Newspapers offer a fascinating look into the lives of your ancestors.
Newspapers offer a fascinating look into the lives of your ancestors. On Genealogy Roadshow we often use newspapers to dig a bit deeper into the lives of those we are researching. In some cases a local newspaper offers a look at the daily lives of our relatives, something a census or vital record cannot easily offer.
The United States offers newspapers from to the present day, a catalog of which can be accessed through Chronicling America the online portal of the National Digital Newspaper Program a partnership between the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Where do I look? A local public library in the area where your relative lived is a great place to start looking for newspapers. Many state libraries and historical societies will often have large collections of newspapers available on microfilm or through digital access.
For example, our St. Louis episode utilized the resources of the State Historical Society of Missouri, whose Missouri Digital Researching about american newspapers Project offers hundreds of local newspapers, freely available to search by keyword. While many local digital papers can be accessed at Chronicling America, other organizations have their own impressive newspaper collections that might cover multiple areas.
The American Antiquarian Society has one of the largest collections of materials printed before Their collections include more than 20 miles of printed materials. Not every issue of a newspaper has survived or is included in every library, so it can be important to search the holdings of more than one library for a specific title.
What do I look for? Your relatives do not have to be famous or even infamous to appear in a local newspaper. Those involved in real estate sales, business owners, and others whose line of work might require them to publically post items in the newspaper will often appear.
Some newspapers include announcements of local events, which can include out of town visitors, vacation plans, engagements, health notices, and other details.
Typically, the more sensational a story is, the more often news is copied and distributed in other newspapers. Newspapers are not always printed every day, so it is key to search a few days or a week before or after an event occurs. It might take up to weeks or even longer for news to be delivered, prepared, and printed in the local newspaper.
A town might also have more than one local newspaper, so it can be important to examine more than one title when looking for information.
A paper might have a particular political or religious leaning, which can offer additional insight into the news reported by or about your ancestors. Also keep in mind that a newspaper might refer to your relative by their last name, a nickname, or even just their initials.
A digitized index might incorrectly interpret a letter, name, or other word, so browsing each page can be a useful technique in some cases.
Finally, do not forget to immerse yourself in the historical world of your relatives. Their stories often come alive through reading local advertisements and articles about local events in historical newspapers.
An article does not have to mention your ancestor by name to offer a glimpse into their past.Your Guide to Using Newspapers for Genealogical Research.
Finding Obituaries ; Examples; African American Newspapers (on Researching African American Ancestors page) More Links. R Learn more about newspaper research. Early American Newspapers Series I and Early American Newspapers Series II , Series III Search America's historic newspaper pages from or use the U.S.
Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities .
Search America's historic newspaper pages from or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities .
On Genealogy Roadshow we often use newspapers to dig a bit deeper into the lives of those we are researching. In some cases a local newspaper offers a look at the daily lives of our relatives. Irish American Newspapers for Genealogy at GenealogyBank Irish American immigrants cut loose from the familiar surroundings of home were always hungry for 14 thoughts on “ Researching Old Occupations in Your Family Tree with Newspapers ”.
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