2016 Best Websites for Finding Ancestors in Old Newspapers

By David A. Fryxell Premium

The British Newspaper Archive $

More than 14 million pages from more than 615 titles dating back to 1710 are a snap to search at this site in partnership with the British Library. Publications cover England, Wales and Scotland, and you can even choose to search only ads or “family notices.” Subscriptions cost about $114 a year, or you can pay as you go.

Chronicling America

This Library of Congress project merits its own listing for its ever-growing collection of digitized newspapers—to date, more than 10 million pages spanning 1836 to 1922. Powerful search tools let you select specific states or titles and date ranges, run proximity searches on keywords, even search only front pages.


Search 149 million items from 2,779 newspaper titles with a single click, including lesser-known university and archive collections and many Australian publications.

GenealogyBank $

This subscription site ($69.95 a year) says 95 percent of its more than 7,000 online newspapers and 234 million obituaries aren’t available elsewhere. $

More than 149 million pages await your searching at this spinoff, with subscriptions at $79.95 (discounted for members). Some more-recent newspaper issues require an extra fee to access.