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Guide to locating newspapers for ancestry, family history, and genealogy research.

Why use newspapers?[edit | edit source]

  • Newspapers report family information within notices of births, marriages, and deaths (obituaries), and local news.
  • Newspapers usually began before government birth, marriage, and death records. They often began publishing soon a town was first settled.
  • Newspapers may serve as a substitute for civil records that were destroyed.
  • Unlike most government records, newspaper articles are not limited to a form. Thus, newspapers may contain details not found in more structured records.
  • Newspapers can report marriages, deaths or accomplishments of people who no longer live in the area but who still have friends or family there.
  • Newspapers may report events in the life of local inhabitants even when these events occurred elsewhere.

What can you find in newspapers?[edit | edit source]

  • Birth announcements may contain the infant's name, birth date, and parents' names, as well as the religion of the family.
  • Wedding announcements may contain the wedding date and place; the names of the bride, groom, bride's parents, and groom's parents; and the religion of the family.
  • Death notices and obituaries may contain the name and place of residence of close family and friends of the decedent, as well as the decedent's death date and place, birth date and place, and biographical information, such as occupation, military service, religion, schools attended, parents' names, places of residence over time, and place of origin.
  • News stories, legal notices, local personal columns and advertisements may contain nearly any information imaginable, including political or criminal activity, legal and domestic disputes, real estate transactions, business information, social contacts, military service, missing persons (including runaway slaves), or information about local disasters, epidemics, or other community milestones which affected the local population. Early local columns are more like local gossip but contain rich family information.

How do you find newspapers?[edit | edit source]

Online Newspaper Collections[edit | edit source]

($) indicates sites that require paid subscriptions

Sidebar Links to Wiki Articles[edit | edit source]

See the links to newspapers in the right sidebar in this typical Wiki main page.

Newspaper sidebar.png

Online Genealogical Records Pages[edit | edit source]

On the main page for each U.S. State page and country page, a blue button leads to a listing of online record collections.

Look for the blue button on each state and country
main page to link to the Online Genealogy Records page.


A typical Online Genealogy Records page.

Newspapers sidebar.png|700px]]

FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

  • Newspapers collected by FamilySearch, usually digitized and online, are listed in the FamilySearch catalog. Enter the name of the country in the "Place Field" and click "Search". A list of record categories will be provided. Select the Newspapers topic that helps.

Catalog newspapers.png