Perth County Newspapers
Past newspapers are kept on file at Stratford-Perth Archives. Each branch of the Archives keeps papers for its section of the county, so be certain that you write to the right branch (check below to be certain - I hope I have them all right!). They have quite an extensive collection.
$ If you know the date, or if there is an index, they will look up an obituary for a small fee. Please check with the Archives as to the current fee.
The only papers which the Archives doesn't have are the St Marys ones (see below for more info).
The major newspaper for the county is the Stratford Beacon-Herald. Currently there's also an online edition of the Beacon-Herald.
It existed previously as two separate weekly papers: Stratford Beacon Weekly began in 1855, and Stratford Weekly Herald began in 1863. Other names for these papers are the Evening Herald and Evening Beacon. They both became daily in about 1887, and they merged in 1923 to form the Beacon-Herald. The Archives has an index for obits and marriages up to about 1895. There was also a paper called the Stratford Times, which existed 1876-1891; the Archives has this newspaper but the collection isn't complete.
In recent years (since maybe the 1960s?) the Beacon- Herald has been "picking up" obituaries from other newspapers in Perth County, so if you have an ancestor who lived in another area, like Listowel or Mitchell, but s/he died recently, you can still try the Beacon-Herald for an obituary. The Beacon-Herald website does not have an archive yet, but they do have current obits online.
The current newspaper for Mitchell is the Mitchell Advocate. The Archives has it at the Mitchell Division, and at the main Stratford Division. It began in 1860, and is indexed pre-1879; however, 1879-1918 is completely missing, except for these dates: Oct. and Nov. 1884; Oct. 1897; Mar. 15, 1912.
It is currently online as well.
The paper for St Marys is the St Marys Journal Argus, which you will not get from the Archives, but instead from St Marys Museum. Like the Beacon-Herald, it was once two papers - the St Marys Argus began in 1857; the St Marys Journal is held from 1893 (it existed earlier than 1893, but all the papers were destroyed). The two papers joined in 1920. The Museum has an index to 1912. The St Marys Journal Argus is also currently online.
In the north part of the county, there is currently the Listowel Banner, and in the past there was the Listowel Standard. The Banner began in 1867; the Standard began in 1878 and ceased publication in 1942. Both papers are held both at the main Stratford Division of the Archives and the Listowel Division, and are indexed for obituaries and marriages. Current issues of the Listowel Banner online.
The Atwood Bee only existed from 1890-1923, and is indexed and at the Listowel Division. There was also the Milverton Sun, which began in 1891, and ceased publication in 1992.
In the south part of the county, especially in the Easthope townships, don't forget the Tavistock Gazette. The Stratford-Perth Archives has it from 1898.
For German ancestors, try Der Perth Volksfreund, which is in German and only for the years 1881-1882.
Thanks to Marjorie Wilson for help with this page! I couldn't have found all the details without her help!
If I've missed any online sources for records, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org . Thanks!
Meg Fuller Perth County Coordinator
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