Newspapers are a wonderful resource to use in your genealogical pursuits. They are filled with not only birth, marriage, and death notices but also social comings and goings as well as crimes committed. You might also find ads for your ancestors business or farm and agricultural reports. Our latest podcast, episode #26, goes into detail how to use newspapers are a research tool.
At this point, you wonder where you can find these newspapers and we recommend these four different locations. The first one is GenealogyBank.com with newspapers from 1690 to today. There is a cost to become a member but some libraries have memberships that you can use with your library number. Newspapers.com 1700-200’s and NewspaperArchive.com 1607-2000 are also paid sites and have extensive volumes of newspapers from different locations. The last one is Chronicling America it is free and has newspapers from 1789-1925.
Other places to search are your local libraries and libraries located in the area you are researching. Check out Universities as well. Many have extensive collections that might aid your research.
In doing some research on my father’s side of the family, I put in my grandfather’s name, DeWayne Burke, in the Newspapers.com search engine. Turns out there are two that pop up. My grandfather and another gentleman that lived in Florida. I isolated the articles to Ohio, as that is where DeWayne lived, and then narrowed down the years. An article popped up in regards to the local Kiwanis Club where he was in charge of inducting new members. There is one article from The Sandusky Register 24 December 1964 where he is honored for his outstanding work as inductor officer of the club. Being a member of a service club myself I was excited to see that he was involved in his community and held a leadership position.
The best course of action is to find out what newspapers were printed in or near your town. You can do this by contacting the local historical society or library they will know what was available during the time period you are searching. Next check which sites listed above cover those newspapers and be sure to check what years they have in their arsenal as they may or may not have your era. Check with the libraries and Universities to see what they have digitized or on microfilm. Finally, begin your search!