Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Read All About It!  

The first newspaper in Dedham, Massachusetts was The Minerva published Tuesday, October 11, 1796.  The paper was published by Nathaniel and Benjamin Beaton.   This was the first newspaper published in a town after the county was incorporated in 1793.  The Minerva would later be known as The Columbian Minerva which was published by Herman Mann from 1797 to 1804.

There have been a long run of successive newspapers for the county seat.  This includes the Norfolk Repository (1805-1814), The Dedham Gazette (1813-1819), The Village Register (1820-1829), The Norfolk County Republican (1829-1830), The Dedham Patriot later the Dedham Gazette started in publication in 1830.  In 1831 the newspaper known as the Independent Politician and Working Men's Advocate began production.  In 1832 it was renamed the Norfolk Advertiser and Independent Politician, and yet another name change reverted it back to the Norfolk Advertiser again.  The paper would eventually be renamed the Norfolk Democrat until its merger with the Dedham Gazette in 1854.  The current news for Dedham can easily be found online for readers of The Dedham Transcript.

Many fine Norfolk County newspapers can be searched at the Boston Public Library Microtext Department, as well as participating libraries with access to Early American Newspapers by Readex.

On microfilm at the Boston Public Library they have the following Dedham titles since 1796.

  • The Minerva and Columbian Minerva - 1796-1804.
  • Norfolk Repository - 1805-1809
  • Dedham Gazette - 1813-1819, 1850-1870 
  • Village Register - 1820-1825
  • Norfolk County Republican - 1829-1830
  • Neponset Valley Daily News - 1999-
  • Norfolk County Gazette - 1870-1877, 1879-1898
  • Dedham Transcript and Norfolk County Advertiser - 1870-1871
  • Dedham Transcript - 1871-1973
  • Daily Transcript - 1973-1999
  • Dedham Standard - 1882-1890
  • Dedham Times - 1993-

The New England Historic Genealogical Society offers as part of their membership access to Series 1 of the Early American Newspapers as a premium database.  This is a quick way to search any word in some of the above Dedham newspapers.  I used this subscription to locate early news for my hometown of Stoughton.  Since Stoughton did not introduce a newspaper until the early 1860's using the newspapers of neighboring communities assisted me greatly.  I use the method of examining the neighboring towns to find coverage for a when the community in Norfolk County I want did not have their own newspaper.

Wishing you Happy Reading !!


  1. Wow, Massachusetts actually had a Republican newspaper?

  2. See I knew when I typed Norfolk County Republican you would reply!

    1. HAHA Of course! And see, I actually read and comment on your blog! More than I can say for you.

  3. I did and if you notice I took your "Blogger 101" advice from your tech call to good use! I added the Like finally! LOL