South Shields Local History Group

Under Construction

Mulhern, Mike

Mike Mulhern is a local historian who has created an invaluable database of names from the South Shields Gazette, 1900 to 1938.  If anyone is interested in assisting with this database please contact us using the contact form.


Many years ago, when compiling my Family History, I spent a lot of time researching in the Local History records of the old library in St Georg Square.  To effectively research in the microfilms of the Shields Gazette, however, required accuracy of date as searching randomly was very time consuming.  

It became an ambition of mine, when retired, to compile a database that would link NAMES to DATES – thus making searches for people named in the Shields Gazette with an accurate date on which that person was associated.

A starting date of 1st January 1900 was used and a set of ground rules was established as to what could be contained in the database.  For example, the initial concept was to only include Births, Deaths and Marriages as they were listed daily.  It soon became apparent, however, that to do so would exclude all those deaths (such as at sea) and many that could not afford the Death Notices.  This was just an example of the limitations of the initial concept, so the database was gradually expanded to cover almost all events chronicled in the Shields Gazette.

I have worked on this database almost daily since I retired in 2008 and it presently consists of 810,000 names.  That is a simplification of the project as the database also links individuals wherever possible so that it becomes a “life cycle” of their life wherever possible – from birth notice to death and memorial.  If a person also has a headstone on their grave then that is also highlighted.   

I have compiled another database that runs alongside the NAMES database – this is the ILLUSTRATIONS database that details all photographs in the Shields Gazette by a descriptor (such as streets, ships, groups, activities, etc.)

It could be argued that the British Library now has, on the Internet, the Shields Gazette without anyone leaving their homes to research … it also uses a character recognition system that allows search by name too.  This was not available when I started my project.  I, however, believe my database is far superior in accuracy and links people and events in ways that are not available from the British Library’s website.

I have completed all Shields Gazettes up until the end of 1938 but ill health prevents me continuing much further.   All my research tools are contained on a massive hard drive and will allow a future compiler to continue my work – something I dearly hope will happen by the Local History Groups of the town.

Mike Mulhern

error: This content is protected.