Archive for category Newspaper Genealogy

Follow Friday:South Carolina Digital Newspaper Program

Posted by on Friday, 1 March, 2013

I stumbled across this blog which is sure to interest those with South Carolina roots. It is called South Carolina Digital Newspaper Program.

Here are a few recent posts.

If you have South Carolina roots, be sure to check out this blog.


Search South Carolina Newspapers and

South Carolina Newspaper Archives at Genealogy Bank

Thriller Thursday: John Fox – Wagon & Car Accident

Posted by on Thursday, 13 December, 2012

Do you have some thrilling stories about your ancestors and their siblings? You might just be surprised by what you can find out in newspapers. The article below appeared in The Hartford Courant on May 12, 1910. John Fox was my great uncle.

John Fox dies in Wagon and Car accident



Enter Last Name: genealogybank logo

Free Newspaper Archives – Online and Offline

Posted by on Sunday, 18 March, 2012

Finding your ancestors in newspapers can be very rewarding. You can find birth announcements, marriage announcements and obituaries. However, you can find out so much more than just vital statistics. Perhaps your ancestor had a run in with a dog when she was a little girl or perhaps your ancestor kept giving the police a hard time when he drank too much. Read more about what you can find out using newspapers for genealogy .

Where can you find newspapers archives? A large number of newspaper archives are on-line, many of them are free. Rather than create a large list of links to on-line newspapers, I’ve provided a small list of websites which have a large collection of newspaper links. In addition, I’ve provided some Google search ideas and examples to find newspapers where your ancestor came from.

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress has an on-going project called Chronicling America. In their on-line digital collection there are more than 700 different newspapers, from about 25 different states and the District of Columbia.

One of the neat things about the Library of Congress project Chronicling America is that it goes beyond just digital collections. The library of Congress has been tracing down the locations of all known newspapers in the United States which were published from 1690. I was unaware of any newspapers published from my small town of Oxford, Connecticut but I took a look using their search engine. There were two newspapers published in Oxford. When you click on the results which come up, it will tell you where the newspapers are currently located. In my case both newspapers are currently located at the Connecticut State Library.

Wikipedia:List of online newspaper archives

Wikipedia has gathered a tremendous amount of newspaper archive links. There are newspaper archives from almost every state and the District of Columbia. If you are looking for foreign newspapers there are more than 40 countries listed including Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland and France.

Some of the newspaper archives listed on Wikipedia you will have to pay for but many are available for free. If you do some digging some of the newspapers they indicate as having to pay for you can get for free. Wikipedia lists the Hartford Courant Newspaper archives as a pay site. Since I live here in Connecticut and have a library card, I can get access to this for free at .

Cindi’s List – Newspapers

Everyone who’s done a lot of genealogy knows about Cindi’s List. Cindi’s list has a tremendous amount of links pointing to newspapers of today as well as archives. There are more than 500 links to newspapers of yesterday and today on the site.

Where Else Can You Find Newspaper Archives?

If you haven’t found a newspaper that you’re looking for in any of the sites listed above it’s time to do some Google searching. Many state libraries have digital collections which include newspapers. Let’s look for some newspapers from the state of Wisconsin. Using Google I looked for “wisconsin state library newspapers”. At the top of the search was not the Wisconsin State Library’s website but an entry for the Wisconsin Historical Society. They have more than 11,000 bound volumes and 100,000 reels of microfilm. It doesn’t seem like any of these are on-line, but it can help you plan a research trip.

Going back to the results from the Google search we did for “wisconsin state library newspapers” you will notice a number of other results which are good candidates for websites which have Wisconsin Newspapers. One of those was BadgerLink . If you happen to live in Wisconsin and have a library card you can get access to the on-line collections. You can scroll through the other search results to see if there are any more useful sites which come up.

Let’s try a different approach now to find additional newspapers. Many large universities have a good deal of newspaper collections. Let’s do a Google search for “university of georgia newspaper archives”. The top result when I ran this query was University of Georgia Libraries . It doesn’t appear any of the newspapers here are on-line but this is another good tool to plan a research trip.

Going back to the Google results from “university of georgia newspaper archives”, there was a result for Digital Collection of Georgia . This website contains a number of on-line searchable newspapers from Georgia. Some of the newspapers in this collection were published as early as 1808.

The possibilities of forming a Google Search for newspaper archives are nearly endless. I’ve found many newspapers relative to the area I was looking in by searching for Libraries, Historical Societies and Universities from the area. The best results I had was when I includes “newspaper archive” in my searches. Below are some examples for searching.

  • Connecticut State Library Newspaper Archive
  • Florida State Historical Society Newspaper Archive
  • University of Tennessee Newspaper Archive

When you’re forming your search around an area, you can substitute the town, city or county instead of the state. If you know the large universities from the area, you can specify the “(university name) newspaper archives”.

Take the time now to find a newspaper from where your ancestor lived. Search for your ancestors in newspapers and you will be rewarded with stories you could never get from just names and dates. Even if you don’t find your ancestors in the newspapers you can read about the happenings in their town which certainly influenced their lives.


Newspaper Archive search at Genealogy Bank

Newspaper Genealogy

Posted by on Sunday, 5 February, 2012

Newspapers and Genealogy Go Hand in Hand

Everyone I know who’s been doing family history research for any length of time has been utilizing newspapers in their research. Some of the most common and best known information you can find in newspapers include birth announcements, marriage announcements and obituaries. But these are just the tip of the iceburg. You can find so much more about individuals in newspapers. You can learn about events in their lives such as the time my ancestor was badly bitten by a dog as a little girl in the 1870s or you may find out your ancestor was arrested for drunkeness. More about these stories later.

The article below is about my uncle who died when he was just a baby. This was in between census years so he did not show up on any census record.
James Joseph Fox

Newspapers have been around in the United States since before the Revolutionary War. A founding father, Benjamin Franklin himself was a newspaper man. In 1732, Benjamin Franklin published “Poor Richard’s Almanac”. Newspapers spread the news of the Boston Tea Party and other events in the Revolutionary War throughout the colonies. During the Civil War, many military items were written about. Even the lowest private can be found in many of these artilcles. Even if your ancestor is not found in the newspapers you can read about the events happening in their local community which undoubtable influenced your ancestors daily life.

More and more newspapers are being digitalized and being put on-line. Some subscription websites such as Genealogy Bank and offer a wide range of newspapers on-line. There are also some collections you can use for free. Your local or state library may have subcriptions to digital collections of newspapers and some of these you may be able to access from the comfort of your home with using your own library card.


Unfortunately, there are still more newspapers which have not been digitalized and been put on-line, than those which are on-line. These newspapers can usually be found at local, county and/or state libraries or archives. Local historical societies also have very good collections. You may have to be a detective to find out where old local newspapers from your ancestor’s area ended up. Call around and you’ll be sure to find where they are located.

The following article was from a newspaper clip collection one of my great aunts had and was given to my mother. John Fox was my great uncle and there are several lengthy articles were about him and the accident which took his life.

John Fox Accident

Whether you found a newspaper archive on-line for free or have a paid subscription you’re in luck. These archives generally have an all words index. This means every word in the newspaper article archives have been put into the index. If you’re looking for your ancestor using microfilm of the newspaper at a local library or archive, you’ll have to scroll through the pages looking for your ancestor. For this reason, I usually search for a known event such as a brith, marriage or death. An obituary can occur weeks or months after the death and wills may be mentioned out even farther than that.

When using an on-line newspaper collection, I’ve used a few strategies to find my ancestor. When searching use various spellings of your ancestor’s name. Some newspaper archives let you search by type of article. Some of the categories to search for include birth announcements, marriage announcements and obituaries. You can read all the birth announcements around your ancestor’s expected birth date. You’ll have to look a few weeks after the event as well. Sometimes it took a while for this type of news to make it into the newspaper. If your ancestor was in the military, especially during the Civil War, you can look for the ancestor’s military unit. Even if you don’t find your ancestor, you can learn a lot about the unit he served in and about the battles the unit fought in. My ancestor John D. Laurie fought in the 10th Connecticut infantry. Common search phrases for this could be “tenth connecticut”, “10th connecticut” or “10th C V”. This strategy lead me to an article which reported him as injured and left on the battlefield.

John Laurie - 10th CT - Civil War Missing

Newspapers can offer amazing images into some events in your ancstors life. Read the short articles below. Where else but in newspaper research would you find out about such events.


Patrick Fraher/Fryher

I hope these articles inspire you to look for your ancestors in newspapers. There’s a lot more than just names and dates to your ancestors.