Researching African-American Historical Newspapers

Researching African-American Historical Newspapers

Tune in to the most recent Genealogy Guys podcast to hear about a new resource for African-American researchers, Finding and Using African American Newspapers by Tim Pinnick (Gregath Publishing).Genealogists often shy away from searching through old newspapers because it requires digging up the names of sometimes-obscure titles, and often...

Tune in to the most recent Genealogy Guys podcast to hear about a new resource for African-American researchers, Finding and Using African American Newspapers by Tim Pinnick (Gregath Publishing).

Genealogists often shy away from searching through old newspapers because it requires digging up the names of sometimes-obscure titles, and often traveling to the library and enduring lots of microfilm-scrolling. And most of us seem to assume our ancestors weren’t newsworthy, anyway.

In an excerpt on his Web site, Pinnick ticks off the benefits of historical newspapers for African-American researchers in particular: articles that associate an ancestor with a slaveholding family, birth and death dates before vital records were kept, freed slaves’ notices seeking information about loved ones, society pages with family members’ comings and goings.

A few additional resources for African-American newspapers (feel free to click comment and add others you know of):

  • Freedom’s Journal, published in New York City, is digitized at the Wisconsin Historical Society Web site.

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  1. I’m Canadian and we don’t use hyphenated words to express our heritage. What I don’t understand is the expression African-American. Africa is a continent not a country so how can you be called African-American. Why not Sudan-American or South African-American? None of this makes sense to me.