Lincolnshire Newspapers


Currently Published Newspapers

The newspapers published in your ancestors' days no longer exist, except as microfilm in some libraries. Below is a list of the principal newspapers currently published in Lincolnshire:

  • Boston Standard, published since 1912. E-Mail contact is: Tim Hartley or Pam Browne, phone: (01205) 311433. This newspaper underwent a change in ownership in 2001. The Boston Library has an archive of the Boston Standard and the Guardian before that. Boston Library, County Hall, Boston, PE21 6LX, Phone: 01205 310010, Evening: 01205 310248
  • The Epworth Bells, in the Isle of Axholme, continuously published since 1872. An undated picture of the Printing Works is supplied by the North Lincolnshire Council. The postal address is: The Editor, Epworth Bells, 13 Market Place, Epworth, Doncaster, DN9 1EU. Warning: The present Epworth Bells office will not be able to help much with queries as they do not hold distant back copies. However, the Epworth Mechanics Institute Library, which is housed just across the market place in the Manor Court House, does hold original copies in bound volumes dating back to 1873. There are also microfilm copies at the North Lincolnshire Library in Scunthorpe.
  • The Grantham Journal, founded in 1854 as the Grantham Times.
  • This Is Grimsby and North East Lincolnshire.
  • The Horncastle News started publication in 1885. Now part of Lincolnshire World.
  • The Horncastle Standard started in 1912. It appears to have closed around 2018.
  • The Lincolnshire ECHO/Lincolnshire Live, a daily newspaper. There is a section of this paper called "The Gossiper" and this often contains a paragraph about someone who is searching for someone living. The letters page does not usually contain such requests.
  • The "Lincolnshire, Rutland and Stamford Mercury" is available online since 1936.
  • Louth Leader, in publication since 1980. Now part of Lincolnshire World.
  • Market Rasen Mail, founded in 1856. Now part of Lincolnshire World.
  • The Newark Advertiser is a weekly paper, distributed in many areas of western Lincolnshire.
  • The Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph, published since 1937, a member of the Grimsby and Scunthorpe Newspapers Ltd. The name is now "Scunthorpe Live". The postal address is: The Editor, Scunthorpe Live, 4-5 Park Square, Laneham Street, Scunthorpe, DN15 6JH. E-Mail contact is: Scunthorpe Editor.
  • The Skegness News, in publication since 1929, stopped in 1964. Now part of Lincolnshire World.
  • The Sleaford Standard, a weekly paper with local village correspondents. Address: The Newspaper Centre, Redstone Road, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE32 8EA, Tele: +44 (0) 1205611433. Published since 1924. Now part of Lincolnshire World.
  • The Witham Staple covering Aubourn, Haddington, Norton Disney, Thurlby, Carlton le Moorland, Stapleford and Witham St Hughes. Contact: Editor, 1 Vicarage Lane, Carlton Le Moorland, Lincoln, England. Telephone: 01522 788-461.
  • The South Lincolnshire Free Press, which used to be the Lincolnshire, Boston and Spalding Free Press, published as a weekly paper since at least 1900.
  • The Spalding Guardian, published as a weekly paper since 1881. Now merged into the Spalding Free Press (above).
  • Check the Spalding Today website. It now publishes as the "Spalding Guardian".
  • Mortons Media Ltd. publishes the Horncastle News, the Louth Leader, the Market Rasen Mail and the Skegness News.

Out of County Newspapers

In neighboring Nottinghamshire, one can place "kin wanted" ads in the Newark Advertiser. The Newark Advertiser also includes an online "Past Times" feature which chronicles events that have happened over the last 100+ years in the Newark area, including some parishes in western Lincolnshire.

Nottinghamshire also once had Cresswell's Nottingham & Newark Advertiser. The years 1772-1775 were only available on 35mm microfilm but has now been scanned to CD. Cost £35 plus vat where applicable from MicroForm.

In neighboring Cambridgeshire, one can try The Chatteris Advertiser & Cambridgeshire Times. These were separate newspapers until about 50 years ago. Or try the Wisbech Standard, available at Wisbech Library.

The "Isle of Ely and Wisbech Advertiser" became the "Fenland Advertiser" and then the "Fenland Citizen".

If your ancestors lived or worked in the Fens, they may appear in a Cambridgeshire newspaper. Check out the Cambridgeshire Collection at the Library website.

Lincolnshire residents who lived north of Lincoln, in towns like Market Rasen, Grimsby, and Gainsborough might find themselves reported in a Hull, Yorkshire, newspaper. Search these Hull Newspaper Text Files to see if your surnames are recorded. Some interesting history in the files, too:

The Hull Packet and Advertiser was a useful source of north Lincolnshire news. Colleges and universities have free access to an online archive at the Gale site, but you have to be at the college or university to use it.

Older Editions

For some of the older newspapers:

  • The Boston and Louth Guardian was published from 1854 to 1958.
  • Boston used to be the home of the "Labourer" in the 1870s. Some issues may be at the Boston Library or Colindale (see below).
  • "Crowle Advertiser", Isle of Axholme, fairly recent, but out of print now.
  • The nearest place to Whaplode (too small to have its own) to have a newspaper in the early 1900s would be Spalding. The Gibson guide to local newspapers gives the following: "Lincs, Boston & Spalding Free Press" (from 1847), "Spalding Guardian" (from 1881) [also covers Holbeach, Long Sutton and Sutton Bridge]. (Thanks, Wendy Atkin).
  • The newspaper library at Colindale holds the "Lincolnshire, Boston and Spalding Free Press" from 1849 into the 1940's.
  • There is a booklet entitled "Local Newspapers (1750-1920) England and Wales, Channel Isles, Isle of Man" - A Select Location List, compiled by Jeremy Gibson, and sold by the Federation of Family History Societies. This booklet tells where the older newspaper copies (film etc) are to be found. (Thanks, Margaret Taylor). This booklet tells us where to find the following "Lincoln, Rutland and Stamford Mercury" copies:
    1. Lincoln Central Library: 1785-1920+
    2. Lincs. County Lib HQ: pre 1750-1920+
    3. Grimsby Library: 1793-1920+
    4. Lincs Archives Office: 1793-1820
    5. Sleaford Library: 1904-1913
  • The "Gainsborough Leader and Isle of Axholme Advertiser", published weekly on Fridays was still published in 1900, but gone by 1913.
  • The "Grantham Journal" is archived at the Grantham Library for the years 1855-1901, 1909-1920+.
  • The "Louth & North Lincs Advertiser" was published from 1859 until just after 1920. Copies are held at the Grimsby Library.
  • The "Retford, Worksop, Isle of Axholme and Gainsborough News", established May 1855 and published twice weekly was still being published in 1900.
  • The "Retford and Gainsborough Times", published weekly on Fridays was still being published in 1913.
  • "Lincolnshire Star", 1906-1927 (which later became the...)
  • "Scunthorpe and Frodingham Star", 1927-1966 (which later became the...)
  • "Scunthorpe Star", 1966-1990
  • The "Skegness Standard" was published from at least the 1950s into the 1970's.
  • The "Sleaford Gazette" was started as a weekly by William FAWCETT in 1854. The "Sleaford Journal" was started as a weekly by William WALSH in 1879.
  • The "Spalding and Lincolnshire Standard" was published from around 1913 in Spalding.
  • Pamela Harris has provided us with a text list of Newspaper Names she has extracted from a number of old Lincolnshire newspapers.
  • The "Stamford Mercury" often published names of individuals from court or petty session actions. See:

1793 Game Certificate List  Bastardy Sessions 

  • The Lincolnshire Archives are currently digitising the microfilms of the "Stamford Mercury". The first year of this should be complete in early-2004 and will be made freely available on the internet. In the meantime, we have some extracts of portions of the Stamford Mercury online for you to peruse:

1803  1804  1806  1812  1819  1824  1825  1832  1866 

National Sources

See the Genuki Newspaper Resources page.

Subscribers may also access Palmer's Index to the Times. To see the original entry, you need to access the microfilms or a subscription to Palmer's Full Text Online. I have no information on the cost of a subscription. In the UK they are at Guildhall, Newspaper Library, Colindale, North London and some County record offices. They do have it at Aylesbury Local Studies Library. Overseas listers can access Palmer's Index to The Times, and Palmer's Full Text Online, through university and public libraries - in Sydney, Darwin, Toronto, Edmonton, Alberta, etc.

One can access the web site of Pathe News in the UK and search for Spalding or the village or town of your choice.


There is one magazine that is a fairly new publication. A great gift for expatriots, it features the scenery and historic places of Lincolnshire. You can subscribe online to Lincolnshire Life.


The Scunthorpe Reference Library has copies of many published newspaper obituaries. The ones from the Scunthorpe Star are indexed for the period from 1891 to about 1950. They are quite happy to search any of our newspapers for obituaries, but you must be as precise on the date as possible. They limit free searches to one-half hour. Just drop an e-mail to the (Local History Librarian) giving the name of the deceased and the date of death. They then respond with an e-mail detailing the total cost (late in 2000, the cost was 60p per copy plus postage). Send a cheque for the required amount and the copies will be sent out to you. If you require more information on this or other services they provide, visit their web-site. The Scunthorpe Reference Library also has a list of current newspaper holdings for your review. The library is located at: Carlton Street, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, DN15 6TX, Phone 01724 860161.

If your ancestors lived in the Grimsby area, the Grimsby Central Library may be a better place to look. Location: Town Hall Square, Grimsby, DN31 1HG. Tel: 01472 323642, email: lib[at]nelincs.gov[dot]uk, website: www.nelincs.gov.uk. At last report, the first copy of an obit. was free to a UK address, additional copies were 30p.

We also have a text file of obituaries from The Gentleman's Magazine. Here are a few from the year 1800.