Advertisement for Lost Money

The “classified” section of a newspaper can contain a variety of items. This one is a little different.

Ads for “Money lost” are not what one typically expects to find in a newspaper. “Lost” money tends to stay lost. Apparently in 1782, Montgomery County resident William Holmes was travelling between the ferry at Elk Ridge and Baltimore. At some point between the landing in Elk Ridge and Baltimore, he lost 440 Maryland State Continental Dollars.

There’s actually several clues here:

  • Holmes was a Montgomery County resident in 1782.
  • He actually lived “near” the Montgomery County Courthouse–this pinpoints his residence more precisely than just the county
  • Holmes had some sort of business in or reason to travel to Baltimore.
  • Holmes’ health was good enough in June of 1782 to allow him to travel.

The fact he lost 440 Maryland Continentals is perhaps a clue as well.

The notice is a reminder that:

  • classified advertisements should not be ignored when searching newspapers
  • people may be mentioned in newspapers a distance from their home




2 thoughts on “Advertisement for Lost Money

  1. These small ads and legal ads are often the most important items to read in these old newspapers. Seldom will you see your ancestor’s name in the news portion of the paper.

    • The gossip columns are good to read in the small-town weeklies as well. But you are right that the ads (classifieds and legal) can provide clues and references not mentioned elsewhere.

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