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Burlington County Newspaper Notices Index

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Introduction

The "Burlington County Newspaper Notices Index" includes citations to birth announcements, marriage announcements, death notices, obituaries, and other related news items gathered from over twenty-five Burlington County area newspapers and publications.

The oldest citations in this index date back to 1810 and are from the Rural Visitor, a newspaper published in Burlington City, from July 1810 to July 1811. The majority of the citations in the database are death notices and marriage announcements from the mid-1800's and 1910-through the WW II era. Most of the birth announcements date from the 1970's-early 1980's. However, no newspaper in the Burlington County Library System microfilm collection has been indexed from the first issue to the last.

History of the Project

The information in this database, originally compiled by a group of volunteers with an interest in genealogy and Burlington County history, existed for many years as a 3x5 card index, commonly known as the “death card index,” the “marriage card index,” and the “birth card index.” Many years have passed and the names of the original volunteers are no longer known, but their efforts are appreciated by all who have located by ancestors, connections, and notable events.

Beginning in 1999 and continuing through the end of 2002, a second group of volunteers transcribed the printed index cards into the product to which you now have online access. All of the citations on the cards were transcribed "as is" by the volunteers with little interpretation, and regardless of whether or not the citation was complete. A future project is planned to clean up the citations which contain missing data elements, such as source date or page number.

The database grows on a weekly basis, thanks to the efforts of dedicated volunteers and staff. Currently, we are adding citations from the Mount Holly Herald (beginning 1897-1910 and 1937-1945), the Palmyra News (1932), and Beverly Bee (1999-2007), The Moorestown News (1930-June, 1946 and the Triple Towns Tribune (Riverside, 1931-1942). The types of news items included in the database have also been expanded in this second phase, to include engagement announcements, wedding anniversaries, divorce decrees, cards-of-thanks, biographical sketches and memorials.

While the Burlington County Library System owns most of the newspaper titles cited in this index, it does not own all of them. A small percentage of the original index cards was contributed by local researchers and other interested parties. These cards refer to resources held by libraries outside of our system, like "The Friend" (a Quaker newspaper). The Newspaper Bibliography will help you determine which library to contact for the newspaper from which you are seeking photocopies.

Look Beyond

Please keep in mind that this is only an index. When you are looking at the actual newspaper, look beyond the cited articles. Frequently, related news items were published close together - perhaps even on the same page. Articles related to your original citation may also be found by scanning the issues before and after the date of the event(s). Some examples of these "close proximity news stories" are: weddings (with and without photos) and engagement announcements; divorce decrees (frequently found in the legislative news); illnesses and injuries in the household; hunting, automobile, or industrial accidents; funeral or memorial service descriptions; wills and probate announcements and Orphan Court proceedings, land and property offers or transactions; murders and subsequent court trials, "Card of Thanks" for acts of kindness; and so on.

Challenges and things to know about the NNI

There are a few limitations to this index - just as there were in the card index:

  • DATE DISCREPANCY… Due to an early database design glitch, citations entered with only a "month/year" date display as the first of the month (e.g., June 1859 displays as June 1, 1859). We will be cleaning up these citations over time. The good news is that most of these citations are from weekly newspapers, so there are only four or five issues to check when one of these citations is retrieved.
  • TRANSCRIPTION RULES… The original card index and subsequent transcriptions were created "as is" from the newspapers on microfilm. This means that if the newspaper published a misspelling, alternate spelling, incorrect, or erroneous information, then the index will have exactly the same misspelling, alternate spelling, etc. For example, if a woman's first name was "Esther" but the newspaper published a notice using the name "Hester," then "Hester" is the name in the index. Likewise, if the date of an individual's death was January 3, 1899 and the newspaper reported it as January 13, 1899 or January 3, 1889, then the index will reflect the incorrect date. In selected cases, the phrase "[sic]" may appear with clarification or correction in the notes field. Though, we cannot add notes to the citation of every news item that falls into this category, we will research discrepancies as they are discovered.
  • BLANK FIELDS… The notations "none given," "no date given," or “none” in search results may signify that the transcription on the index card was not complete. It may also mean that there was no information in the news article. Those items that can be cleaned up will be edited over time.
  • READ DUPLICATE CITATIONS CAREFULLY… This index frequently returns what may seem to be duplicate citations for an event or name. However, there are a number of newspapers in this index that overlap, not only date coverage, but location as well. For example, the New Jersey Mirror and the Mount Holly Herald were both published in Mount Holly and often included the same notices.
  • CANNOT DO LEGAL NOTICES… At this time, we are not indexing the Orphans Court proceedings, wills and probate announcements, or land transactions, that were published in the newspapers. Even though these are helpful items, we do not have the human resources needed to include these notices.

Your corrections or comments are welcome.

Burlington County Library System | 5 Pioneer Boulevard | Westampton, NJ 08060
Phone: (609) 267-9660 | Fax: (609) 267-4091