Thursday, December 16, 2010

JACKSONs in the Belfast Newsletter

Last month, I spent some of the evenings in my hotel room in Dublin compiling a 492 page index of all the mentions of JACKSONs in the Belfast Newsletter.

I know. I am such a wild and crazy thing, I can barely stand myself. Fortunately, this pre-work stood me in good stead when I finally wended my way up to Belfast and then into the Linen Hall Library where I could actually look the darned things up.

Speaking of which, if you have spare coin in your pocket, the Linen Library could definitely use your help. Only one of their machines really works well, and the printer ... well best to assume there is no printer. Staff people at the front desk are more than happy to give you a receipt for donations of a certain size, otherwise there is a coin box at the foot of the stairs near the coffee shop – which by the way, is a great place to grab a light lunch.

Credit where credit is due - my work on the JACKSON articles in the Belfast Newsletter was only possible thanks to John C. Greene and an index posted at:

On this site, I got 827 hits when I simply typed in the surname: JACKSON. Since references show up at the reasonable rate of ten hits per page, it took a fair bit of time to cut, copy, and paste until I had the whole nine yards.

Since there was no way that I was going to have time to check them all out on this trip, I added an extra column where I could indicate my priorities. Then I did a sort by priority, and Bingo. It meant that I was in full sprint mode the moment I threaded in the tail of my first microfilm.

Several of the listings that I have included are not particularly interesting, being no more than lists of names of people who have agreed to sell brown linens, or those men – always men - who agree that the king, or at least the resident landlord, is a great, good, and worthy sod.

Others tell of duels won and lost, and of women who have eloped without any good Cause –at least according to their aggrieved husbands, whose published intent was to snap the purse clasps shut. Others describe thefts, lost horses, runaway servants, leasing of lands, and business advertisements. There were the usual birth, marriages, and deaths as well as a few notices following up on the settling of estates belonging to the recently deceased.

One of the ones that tugged at my heartstrings was the announcement of the death of John JACKSON of Newtownards on Aug 4, 1797 followed a couple of weeks later by: ANN JACKSON begs leave to inform the Friends of her late Husband and the Public in general, That she continues to carry on the Business as usual and will be constantly supplied with Wine, Spirits, &c. &c. She has purchased new Chaises, good Horses, *c. For the accommodation of her Customers, and hopes from her care and attention, to merit a continuance of former favours.

I have posted 18 pages of this index, rather than the whole kit and caboodle. These pages include all the notes for the references that I was able to research so far. They can be viewed on my web site. Just check out the What’s New link , and it will take you there.

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