This Library of Congress project now numbers 16 million digitized pages (and counting) from 3,000-plus newspapers dating from 1789. The U.S. Newspaper Directory will help you determine what papers were published in your ancestor’s hometown.
Boasting the world’s largest online obituary collection, GenealogyBank features 13,000 newspaper titles spanning more than 330 years of American history—most unavailable elsewhere. Your subscription (roughly $70 annually) also grants access to censuses, historical books and government publications from the past.
If your ancestors’ story ended disastrously—in a train wreck, fire, flood, shipwreck, plane crash or other accident—you can find the newspaper account of their colorful end here. Browse by state, year or type of disaster.
This site from Ancestry.com offers more than 580 million pages from 15,000 newspapers dating from the 1700s to the 2000s. Full access, including nearly 400 million pages licensed from publishers, costs $19.90 per month; basic subscriptions cost $7.95 per month.