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*Tracing Your Roots > Caribbean > Tracing Caribbean Roots
* Newspapers 
Newspapers and early official gazettes are a valuable source for family historians and local historians. They were the only way people could find out what was happening in Britain and Europe; they describe local events and what was happening on other islands.

The information newspapers can contain is extensive but varies from newspaper to newspaper and over time. Examples of the genealogical information newspapers can contain include:

  • birth, marriage and death notices
  • court cases (including interesting or important ones from other islands)
  • merchants' advertisements
  • shipping intelligence of ships' arrivals and departures (these may name prominent people and other first class passengers)
  • tax defaulters
  • auction notices, especially of estates and slaves
  • notices on runaway slaves (often with a description of the slave)
  • creditors' notices following death
  • notices of naturalization
Newspapers are to be found in relevant local archives and libraries but collections are also found in other national and specialist archives and libraries. For example West Indian newspapers can be found scattered throughout Colonial Office records and for newspapers published between 1830 and 1850 there are separate collections in Colonial Office Miscellanea series. The British Library, Newspaper Library, has an extensive collection of West Indian newspapers from the 18th century.

Creators: Guy Grannum