Periódicos en Español—Hispanic American Newspapers Online

GenealogyBank has the largest collection of Hispanic American newspapers to explore Latino family ancestry online. Our extensive Hispanic American collection currently contains over 360 newspaper titles. This is an essential newspaper archive for genealogists, supplementing the other newspapers on our genealogy website and helping to make it one of the most comprehensive resources for Hispanic genealogical research online.

The oldest surviving Hispanic newspaper is El Misisipi, first published in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1808. A masthead in Spanish from an 1808 issue of El Misisipi is featured below. The newspapers in GenealogyBank’s Hispanic American newspapers archive are a virtual goldmine to genealogists, providing a terrific resource for researching your Hispanic genealogy. You can easily search in every Hispanic newspaper issue online to find birth, marriage and obituary announcements, news reports about events that affected your Hispanic ancestors—even the vintage advertisements can be a helpful genealogical resource.

Here is a Hispanic American death notice in Spanish printed by the Bejareño (San Antonio, Texas) newspaper on 17 May 1856, page 2.

Here is a birth announcement en español printed by the Cronista del Valle (Brownsville, Texas) newspaper on 20 April 1925, page 1.
And here is a Latino marriage announcement in Spanish printed by the Amigo del Hogar (Indiana Harbour, Indiana) newspaper on 23 June 1929, page 1.

Did your Hispanic American family run a business? Look for their ads in the local Latino newspapers to get a glimpse into the lives they led. The following Hispanic newspaper ads were printed by the Cronista del Valle (Brownsville, Texas) newspaper on 20 April 1925, page 5.

As these Latino birth, death and marriage announcements have shown, the Hispanic American newspapers in GenealogyBank’s historical newspaper archives are important to genealogists because of their editorial focus on covering the cultural, social, religious and personal news that was of high interest to the Hispanic American community.

Latino newspapers are also good at providing specific historical information that can aid in tracing your Hispanic family tree. These Hispanic newspapers tend to be especially good at covering community news and events, giving genealogists the opportunity to find information about their Hispanic ancestors interacting with their neighbors and participating at the local level—stories that don’t appear in censuses and other government records, providing personal details about your ancestors’ lives.

Happy Birthday GenealogyBank!

Wow—GenealogyBank is five years old this week and has it grown fast!
Celebrate with our special offer to you – click for special offer. When we launched in October 2006, GenealogyBank had 160 million records. Now it has over 1 billion.

It Our genealogy website has grown from 2,700 newspapers to more than 5,700, with coverage from all 50 states spanning three centuries—from 1690 to today making it one of the most comprehensive resources for genealogical research online.

Newspapers are the essential core tool for documenting your family history and GenealogyBank’s unique resources historical archive collections make that possible. Over 95% of the newspaper content on our genealogy website cannot be found anywhere else on the Internet.

Since the day GenealogyBank launched, we have been adding more genealogical content to our site continuously—including more newspapers, obituary collections, government records, and historical books and documents.

Come and see what you’ll discover about your family!
Celebrate with our special offer to you – click for special offer.

How to Find Ancestor’s Legal Name Change Records with Newspapers

Sometimes when researching your family history, it is difficult to find a relative—they just seem to have fallen off the face of the earth.

Did they go into the witness protection program?
Were they abducted by aliens?
Did they go on a cruise through the Bermuda Triangle?

Maybe they simply changed their name.
After all, many people did opt to change their identity to start anew.


Daily People. (New York, New York) 25 September 1901. page 1.

Russian immigrant Max Kaplansky decided he needed to legally change his name. He had become a naturalized citizen of the United States and a businessman, but found that his surname caused him “much annoyance in the society of Americans” and that he was “subjected to much ridicule.”
In 1901 he went to the New York Supreme Court to request that his name be changed to Max Kapell because “Kaplansky” had become an obstacle, costing him “many opportunities” both “in a business and social way.” Court Justice James Aloysius O’Gorman agreed with him and granted his petition to change his name.

Kaplansky’s experience was something many immigrants with foreign names went through as they tried to fit in to turn-of-the century America. If your ancestor arrived in America around this time, perhaps he legally changed his name for the same reasons Kaplansky did.

Sometimes entire families legally changed their names. In 1848, members of the Dore family petitioned the New Hampshire State Legislature to change their surname from Dore to Richmond. There were a number of other people in New Hampshire who wanted to change their names at this time, as shown in the following historical newspaper article.

This name change record was printed by the New Hampshire Patriot & State Gazette (Concord, New Hampshire), 6 July 1848, page 3.

I have even found name change records examples where a person applied to have only their middle name legally changed.

Take a look at this old name change record example. It was printed by the Salem Register (Salem, Massachusetts), 8 August 1870, page 3.

In 1870, Hannah A. Simonds, mother of Thomas Batchelder Simonds petitioned her local Probate Court to have her son’s name legally changed to Thomas Stanley Simonds. Interestingly the court required her to inform the public of this name change by “publish[ing] this decree once a week for three successive weeks in the newspaper called the Salem Register, printed in Salem…” and then report back to the court “under oath that such notice has been given.”
So our ancestors often did change their names and over the years they could apply to various courts or levels of government to request this change. In these three legal name change examples the petitioners applied to their State Supreme Court, a state legislature and to a local probate court.

The key for genealogists is that legal name changes have been routinely reported in the local newspaper and in the case of the Probate Court of Salem, Massachusetts in 1870 – it required that an announcement of the the identity change be published in the local newspaper.

It’s amazing the genealogical information you can discover in newspaper archives to help you find missing family members.