In a previous issue of LONGSHOT, Malcolm showed how much useful information can be gained from articles in old newspapers, which can give a fascinating insight into the characters and way of life of our ancestors, in a way that official records can never do. The article reproduced on the right of this page, for example, gives us not only the addresses of the business premises of FREDERICK CAESAR LINFIELD in 1886, but also an impression of the innovative and progressive character of this prominent local businessman.
Whilst newspaper and magazine articles are perhaps the richest source, the humble advertisement can also be a useful source in family history. The example at the foot of this page, also taken from the Worthing Gazette of the 1880’s, relates to A G LINFIELD who also features in the article by Peggy Champ in this issue.
Occasionally, we may even discover other family historians, past or present, as in this example from a West Virginia newspaper. This particular cutting is one of a number which we have on record which relate to the Linkfield families in the United States.
This LAWRENCE LINKFIELD descended from Captain SAMUEL LINKFIELD who was the great grandson of EDWIN LINKFIELD, a noted New Hampshire Indian fighter, who landed in Casco Bay, Maine in 1718 from Northern Ireland. No connection has yet been proved with the Linkfields in Surrey, but it is interesting to note that the Linfield name occurs in Belfast as the name of a football club and park. These in turn took their names from a large spinning mill. Who knows, perhaps one of the Surrey Linkfield family moved to Ireland at some stage.
One of the most frustrating aspects of finding old newspaper articles is that people who keep cuttings frequently omit to mark them with the source or the date. Years later, it can require a good deal of detective work to determine when and where the original article appeared.
I am always grateful for cuttings with Lin(d)field connections – properly dated of course!