I'm just looking at the obituary of John Hearne - the RIC man who I posted about before - and at the end it says American Papers Please Copy.
Should I infer from this that he had relatives in America?
Or was it just the done thing in those days?
Arguably yes. Definitely means its worth looking there.
Agree with MYOB, the reverse happened also and you will see obituary or "info wanted" ad endings in the US with, for example, 'Cork papers please copy', 'Irish papers please copy' etc..
As an aside, I've never looked into how that actually happened, and would be curious to find out.
As in Hermy's case, how would any newspaper editor in America see that notice and copy it. Also, there are thousands of papers at any one time, which "American" ones were such notices aimed at??
My understanding is that when the notice ‘Irish papers please copy’ was put on a notice (death is the only one I recall seeing), it often was picked up by the Irish papers and published as ‘We have a report from our correspondent in wherever that Mr. A.B. has died, he was the eldest son of BB of Z etc., etc. AFAIK if it was placed in the BMD column a bill was sent to the family. How successful the payment collection process was I do not know!
In today’s Internet age we tend to forget the importance of the Postal Service and newspapers up until recent times. (As an expat in the 1980’s I remember the joy of receiving Irish newspapers from visitors!) In the 1800’s newspapers regularly published lists of mail / parcels being held/awaiting collection at ‘backwoods’ places in for e.g. the Australian outback. There also were the ‘Lost and Found’ type adverts, searching for relatives (‘Jimmy Smith, last heard of mining in Montana, contact brother Michael in Boston’ I had a gguncle in Oz who died in the 1930’s and some of his belongings and papers were sent home. Among them was a wodge of cuttings spanning 50+years from newspapers on BMDs in Ireland and elsewhere.
From a similar source I have a copy of a death notice in the The Sydney Morning Herald in 1948 of a distant cousin who died - “in Sth. Africa, the son of John X in Co. Y, Ireland, and beloved brother of Peter X in Sydney RIP (American papers please copy ). The latter was because there were other family members in the US. I have not looked in the US papers to see if they 'copied' - but I firmly believe that they had no hope of payment from Peter in Sydney as he was always broke!
It is very common in families who were in the colonial service and was a means of letting old friends know of a death – these are a few from The Times (London) from the 1900’s:-
(Demerara papers, please copy.)
(Home and Colonial papers, please copy.)
(British Guiana papers, please copy.)
(West Indian papers, please copy).
(West Indian and Australian papers, please copy. )
(Montreal and Demerara papers, please copy )
(West Indian and British Guiana papers, please copy. )