How to Find Your Grandfather’s Birth Records Online

Every day we receive questions from our members regarding their family history searches. We are here to help!

Here’s a genealogy question we just received.

GenealogyBank Member Question:

My grandfather Hugh Cornwell was born in Prairie Grove, AR, 4/6/1883. I have been searching for a birth record for the past 20 years with no luck. Any suggestions?

“Ask the Genealogist” Response:

Arkansas vital records do not begin until 1914.

So, while you can possibly obtain a church baptismal certificate, you won’t be able to find a government birth certificate for your grandfather.

I found your grandfather’s California death certificate, which does give his date of birth along with the family surnames of his father and mother. His death certificate is available online on the FamilySearch website at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VPW3-9Q3.

There is another record for your grandfather in the 1900 census, which also states that he was born in April 1883. His census record is available on FamilySearch.org at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M9PK-R7K.

Here is a third document with genealogical information about your grandfather: his World War II draft registration card, also showing that he was born on April 6, 1883. You can view your grandfather’s military record at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/V48Y-54Q.

So, while you cannot get a formal birth certificate—here are three U.S. government documents, created over the past 112 years, that give his date of birth. That should be the evidence you are looking for.

Let’s see how we can help you make progress in your own family history research.

All the best in your genealogy research.

Researching Records for Solomon Titus: A Revolutionary War Veteran

With its large collections of newspapers, historical books and documents, and government records, GenealogyBank provides a wealth of genealogical resources to help you research your family history.

One handy genealogy resource in GenealogyBank is the register of Revolutionary War Burials. The Daughters of the American Revolution issued a report every year of the burial sites of military veterans that served in America’s war for independence.

For example here is the military register entry for Solomon Titus, taken from the Forty-eighth report of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, April 1, 1944, to April 1, 1945, page 228.

burial report for Revolutionary War veteran Solomon Titus from Daughters of the American Revolution 1944-45 report

Graves of the soldiers of the Revolution, from 1944-45 Daughters of the American Revolution burial report

This DAR report tells us that Solomon Titus was:

  • A private in the Revolutionary War
  • In the Battle of White Plains (October 28, 1776)
  • In the Battle of Monmouth (June 28, 1778)
  • Buried in the Pennington, New Jersey, Presbyterian Churchyard
  • There is a file on him at the Veteran’s Administration (now at the National Archives)
  • W-2491

    casualty list from the Revolutionary War Battle of White Plains, published by the Freeman's Journal newspaper on December 3, 1776

    Casualty list from the Revolutionary War Battle of White Plains, published by the Freeman's Journal (Portsmouth, New Hampshire), 3 December 1776, page 2

We can then dig into GenealogyBank’s newspaper archives and find articles about each one of the military battles Titus fought in as the Revolutionary War unfolded. Historical newspaper articles such as this one, providing a summary of the soldiers killed at the Battle of White Plains, published in the Freeman’s Journal (Portsmouth, New Hampshire), 3 December 1776, page 2.

Or the many old newspaper articles about the pivotal Battle of Monmouth, such as this one providing George Washington’s own account of the famous military battle, published in the Continental Journal (Boston, Massachusetts), 23 July 1778, page 1.

collage of the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Monmouth, featuring a newspaper article from the Continental Journal newspaper and a painting of George Washington by Emanuel Leutze

Collage of the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Monmouth, featuring a newspaper article from the Continental Journal newspaper and a painting of George Washington by Emanuel Leutze

(Painting, Washington Rallying the Troops at Monmouth, by Emanuel Leutze. Wikimedia Commons.)

GenealogyBank is the only genealogy website complete enough to let us read about our ancestor’s experiences—like those of Solomon Titus in the Revolutionary War—day by day.

The Daughters of the American Revolution report said that the U.S. government had a file on Solomon Titus, and in the last column it gives the reference number W-2491.

W-2491. What does that mean?

It means that the widow of Solomon Titus applied for a military pension based on his service in the Revolutionary War. We learned in this report that he died on 19 December 1833. Looking in GenealogyBank we find that his wife applied for a widow’s pension and that it was approved in 1839.

page from the December 2, 1839, Journal of the House of Representatives showing recipients of Revolutionary War pensions

Page from the December 2, 1839, Journal of the House of Representatives showing recipients of Revolutionary War pensions

(Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States: being the first session of the Twenty-sixth Congress, begun and held at the City of Washington, December 2, 1839, in the sixty-fourth year of the independence of the said states on page 175.)

So, now we know that his wife’s name was Susannah Titus. A quick search of the early New Jersey marriages shows that her name was Susannah Read and that she and Solomon married in April 1779 in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

We can see a copy of Solomon’s military personnel file, available from the National Archives. Use “Standard Form 180” to make your request.

National Archives military records request form 1080

National Archives military records request form 1080

National Archives pension application request form 85

National Archives pension application request form 85

We can also request a copy of Susannah’s pension application by using Form 85. Be sure to include the pension number: W-2491.

We can gather so much information about our ancestors in the Revolutionary War era!

The Daughters of the American Revolution report also told us that Solomon Titus was buried in the Presbyterian Churchyard in Pennington, New Jersey.

 

A quick search on Google locates a wide-angle photo of that cemetery on flickr.

grave of Revolutionary War veteran Solomon Titus, buried in the Presbyterian churchyard in Pennington, New Jersey

Grave of Revolutionary War veteran Solomon Titus

Searching Google more, we find a photo of his grave on the website Find-A-Grave.

(Photo by Therese Fenner Boucher on Find-A-Grave.)

GenealogyBank’s Genealogy Archive Expansion Keeps Rolling!

Old Historical Newspaper Vendor

GenealogyBank keeps expanding our online archives of historical newspapers, books, documents, and government records—continuously adding new material for your genealogy research at the astonishing rate of 10 more records every second.

In the next few weeks GenealogyBank will be adding more newspapers and filling in gaps for over 2,800 U.S. newspapers providing you more family history coverage online than ever before.

We are adding so many newspaper titles that there isn’t space to list every one that will soon be added into our genealogy archive. As such, we selected out only a few dozen of the newest paper titles and date ranges coming to GenealogyBank. These new research resources will be added to our archive over the course of the next few weeks.

Nome Nugget (Nome, AK)

  • Obituaries:  01/20/2011 – Current
  • Death Notices:  01/06/2011 – Current

La Voz Weekly: De Anza College (Cupertino, CA)

  • Obituaries:  05/15/2000 – Current

Ledger: Blogs (Lakeland, FL)

  • Obituaries:  07/17/2007 – Current

Cherokee Ledger-News (Woodstock, GA)

  • Obituaries:  08/18/2010 – Current
  • Death Notices:  08/18/2010 – Current

Bay Windows (Boston, MA)

  • Obituaries: 12/10/1998 – 2/2/2011

Mission Hill Gazette (Jamaica Plain, MA)

  • Obituaries:  01/16/2009 – Current

Detroit News: Web Edition Articles (MI)

  • Obituaries: 10/28/2005 – 12/30/2010

Oxford Eagle (Oxford, MS)

  • Obituaries:  02/22/2012 – Current
  • Death Notices:  02/09/2012 – Current

Mount Olive Tribune (Mount Olive, NC)

  • Obituaries:  02/22/2012 – Current
  • Death Notices:  10/06/2011 – Current

Beulah Beacon (Beulah, ND)

  • Obituaries:  01/13/2011 – Current
  • Death Notices:  01/06/2011 – Current

Center Republican (Center, ND)

  • Obituaries:  07/21/2011 – Current
  • Death Notices:  01/27/2011 – Current

Hazen Star (Hazen, ND)

  • Obituaries:  01/13/2011 – Current
  • Death Notices:  01/06/2011 – Current

Leader-News (Washburn, ND)

  • Death Notices:  01/06/2011 – Current

McClusky Gazette (McClusky, ND)

  • Obituaries:  04/14/2011 – Current
  • Death Notices:  01/06/2011 – Current

McLean County Independent (Garrison, ND)

  • Obituaries:  02/10/2011 – Current
  • Death Notices:  01/06/2011 – Current

McLean County Journal (Turtle Lake, ND)

  • Obituaries:  02/17/2011 – Current
  • Death Notices:  01/06/2011 – Current

Mountrail County Record (Parshall, ND)

  • Obituaries:  03/11/2011 – Current
  • Death Notices:  01/07/2011 – Current

New Town News (New Town, ND)

  • Obituaries:  03/11/2011 – Current
  • Death Notices:  01/07/2011 – Current

Underwood News (Underwood, ND)

  • Death Notices:  01/06/2011 – Current

Velva Area Voice (Velva, ND)

  • Obituaries:  04/12/2012 – Current
  • Death Notices:  01/20/2011 – Current

Chester County Press (Oxford, PA)

  • Obituaries: 1/21/2009 – 2/16/2011
  • Death Notices: 11/5/2008 – 1/19/2011

Delaware County Daily Times (Primos – Upper Darby, PA)

  • Obituaries: 4/1/1994 – 1/1/2009
  • Death Notices: 4/1/1994 – 3/23/1995

Chattanooga Times Free Press (Chattanooga, TN)

  • Obituaries:  04/01/2011 – Current
  • Death Notices:  04/01/2011 – Current

Irving Rambler (Irving, TX)

  • Obituaries:  08/20/2011 – Current
  • Death Notices:  07/02/2011 – Current

Living Lake Country: Blogs (Hartland, WI)

  • Obituaries:  01/10/2011 – Current

It’s a great day for genealogy!

Amazing Survival Stories of Last Moments on the ‘Titanic’ Ship

This week, the world is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the British passenger liner RMS Titanic. The massive ship went down at 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912, after striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic shortly before midnight. There weren’t enough lifeboats for everyone on board, and 1,517 passengers and crew lost their lives.

Another passenger ship, the Carpathia, picked up the Titanic survivors and brought them to New York City, docking on April 18. It was then that the world began to learn details of the disaster from some of the survivors, whose stories were published in the newspapers.

Here’s a newspaper article with some amazing survival stories from the last moments on the Titanic. This copyrighted news article was published by the Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, North Carolina), 19 April 1912, page 1:

Graphic Stories of Real Heroism charlotte observer newspaper article April 19 1912

Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, North Carolina), 19 April 1912, page 1

Graphic Stories of Real Heroism

Many of the Survivors Tell of Last Moment on Titanic

Skippers Were Told

Conduct of John Jacob Astor Deserves Highest Praise as He Gave His Life for His Wife

New York, April 18.—E. Z. Taylor of Philadelphia, one of the survivors, jumped into the sea just three minutes before the boat sank. He told a graphic story as he came from the Carpathia.

“I was eating when the Titanic struck the iceberg,” he said. “There was an awful shock that made the boat tremble from stem to stern. I did not realize for some time what had happened. No one seemed to know the extent of the accident. We were told that an iceberg had been struck by the ship. I felt the boat rise and it seemed to me that she was riding over the ice. I ran out on deck and then I could see ice. It was a veritable sea of ice and the boat was rocking over it. I should say that parts of the iceberg were 80 feet high, but it had been broken into sections probably by our ship.

“I jumped into the ocean and was picked up by one of the boats. I never expected to see land again. I waited on board the boat until the lights went out. It seemed to me that the discipline on board was wonderful.”

Saved at Last Moment

Colonel Archibald Gracie, U.S.A., the last man saved, went down with the vessel but was picked up. He was met tonight by his daughter, who had arrived from Washington, and his son-in-law, Paul H. Fabricius. Colonel Gracie told a remarkable story of personal hardship and denied emphatically the reports that there had been any panic on board. He praised in the highest terms the behavior of both the passengers and crew and paid a high tribute to the heroism of the women passengers.

“Mrs. Isidor Straus,” he said, “went to her death because she would not desert her husband. Although he pleaded with her to take her place in the boat she steadfastly refused, and when the ship settled at the head the two were engulfed in the wave that swept her.”

Colonel Gracie told of how he was driven to the topmost deck when the ship settled and was the sole survivor after the wave that swept her just before her final plunge had passed.

“I jumped with the wave,” said he, “just as I often have jumped with the breakers at the seashore. By great good fortune I managed to grasp the brass railing on the deck above and I hung on by might and main. When the ship plunged down I was forced to let go and I was swirled around and around for what seemed to be an interminable time. Eventually I came to the surface, to find the sea a mass of tangled wreckage.

“Luckily I was unhurt and casting about managed to seize a wooden grating floating nearby. When I had recovered my breath I discovered a larger canvas and cork life raft which had floated up. A man, whose name I did not learn, was struggling toward it from some wreckage to which he had clung. I cast off and helped him to get onto the raft and we then began the work of rescuing those who had jumped into the sea and were floundering in the water.

At Break of Dawn

“When dawn broke there were thirty of us on the raft, standing knee deep in the icy water and afraid to move lest the creaky craft be overturned. Several unfortunates, benumbed and half dead, besought us to save them and one or two made an effort to reach us but we had to warn them away. Had we made any effort to save them we all might have perished.

“The hours that elapsed before we were picked up by the Carpathia were the longest and most terrible that I ever spent. Practically without any sensation of feeling, because of the icy water, we were almost dropping from fatigue. We were afraid to turn around to look to see whether we were seen by passing craft and when someone who was facing astern passed the word that something that looked like a steamer was coming up one of the men became hysterical under the strain. The rest of us, too, were nearing the breaking point.”

Col. Gracie denied with emphasis that any men were fired upon and declared that only once was a revolver discharged.

“This was for the purpose of intimidating some steerage passengers,” he said, “who had tumbled into a boat before it was prepared for launching. This shot was fired in the air, and when the foreigners were told the next would be directed at them they promptly returned to the deck. There was no confusion and no panic.”

Contrary to the general expectation, there was no jarring impact when the vessel struck, according to the army officer. He was in his berth when the vessel smashed into the submerged portion of the berg and was aroused by the jar. He looked at this watch, he said, and found it was just midnight. The ship sank with him at 2:22 a.m., for his watch stopped at that hour.

“Before I retired,” said Colonel Gracie, “I had a long chat with Charles H. Hays, president of the Grand Trunk Railroad. One of the last things Mr. Hays said was this: ‘The White Star, the Cunard and the Hamburg-American lines are devoting their attention and ingenuity in vying with them to obtain supremacy in luxurious ships and in making speed records. The time will soon come when this will be checked by some appalling disaster.’ Poor fellow; a few hours later, he was dead.”

Conduct of Colonel Astor

“The conduct of Colonel John Jacob Astor was deserving of the highest praise,” declared Colonel Gracie. “The millionaire New Yorker,” he said, “devoted all his energies to saving his young bride, nee Miss Force of New York who was in delicate health. Colonel Astor helped us in our efforts to get her in the boat,” said Colonel Gracie. “I lifted her into the boat and as she took her place Colonel Astor requested permission of the second officer to go with her for her own protection.

“‘No, sir,’ replied the officer, ‘Not a man shall go on a boat until the women are all off.’ Colonel Astor then inquired the number of the boat, which was being lowered away and turned to the work of clearing the other boats and in reassuring the frightened and nervous women.

“By this time the ship began to list frightfully to port. This became so dangerous that the second officer ordered everyone to rush to starboard. This we did and we found the crew trying to get a boat off in that quarter. Here I saw the last of John B. Thayer, second vice president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and George B. Widener, a capitalist of Philadelphia.”

Colonel Gracie said that despite the warnings of icebergs, no slowing down of speed was ordered by the commander of the Titanic. There were other warnings, too, he said. “In the 24 hours’ run ending the 14th,” he said, “the ship’s run was 546 miles, and we were told that the next 24 hours would see even a better record posted. No diminution of speed was indicated in the run and the engines kept up their steady running. When Sunday evening came we all noticed the increased cold, which gave plain warning that the ship was in close proximity to icebergs or ice fields. The officers, I am credibly informed, had been advised by wireless from other ships of the presence of icebergs and dangerous floes in that vicinity. The sea was as smooth as glass, and the weather clear, so that it seems that there was no occasion for fear.

No Indication of Panic

“When the vessel struck,” he continued, “the passengers were so little alarmed that they joked over the matter. The few that were on deck early had taken their time to dress properly and there was not the slightest indication of panic. Some of the fragments of ice had fallen on the deck and these were picked up and passed around by some of the facetious ones who offered them as mementoes of the occasion. On the port side a glance over the side failed to show any evidence of damage and the vessel seemed to be on an even keel. James Clinch Smith and I, however, soon found the vessel was listing heavily. A few minutes later the officers ordered men and women to don life preservers.”

One of the last women seen by Colonel Gracie, he said, was Miss Evans of New York, who virtually refused to be rescued, because, according to the army officer, “she had been told by a fortune teller in London that she would meet her death on the water.”

A young English woman, who requested that her name be omitted, told a thrilling story of her experience in one of the collapsible boats which had been manned by eight of the crew from the Titanic. The boat was in command of the fifth officer, H. Lowe, whose actions she described as saving the lives of many people. Before the lifeboat was launched, he passed along the port deck of the steamer, commanding the people not to jump in the boats and otherwise restraining them from swamping the craft. When the collapsible was launched, Officer Lowe succeeded in putting up a mast and a small sail. He collected the other boats together; in some cases the boats were short of adequate crews and he directed an exchange by which each was adequately manned. He threw lines connecting the boats together two by two, and all thus moved together. Later on he went back to the wreck with the crew of one of the boats and succeeded in picking up some of those who had jumped overboard and were swimming about. On his way back to the Carpathia he passed one of the collapsible boats which was on the point of sinking with thirty passengers aboard, most of them in scant night clothing. They were rescued just in the nick of time.

Whether you had ancestors directly involved with the Titanic disaster or simply want to learn more for your own interest, historical newspapers provide stories and details you cannot find anywhere else. GenealogyBank’s online archive of more than 5,850 newspapers is full of interesting survival stories, family history facts and more!

Obituaries: Getting All the Clues—Free Video & PPT Download

Every year I like to re-read Val D. Greenwood’s “Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy” (for a copy call: 1-866-641-3297).

It is a good review of core genealogical records.

With that in mind, let’s review the core value of newspapers: obituaries.

Obituaries are a key genealogical resource, providing a wealth of detail about the specific ancestor you’re researching as well as clues to push your family history searches into new—and sometimes unexpected—directions.

GenealogyBank recently held a webinar covering how you can best use obituaries in your genealogy research. The video recording of the genealogy webinar and the accompanying obituaries PowerPoint presentation are available below.

Watch the genealogy webinar about researching obituaries for family history information now!

Can’t see video above? Watch Obituaries: Clues to Look For on the GenealogyBank YouTube channel instead.

We can do this! It’s a great day for genealogy!

Monthly Update: GenealogyBank Adds 24 Million Records in April!

Every day, GenealogyBank is working hard to digitize more newspapers and obituaries, expanding our online collection to give you the largest newspaper archives for family history research available anywhere.

Here are some details about our most recent additions (we actually added new content to thousands of titles, but the following is a representative sample):

  • A total of 99 newspaper titles from 29 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia
  • Titles marked with an asterisk (*) are obituaries only and are new to our archive
  • Those marked with a plus sign (+) are historical newspapers new to our archive
  • We’ve shown the date ranges so that you can determine if the new content is relevant to your personal research

If a recent addition to our archive interests you, simply click on that newspaper’s title: it is an active link leading to that paper’s search form.

Abbr State City Title Date Range Collection
AZ Arizona Tucson Arizona Citizen and Weekly Tribune 07/29/1876–07/29/1876 Historical Newspapers
CA California Calistoga Weekly Calistogan, The* 09/04/2003–Current Newspaper Obituaries
CA California Escondido North County Times* 01/02/2001–Current Newspaper Obituaries
CA California Hemet Hemet News* 1/6/1899–12/30/1927 Historical Newspapers
CA California Napa American Canyon Eagle* 09/07/2004–Current Newspaper Obituaries
CA California Napa Napa Valley Register* 01/01/2001–Current Newspaper Obituaries
CA California San Diego San Diego Union 9/6/1937–12/30/1983 Historical Newspapers
CA California San Francisco San Francisco Abend Post 05/12/1871–05/12/1871 Historical Newspapers
CA California St. Helena St. Helena Star* 03/03/2005–Current Newspaper Obituaries
CA California Temecula Californian, The* 07/14/2003–Current Newspaper Obituaries
CA California Twentynine Palms Observation Post: Marine Corps Combat Center* 01/16/2009–Current Newspaper Obituaries
CT Connecticut Hartford American Mercury 09/24/1832–11/05/1832 Historical Newspapers
CT Connecticut Norwich Norwich Aurora 03/17/1866–10/18/1871 Historical Newspapers
DC District of Columbia Washington (DC) Evening Star* 12/16/1852–12/14/1872 Historical Newspapers
GA Georgia Augusta Augusta Chronicle 06/30/1906–06/30/1906 Historical Newspapers
GA Georgia Augusta Daily Constitutionalist 05/01/1861–12/31/1869 Historical Newspapers
GA Georgia Marietta Marietta Journal 5/12/1988–10/19/1988 Historical Newspapers
GA Georgia Savannah Daily Georgian 07/30/1822–07/30/1822 Historical Newspapers
HI Hawaii Lihue Garden Island, The* 11/10/1999–Current Newspaper Obituaries
IA Iowa Muscatine Muscatine Journal* 10/01/2000–Current Newspaper Obituaries
IA Iowa Riverside Highland Review, The* 12/15/2011–Current Newspaper Obituaries
IL Illinois Highland Highland Union 01/11/1867–05/27/1910 Historical Newspapers
IL Illinois Rockford Daily Register Gazette 8/16/1924–1/23/1925 Historical Newspapers
IL Illinois Rockford Morning Star 11/20/1923–7/21/1937 Historical Newspapers
IL Illinois Rockford Register Star 7/1/2007–7/31/2007 Historical Newspapers
IL Illinois Rockford Rockford Journal* 8/14/1875–12/7/1878 Historical Newspapers
IL Illinois Rockford Rockford Weekly Gazette* 10/2/1873–3/17/1886 Historical Newspapers
IL Illinois Springfield Daily Illinois State Journal* 6/16/1848–7/12/1903 Historical Newspapers
IL Illinois Springfield Daily Illinois State Register* 1/2/1849–12/31/1855 Historical Newspapers
IL Illinois Springfield Illinois State Register 05/03/1844–05/03/1844 Historical Newspapers
IL Illinois Springfield Illinois Weekly State Journal* 11/10/1831–12/26/1849 Historical Newspapers
IN Indiana South Bend South Bend Tribune* 01/01/2011–Current Newspaper Obituaries
KY Kentucky Corbin News Journal, The* 01/04/2012–Current Newspaper Obituaries
KY Kentucky Frankfort Frankfort Argus 09/24/1823–12/05/1832 Historical Newspapers
LA Louisiana Baton Rouge Advocate 1/24/1975–1/24/1975 Historical Newspapers
LA Louisiana Baton Rouge Daily Advocate 3/2/1906–10/30/1906 Historical Newspapers
LA Louisiana Baton Rouge State Times Advocate 1/1/1923–2/24/1959 Historical Newspapers
MA Massachusetts New Bedford New-Bedford Mercury 06/05/1857–06/05/1857 Historical Newspapers
MA Massachusetts Springfield Hampden Whig 06/12/1833–06/12/1833 Historical Newspapers
MA Massachusetts Worcester Massachusetts Spy 07/11/1832–11/19/1875 Historical Newspapers
MD Maryland Bel Air National American 03/18/1859–11/09/1866 Historical Newspapers
MD Maryland Fredericktown Political Intelligencer 10/07/1820–10/07/1820 Historical Newspapers
MO Missouri Bethany Bethany Republican-Clipper* 10/26/2011–Current Newspaper Obituaries
MO Missouri Farmington Farmington Press* 02/12/2003–Current Newspaper Obituaries
MO Missouri Fredericktown Democrat News* 01/31/2003–Current Newspaper Obituaries
MO Missouri Park Hills Daily Journal* 06/20/2000–Current Newspaper Obituaries
MO Missouri St. Louis Missouri Gazette and Public Advertiser 8/17/1808–8/17/1808 Historical Newspapers
MT Montana Helena Montana Radiator 01/27/1866–10/13/1866 Historical Newspapers
NE Nebraska Columbus Columbus Telegram, The* 09/19/1999–Current Newspaper Obituaries
NE Nebraska David City David City Banner-Press, The* 09/13/2011–Current Newspaper Obituaries
NE Nebraska Fremont Fremont Tribune* 08/16/2000–Current Newspaper Obituaries
NE Nebraska Omaha Omaha World Herald 8/4/1886–8/10/1922 Historical Newspapers
NE Nebraska Schuyler Schuyler Sun, The* 10/20/2011–Current Newspaper Obituaries
NH New Hampshire Portsmouth Portsmouth Journal of Literature and Politics 11/11/1865–12/30/1876 Historical Newspapers
NJ New Jersey Newark New Jersey Deutsche Zeitung* 04/12/1880–06/15/1884 Historical Newspapers
NY New York Albany Albany Argus 11/17/1829–12/31/1873 Historical Newspapers
NY New York Auburn Auburn Journal and Advertiser 06/17/1846–06/17/1846 Historical Newspapers
NY New York New York New York Age 08/30/1890–08/30/1890 Historical Newspapers
NY New York New York New-York Morning Post 09/20/1788–09/20/1788 Historical Newspapers
NY New York Schoharie Schoharie Observer 10/28/1818–01/02/1822 Historical Newspapers
OH Ohio Akron Akron Beacon Journal: Blogs* 08/15/2005–Current Newspaper Obituaries
OH Ohio Canton Repository 7/16/1879–12/30/1911 Historical Newspapers
OH Ohio Chillicothe Supporter and Scioto Gazette 01/02/1822–01/02/1822 Historical Newspapers
OK Oklahoma Tulsa Tulsa World 11/05/1917–11/05/1917 Historical Newspapers
PA Pennsylvania Carlisle Sentinel, The* 06/01/1997–Current Newspaper Obituaries
PA Pennsylvania Harrisburg Patriot 06/06/1901–12/30/1922 Historical Newspapers
PA Pennsylvania Philadelphia Pennsylvania Journal 10/30/1755–06/12/1793 Historical Newspapers
PA Pennsylvania Shippensburg Shippensburg Sentinel, The* 09/23/2010–Current Newspaper Obituaries
PA Pennsylvania Washington Washington Reporter 04/07/1823–12/27/1876 Historical Newspapers
PA Pennsylvania Washington Washington Review and Examiner 05/22/1824–05/13/1826 Historical Newspapers
RI Rhode Island Providence Providence Evening Press 11/29/1864–07/19/1873 Historical Newspapers
RI Rhode Island Westerly Westerly Pawcatuck Press, The* 07/01/2009–Current Newspaper Obituaries
SC South Carolina Charleston Charleston Courier 10/02/1826–06/17/1833 Historical Newspapers
SC South Carolina Charleston Charleston News and Courier 1/1/1969–12/31/1970 Historical Newspapers
TX Texas Austin Daily Texan, The: University of Texas at Austin* 04/20/2010–Current Newspaper Obituaries
TX Texas Dallas Dallas Morning News 3/21/1984–8/14/1984 Historical Newspapers
TX Texas Houston Cypress Creek Mirror: Champions Edition* 09/15/2011–Current Newspaper Obituaries
TX Texas Houston Cypress Creek Mirror: Klein Edition* 03/15/2012–Current Newspaper Obituaries
UT Utah Provo Daily Herald* 02/27/2001–Current Newspaper Obituaries
UT Utah Salt Lake City Salt Lake Telegram 04/22/1902–04/22/1902 Historical Newspapers
VA Virginia Alexandria Alexandria Gazette 07/08/1870–11/29/1873 Historical Newspapers
VA Virginia Norfolk Norfolk Gazette and Publick Ledger 12/21/1810–07/14/1813 Historical Newspapers
VA Virginia Richmond Richmond Examiner 4/8/1861–5/10/1866 Historical Newspapers
VA Virginia Richmond Richmond Times Dispatch 5/18/1930–3/18/1938 Historical Newspapers
VA Virginia Richmond Richmond Whig 06/03/1834–02/28/1873 Historical Newspapers
VT Vermont St. Albans St. Albans Messenger 12/29/1910–12/29/1910 Historical Newspapers
VT Vermont St. Johnsbury Caledonian-Record 1/2/1925–3/31/1925 Historical Newspapers
VT Vermont Windsor Vermont Journal 9/24/1821–9/24/1821 Historical Newspapers
VT Vermont Windsor Vermont Republican 05/14/1821–12/10/1821 Historical Newspapers
WA Washington Longview Daily News, The* 11/01/2000–Current Newspaper Obituaries
WA Washington Quincy Crescent Bar Chronicle* 05/21/2011–Current Newspaper Obituaries
WI Wisconsin Baraboo Baraboo News-Republic* 01/01/2004–Current Newspaper Obituaries
WI Wisconsin Beaver Dam Daily Citizen* 01/27/2004–Current Newspaper Obituaries
WI Wisconsin Columbus Columbus Journal* 01/26/2010–Current Newspaper Obituaries
WI Wisconsin Mauston Juneau County Star-Times* 01/22/2004–Current Newspaper Obituaries
WI Wisconsin Portage Daily Register* 01/07/2004–Current Newspaper Obituaries
WI Wisconsin Portage Wisconsin Dells Events* 02/26/2005–Current Newspaper Obituaries
WI Wisconsin Reedsburg Reedsburg Times-Press* 01/28/2004–Current Newspaper Obituaries
WI Wisconsin Sauk City Sauk Prairie Eagle* 05/18/2005–Current Newspaper Obituaries

New Newspaper Titles Coming to Our Obituary Archives Soon!

GenealogyBank adds 10 records to our online archives every second. Here is an advance peek at some of the newspapers that we are adding to our rapidly growing U.S. newspaper obituaries collection in the coming months, making millions more obituary and death records available for your family history research. Our new newspaper additions include multiple newspaper titles for Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky and Massachusetts.

NW Arkansas Times (Fayetteville, AR)
Obituaries: 3/27/2002 – 12/1/2011
Death Notices: 1/2/2001 – 10/30/2011

Times of Northeast Benton County (Pea Ridge, AR)
Obituaries:  02/15/2012 – Current
Death Notices:  02/15/2012 – Current

Washington County Enterprise-Leader (Farmington, AR)
Obituaries:  03/14/2012 – Current
Death Notices:  02/15/2012 – Current

Westside Eagle Observer (Gravette, AR)
Death Notices:  02/15/2012 – Current

Herald (Jasper, IN)
Obituaries: 7/30/2009 – 12/10/2010
Death Notices: 6/24/2009 – 1/11/2011

Perry County News (Tell City, IN)
Obituaries: 2/18/2009 – 1/27/2011
Death Notices: 11/13/2008 – 1/20/2011]

South Bend Tribune (IN)
Obituaries: 1/8/2008 – 12/29/2010
Death Notices: 1/2/2008 – 12/31/2010

Spencer County Journal-Democrat (Rockport, IN)
Obituaries: 10/8/2009 – 2/10/2011
Death Notices: 4/9/2009 – 1/20/2011

Wabash Plain Dealer (IN)
Obituaries: 7/11/2003 – 1/14/2011
Death Notices: 5/19/2003 – 1/5/2011

Cynthiana Democrat (KY)
Obituaries: 10/20/2008 – 2/23/2012
Death Notices: 10/8/2008 – 1/13/2011

Henry County Local (New Castle, KY)
Obituaries: 12/16/2008 – 2/3/2011
Death Notices: 10/9/2008 – 1/18/2011

Lebanon Enterprise (KY)Obituaries: added 10/14/2008 – 2/2/2011
Death Notices: 11/20/2007 – 1/19/2011

Gonzales Weekly Citizen (Ascension, LA)
Obituaries: 5/2/2001 – 1/26/2011
Death Notices: 2/5/2002 – 1/18/2011

Groton Landmark (Groton, MA)
Death Notices:  12/09/2011 – Current

Harvard Hillside (Harvard, MA)
Death Notices:  12/09/2011 – Current

Pepperell Free Press (Pepperell, MA)
Death Notices:  12/09/2011 – Current

Public Spirit (Ayer, MA)
Death Notices:  12/09/2011 – Current

Shirley Oracle (Shirley, MA)
Death Notices:  12/09/2011 – Current

Townsend Times (Townsend, MA)
Death Notices:  12/09/2011 – Current

Detroit News: Web Edition Articles (Detroit, MI)
Obituaries:  11/17/2011 – Current

McDonald County Press (Noel, Lanagan, MO)
Obituaries:  11/26/2009 – Current
Death Notices:  11/12/2009 – Current

Christian Science Monitor (National)
Obituaries:  05/07/1987 – Current

Bluffton News (Bluffton, OH)
Obituaries:  08/18/2011 – Current
Death Notices:  12/30/2010 – Current

North Baltimore News (North Baltimore, OH)
Death Notices:  08/25/2011 – Current

Brookfield-Elm Grove NOW: Blogs (Brookfield, WI)
Obituaries:  12/23/2010 – Current
Death Notices:  01/14/2010 – Current

La Crosse Tribune (WI)
Death Notices: 1/1/2003 – 12/31/2003

Visit our online obituary archives.

Name Research Tip: Search Variations of Family First & Last Names

It is generally rare for families to change the spelling of their names (although some immigrant families did so in an attempt to make their names sound more familiar to American ears, so be aware of this possibility).

When doing your family history research, however, you may encounter variations on the spelling of your family’s name for a reason that had nothing to do with the family: registrars often recorded names the way they heard them.

All my growing-up years I had to spell my last name because everyone wanted to write “Kent” instead of “Kemp.”

Why?

Because they were unfamiliar with my surname.

Kemp is an uncommon surname, and for that reason it is spelled differently in various records.

Some variations of my last name I’ve encountered: Kent, Kamp, Camp, etc.

You know by name research experience which names could be a problem.

In the past some immigrants did decide to simplify their names in an attempt to fit in better with American society, revising their original foreign-spelled name when there was an obvious English equivalent. Names were Anglicized: Mueller became Miller; Johansson became Johnson; etc.

Contrary to movie portrayals, it was not government policy to change people’s names.

There was no government official at Castle Garden or Ellis Island responsible for changing the names of incoming immigrants.

If you are having trouble finding your target ancestor searching by their surname, try searching on the first name.

In time Americans—whether they were government officials, teachers, etc.—became more familiar with immigrants’ first names and were more likely to record them spelled correctly. While they had difficulty with seemingly one-off surnames, there was a smaller supply of first names. It was easy for Americans to remember Johann, Guido or Ludwig. Although, of course, the first name could also be Anglicized: Johann becoming John; Tâm becoming Tom; etc.

For all these reasons, it is a good idea to try searching for variations of your ancestors’ first and last names when doing your family history research searches, to increase the chances of finding documents and records about them.

Let me give you a case in point.

I was recently searching the New Jersey State Archives for the death certificate of Isaac Meserole.

I went to the online index to New Jersey Death Certificates for 1878 to 1888 and searched for him.

I found several “Meserole” death certificates but not one for Isaac.

I knew Isaac had died in North Brunswick, Middlesex County, New Jersey, around 1882. So I searched using only his first name “Isaac”—leaving the surname field blank.

Bingo! His entry came right up, with his surname spelled as “Meseroll.” The registrar had written the name as he heard it.

Here is the entry for Isaac:

death certificate for isaac meserole for January 6, 1882, from the new jersey state archives

Death certificate for Isaac Meserole, 6 January 1882, from the New Jersey State Archives

This is a good research tip for when you search for ancestors on GenealogyBank or any online resource. Begin your family search with the correct spelling of your ancestor’s name. Then do follow-up searches, with name variations for both the first and last names, and see if you can find additional genealogy records. You may find that record you’ve long been searching for, but remained hidden because the ancestor’s name had been misspelled.

Just Released! 1940 Census Records Are Now Available Online

1940 U.S. Census Newspaper Articles from the Marietta Journal April, 2 1940

1940 U.S. Census Newspaper Article from the Marietta Journal April, 2 1940

The 1940 census began 72 years ago when census enumerators covered the streets of America, documenting every person. This was a very large United States government project; for example, it took 29 census takers just to cover the population of the city of Marietta, Georgia.

Today the 1940 U.S. census was released online completely free to the public. This census release gives genealogists and family historians a fantastic new ancestry research tool. With information on 132 million U.S. citizens, these historical census records are flush with clues we can use to research our genealogy and learn about the lives of our recent American ancestors.

As you dig into the 1940 U.S. census records while doing your own family history research, take some time to read about the great effort it took the U.S. federal government to create this valuable genealogical resource.

The historical newspaper article shown in the graphic above, detailing the work the 29 U.S. census takers did in Marietta, was published by the Marietta Journal (Marietta, Georgia), 2 April 1940, page 1.

Find this old newspaper article and other 1940 census articles in the Marietta Journal, or search our entire historical newspaper archives to discover similar articles about the 1940 census from newspapers all across the United States.

Of course, the 1940 census gives us a snapshot of our ancestors at just one point in time: April 1, 1940. Use GenealogyBank to read about every day of their lives—with newspaper articles from our collection of just under 6,000 newspapers, from all 50 states, going back over 300 years—as well as historical books and government records and documents available at our website.