The Family Tree Historical Newspapers Guide

Search for your ancestors in historical newspapers with the tips and techniques in this guide. Inside, you’ll learn how to use, GenealogyBank and other online newspaper databases to discover your family history and learn about your ancestor’s life and times.
SKU: R4322

Regular Price: $25.99

Special Price $17.74

Please, log in or register to or .

Free Shipping on US Orders over $50


There are more historical newspaper resources than you think—and they’re easier to access than you know. When researched properly, no other type of record can beat historical newspapers in “taking the pulse” of their times and places, recording not just the names of specific individuals, but also the information that was important to the community. This comprehensive how-to guide will show you how to harvest the "social media" of centuries past to learn facts about your ancestors as well as the flavor of the times they lived in. With step-by-step examples, case studies, templates, worksheets, and screenshots, this book lays out what genealogists can find in online (and offline) historical newspapers, from city dailies to weekly community papers to foreign-language gazetteers and publications from religious, ethnic, and labor societies.

What’s Inside

The Family Tree Historical Newspapers Guide features:

  • Tips and techniques for finding crucial genealogy records in newspapers, such as birth announcements, obituaries and even news reports
  • Step-by-step guides for using popular online newspaper databases such as GenealogyBank and
  • Case studies that will put information found in newspapers to use

Who Should Get This Book

You’ll love The Family Tree Historical Newspapers Guide if…

  • You want to walk in your ancestor’s shoes and learn more about his community
  • You’ve struck out with other genealogy records and need new ways of searching for ancestors
  • You’re a history buff who wants to explore newspapers, the “social media” of their time

Excerpt: Sample Tips

Here are some tips you’ll find in The Family Tree Historical Newspapers Guide:

  1. Remember to fact-check. While obituaries and other records related to death can help with research in many ways, they can often include incorrect information or omit data that might be considered embarrassing to the deceased or the survivors. Be sure to use obituaries in conjunction with other genealogy records to ensure the document is accurate.
  2. Distinguish between “historic” and “historical.” You’ll note that we talk about “historical” (meaning “of past events”) newspapers as opposed to “historic” (meaning “famous or important in history”) newspapers. Some of them may be “historic,” but they are all “historical.”
  3. Find patterns. When “browsing” images of unindexed/unsearchable newspapers, look for consistent formats, such as marriages always being found on the second page.
  4. About The Author: James M. Beidler

    James M. Beidler, a first-career newspaper copy editor, previously authored The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide and Trace Your German Roots Online, and has written “Roots & Branches,” an award-winning weekly newspaper column on genealogy for nearly twenty years. He is also a columnist for German Life magazine, edits Der Kurier (the quarterly journal of the Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society), and has written for other periodicals, including scholarly journals such as The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine. He is also an instructor for the online Family Tree University and contributor to Family Tree Magazine.

    In addition to his writing, Beidler was president of the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors from 2010 to 2012, and is the former executive director for the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania. He also served as national co-chairman for the 2008 Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Philadelphia and sits on the selection committee for the Pennsylvania Digital Newspaper Project and Pennsylvania’s State Historic Records Advisory Board.

    He is an Enrolled Agent tax preparer and was a copy editor for The Patriot-News newspaper in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for fifteen years.

    Beidler was born and raised in Berks County, Pennsylvania, where he currently resides. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Hofstra University in Long Island, New York, with a BA in political science in 1982.

    Contents of the The Family Tree Historical Newspapers Guide:


    Part 1: Learning the Basics

    Chapter 1: The Historical Role of Newspapers

    Chapter 2: Records in Newspapers

    Chapter 3: Vital Records and Life Events in Newspapers

    Chapter 4: Obituaries and Other Death Notices

    Chapter 5: Understanding Newspaper Media

    Part 2: Accessing Digitized Newspapers

    Chapter 6: Free Newspaper Websites

    Chapter 7:

    Chapter 8: GenealogyBank

    Chapter 9: Other Subscription Websites

    Chapter 10: Seeking Out Other Newspapers

    Part 3: Diving Deeper into Newspapers

    Chapter 11: Ethnic-Focused Newspapers

    Chapter 12: International Newspapers

    Chapter 13: Preserving, Collecting, and Citing Newspapers

    Chapter 14: Putting It All Together

    Appendix A: Flowchart

    Appendix B: Newspaper Resources

    Appendix C: Creating a Newspaper Chronology

Additional Info
Additional Info
SKU R4322
Author/Speaker/Editor James M. Beidler
Product Type Book
Binding Paperback
ISBN 13 9781440350627
Number Of Pages 240
Write Your Own Review

Only registered users can write reviews. Please,

Fulfillment Info

Shipping Options
For United States customers:

Ground: $4.95 flat rate. Free shipping on orders over $50
Estimated total shipping time (not including order processing time) is 2-8 business days. Includes tracking information.

2nd Day Air: $19.95
Estimated total shipping time (not including order processing time) is 2 business days; no P.O. boxes. 2nd Day shipping includes tracking information.

Next Day Air: $49.95
Estimated total shipping time (not including order processing time) is 1 business day; no P.O. boxes. Next Day shipping includes tracking information.

For International customers:

  • Shipping Method —All orders are sent via Airmail. Please allow 4-6 weeks for your order to arrive.
  • Tracking information is not available for International orders at this time.

International Air Printed Matter: $6.95
Estimated total shipping time (not including order processing time) is dependent on final destination. For Canada, the estimated shipping time is 2-4 weeks. For other International Countries please allow for an estimated shipping time of 4-6 weeks.

Digital Product Download
When you purchase a downloadable item from our store, you have unlimited access to your purchase and can download it as many times and as often as needed.

  1. Go to
  2. Click on Sign Up/Sign In at the top right corner.
  3. Sign in with your email and password.
  4. Click on Welcome, (your name)! At the top right corner
  5. On the left side of the screen is a list of options. Click on MY DOWNLOADABLE PRODUCTS
  6. Underneath the Product Title will be the download link. Click the link to view the PDF or Video.
  7. To save your purchases to your computer please do the following: 
    *PC Users: Right click on the download link, select Save Link As (Firefox, Chrome) or Save Target As (Internet Explorer).
    *MAC Users: Hold the Ctrl button while clicking on the download link and select the option Save Link As (Safari).
  8. Save the download(s) to your “Desktop,” “My Documents” or other favorite folder. Click Save.

If you are having trouble opening your download, we recommend using the latest version of Adobe Reader for eBooks, digital magazine issues and patterns/projects. Get it here for free:

For videos, we recommend using VLC Player. Here is the link to access VLC download for free:

Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.

Digital Courses and Streaming Video

If you have purchased an on-demand courses or video you can access your product immediately by following the directions below. If you have purchased course with a start date you can still access it by following the directions below but may be limited to what you can access until the course starts at the date that was described in the details section of the product you purchased. 

Here are instructions for accessing your course:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on Sign Up/Sign In at the top right corner.
  3. Sign in with your email and password.
  4. Click on Welcome, (your name)! At the top right corner
  5. On the left side of the screen click on MY Workshops.
  6. Click Go to Course link to the far right of the course title. If nothing happens, verify that your pop-up blocker is off.
  7. If you are directed to a screen asking for your name and email address, fill in the information.
  8. You will be taken to your Dashboard, where you will see your course listed.
  9. Click on the teal button to the far right of the course title. It should either say Start Watching or Continue.
  10. Click the Play button to start viewing the course.
    *If there are course materials available, they will be found under the Menu tab at the top of the viewing window.

To Access Course Materials:

  1. Click on the Menu tab.
  2. Click on Resources.
  3. You will see the number of Files available for the course.
  4. Click Files.
  5. Click View/Download to the right of the file title to access it.
Most of our courses are not downloadable and must be accessed via streaming while logged into your account. You have unlimited access to your course and can view it as many times and as often as needed. For courses on desktop or laptop computers, you will have to allow pop ups on our website from your web browser. Many web browsers will display a small notification at the top of the page that reads "popup blocked" upon clicking "Go to Course." Click on this notification to enable popups on our site. This will allow you to view the course.

If you do not see this notification, you simply have to navigate to your web browser's "settings" and disable your popup blocker there, or choose to allow popups on our site.

For instructions on Chrome go to

For courses on Apple mobile devices, such as iPad and iPhone, go into iPhone settings -> safari -> block popups and turn it off.
Then when you click on "go to course" from your device's internet browser app, you will be asked to allow popups for this site. Choose yes, and you should be good to go.

You may also be interested in the following product(s)
Newspapers Research Collection Newspapers Research Collection

Regular Price: $189.96