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Source Information

Ancestry.com. Illustrated London News [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
Original data: Illustrated London News. Gloucestershire, England: Archive CD Books Ltd.

About Illustrated London News

Issues of the Illustrated London News (ILN) make up this database. The ILN was founded by Herbert Ingram in 1842 and was the first weekly paper to recognize the selling power of illustrations. Prior to this other papers had carried scant illustrations despite the fact that issues with woodcut pictures sold more copies than standard papers. The first edition of the ILN sold 26,000 copies with circulation rising to 60,000 a week by the end of the year. The ILN promised a "moving panorama of subject matter in forthcoming issues; world events, politics, the pleasures of the people; their theatres, their concerts, their galas, their races and their fairs."

The significance of these records is in the social history they offer. Each volume is fronted by either a list of illustrations or an index of chronological events. The 1847 volume includes coverage of the Irish Potato Famine. Had your ancestor lived in Ireland between 1845 and 1852 they would have been part of a time of mass starvation, disease, and emigration due to a potato blight, which wiped out the country’s food source. Information that may be of special interest to genealogists are obituaries, which are often accompanied by illustrations of the individual’s coat of arms, other records of deaths and accidents, and detailed accounts of particular "nooks and crannies" around England.

An illustrated account of The Boer War (also known as the Transvaal War) by the ILN is also included in this database. The Boer War was the struggle by the United Kingdom to annex the Transvaal region of Africa. The area had a large Dutch population and the Boers (Dutch for farmers) resented the United Kingdom’s intrusion. For the genealogist portraits of individuals who participated in the Boer Wars may be of interest as well as records of Battalions from counties in England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and The Colonies.

Volumes included in this database:

  • Jan – June 1847
  • Jan – June 1853
  • Jan – Jun 1857
  • July – Dec 1857
  • July – Dec 1858
  • Jan – Jun 1865
  • July – Dec 1874
  • The Boer War (or the Transvaal War) 1899 – 1900

Some of the above information was taken from:

  • Orme, Edward B. A History of The Illustrated London News. The Home Page Website of John Weedy. 1986. Web. July 7, 2010.

Related Website

Archive CD Books
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