Hi all, our Find Your Ancestors in Online Newspapers weeklong workshop starts July 11! You might know old newspapers are my favorite record type. To show you what kind of fascinating finds you might be missing out on if you’re not using digitized online newspapers, here are a few of my recent newspaper discoveries (including on free websites):
This profile of my husband’s great-grandfather, then 87 years old (not the man pictured—that’s the reporter), is in the Jan. 8, 1960, Buffalo Courier-Express (digitized on the free Old Fulton NY Postcards site). It tells of his early life and career as a bricklayer. He used to haul lime in a wooden cart, stirring it to keep the cart from catching fire.
My paternal grandfather, a star student in a Texas orphanage, was in the papers frequently (due in part, I think, to the superintendent’s PR efforts). Several articles, like this one from the Aug. 10, 1919, San Antonio Express, include pictures. My grandfather is on the left and my dad looks just like him. This paper also was free, in the Portal to Texas History.
Before reliable birth and death records, it’s difficult to know to look for a child who died at two hours old, but newspapers can clue you in. The Cincinnati Daily Star s free to search from 1875 to 1880 on Chronicling America. (This is the August 5, 1878, edition.)
The Cincinnati Enquirer, available on subscription site Newspapers.com, has been a goldmine of information about my local family. This article from April 16, 1894, relates the sudden death of my cousin three times removed.
More saloon trouble: The Aug. 31, 1880, Cincinnati Daily Gazette, available through subscription site GenealogyBank, told of my fourth-great-uncle’s troublemaking due to his dissatisfaction with his tab.
The Find Your Ancestors in Online Newspapers workshop will help you get around online newspaper site frustrations such as locating online newspaper sources in the first place, overcoming poor OCR indexing, finding ancestors with common names, and working with search options on specific websites.
It includes seven video classes you can watch whenever you want during the week (and download to watch later), message board discussions and advice from workshop instructor James M. Beidler.