:32
by Norfolk Nan
Perhaps you will one day ... still plenty of time!

I also found the keywords suggestions useful - I'm not hot on online research using keywords so thank you! :lol: