The Northern Standard, 1839–1847:
Birth, Marriage, and Death Notices, with
Accounts of other Auspicious & Adverse Events


compiled and edited by Alison Kilpatrick

Paperback, 518 pages, ISBN 978-0-9868873-3-8

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A fully indexed compilation of Birth, Marriage, and Death notices, with reports of other Auspicious and Adverse Events, from The Northern Standard newspaper, 1839–1847.

On January 12, 1839, Arthur Wellington Holmes (c.1811–1851) launched The Northern Standard from his office at 26, Mill-street, Monaghan, Ireland. Mr. Holmes aimed to publish not only the first newspaper in the county of Monaghan, but also one of a High Tory character in a staunchly liberal region.

This book presents transcriptions of articles selected from historic editions of The Northern Standard published between January, 1839 and December, 1847. During this nine-year period, the Standard carried a fascinating array of local and national events such as: the Presbyterian “marriage question;” the notorious bigamy trials of Copeland v Browne, and the Queen v Mary Downes; the abduction of Jane M’Kee by John Feehan; marriage festivities, and funerary customs; the concurrent illnesses, and deaths just one day apart, of the Earl of Besborough, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, in Dublin, and of Mr. Daniel O’Connell, M.P., at Genoa in Italy; and, the ravages of starvation and disease during the early years of the Great Famine.

The first chapter of this book includes 2,346 traditional birth, marriage, and death notices (100 pages). The second chapter consists of reports of other auspicious and adverse events—that is, 1,556 news accounts that dealt with the subjects of birth, marriage, and death (331 pages). Thus, the subjects in Chapter 2 include the following: accidents, bachelors and spinsters, bigamy, biographical notes, breach of promise, notes about the census taking of 1841, disease and epidemics, divorce and separation, elopement, epitaphs, estates, famine, deaths and injuries from fire, funerals, genealogical notes, hospitals and dispensaries, illnesses, inquests, longevity, disasters at sea, marriages in high life, monuments and memorials, obituaries, shipwrecks, starvation, sudden deaths, suicide, wills and bequests, and poems about birth, marriage, or death. Both chapters are indexed by surname, subject, and institution and publication. In all, this works consists of 431 pages, or nearly 390,000 words, of transcribed text and extracts, and 57 pages of index terms.


Place names in the province of Ulster are cited in about 70% of the articles in this volume; the county of Monaghan features in about 20%. Other counties are represented, including Dublin (651 articles), Cork (126), Louth (110), and so on. England (423), Scotland (93), the East Indies (57), France (39), and the USA (35), are also mentioned.

Whether employed in the pursuit of family or local history research, or perused at leisure, may this book also serve as a tribute to the memory of the people who were born in the county Monaghan, in neighbouring counties, and in Ireland generally—and perhaps, especially—to the memory of the many Irish whose names were not immortalized in The Northern Standard or other contemporary newspapers.

Table of Contents:

  • Chapter 1. Introduction, including "How to use this book" (pg. 1)
  •  Chapter 2. Birth, Marriage, and Death Notices (pg. 9)
  • Chapter 3. News Accounts of Auspicious and Adverse Events (pg. 109)
  • Chapter 4. Surname Index (pg. 441)
  • Chapter 5. Institution and Publication Index (pg. 475)
  • Chapter 6. Subject Index (pg. 495)
  • Chapter 7. Arthur Wellington Holmes, Proprietor and Editor (pg. 499)
  • Appendix: Editorial from first edition of The Northern Standard (pg. 503)
  • Bibliography (pg. 505)

About the compiler & editor: Alison Kilpatrick is an amateur genealogist with a keen interest in historic newspapers. Alison is well known in the online genealogical community, as much for her family history interests in England and Ireland, as for the volume and reliability of her transcriptions from 18th and 19th century Irish newspapers, covering several counties in the province of Ulster.

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