Tax Lists in Newspapers for Genealogy

Most genealogists use newspaper birth notices, marriage announcements, and obituaries in their family history research—but there are many other good sources of family information in newspapers, such as tax lists.

For example, the town of Tamworth, New Hampshire, took out this ad in the Sun (Dover, New Hampshire), an area newspaper, in 1816. It was an advertisement to publish their local real estate tax list as a public notice that taxes were due, who the taxpayers were and how much each person owed. In addition to all that, this list describes the property owned and the buildings thereon.

tax list, Sun newspaper article 10 February 1816

Sun (Dover, New Hampshire), 10 February 1816, page 3

Click here to see the original newspaper article: http://bit.ly/1lDvFzx

This is a great find for family historians.

Enter Last Name










For example: we see that John Ames owned “73 acres of land adjoining land of James Stephenson, and others.”

That is good—now we know the name of one of his neighbors. This is a helpful clue that could come in handy, since it is very true that young men and women did marry the girl/boy next door.

The property description continues, stating that Ames had “1 dwelling-house 21 ft. by 26 [feet], and 1 barn.”

Amazing—now we can really start to visualize life there in Tamworth.

The dimensions of each home are given, and we are told if each family had a barn or other out buildings on their property.

  • John Ames’ home was 21’ x 26’ and he had a barn, all on 73 acres of land.
  • Andrew Brier had 30 acres of land, a 15’ x 16’ home and a barn.
  • Isaac Medar had 100 acres of land, a 30’ x 40’ home and a barn.

You can quickly get a sense that they lived a rural life there in Tamworth. They lived on large parcels of land. We know how big the homes were. We can see whether or not they had a barn or other buildings on the property. Notice too that both men and women are listed as land owners.

Every landowner in the town is listed.

The list of property owners is so long it is printed on pages 3 and 4.

Bottom Line: These published tax lists are an extra census of the town, with the bonus that it describes each home, other buildings and acreage owned.

Related Articles about Tax Records for Genealogy:

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Rescue Mission: 4-Step Plan for Preserving Family Bible Records

In your genealogy work, are you looking to give back to the community? Are you willing to pitch in and help preserve original family history records?

Why not help rescue old Family Bibles, by digitally scanning them and putting them online?

National and local genealogical societies, libraries, and individuals have all worked at this.

It’s time for us to do more to preserve our family records. We have all the modern tools—let’s do this.

Here is a genealogy preservation project that you can tackle yourself or accomplish as a group: a rescue effort that genealogical societies should start working on with renewed effort—today!

photo of a Family Bible

Source: Thomas Jay Kemp

Today’s families are often overwhelmed with caring for the accumulation of so many things gathered over a lifetime. Our elderly friends and relatives are leaving behind important family records as they downsize, move into assisted living, or pass away.

Modern families have to make quick decisions about which records and items are valuable and which can be given to Goodwill.

Enter Last Name










Family Bibles can range from oversized, heavy tomes that are protected with large brass clasps, to slightly smaller versions—that can be nearly as heavy—and all are worn with age. Today’s families just might not be aware that these old copies of the “Good Book” likely contain more than the old gospel messages: each might contain a firsthand, handwritten account of their family’s genealogy.

Often these old Family Bibles have records from the 1700s to the 20th Century. Information that might not be easily found anywhere else.

Let’s get the word out and let everyone know just how valuable the family history information in these old Bibles really is.

4-Step Family Bible Rescue Mission Plan

1) Reach out through your clubs, churches and to your neighbors. Use social media, radio talk shows and events at your public library to promote your “rescue effort.”

2) Arrange with your local public library to host a “Scan It Night,” and encourage local residents to bring in their Family Bibles so that the information can be scanned, put online and preserved.

3) Scan the Family Bibles to create digital copies. Use your ingenuity to see what you can accomplish. Here’s one approach:

  • Scan the front and back of the two title pages found in most old Bibles: at the front and at the New Testament.
  • Scan all of the family registry pages, including the blank pages. That way future researchers will know you didn’t miss a page.
  • Then transcribe and type up the family information.

4) Put the digitized Family Bible records online to preserve them and make them easy to find.

  • Add the scanned pages to the online family tree sites—that way the information is permanently linked to the person.
  • Put the images on social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, or Flickr.
  • Create your own blog and put this information online.
  • Assemble the images and your transcription in a Word document, save it as a PDF file, and upload it to the free site Scribd.com.

There are many approaches that you can take to make sure your family’s past is preserved for future generations. Find the best one for you.

These old family records need to be preserved.

Let’s each do what we can to make sure these old genealogy records are not lost.

Related Family Bible Articles

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Massachusetts Newspaper Archives: 385 Titles for Genealogy Research

Although the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the 7th smallest state in the Union, it is the 14th most populous—the highest population of the six New England states. Ever since the Pilgrims founded Plymouth Colony in 1620, Massachusetts has played a large role in American political, economic and cultural life—with an especially important and leading role during the American Revolution.

photo of a Cape Cod sunset, Massachusetts

Photo: Cape Cod sunset, Massachusetts. Credit: PapaDunes; Wikimedia Commons.

If you are researching your ancestry from Massachusetts, you will want to use GenealogyBank’s online Massachusetts newspaper archives: 385 titles to help you search your family history in “The Bay State,” providing coverage from 1690 to Today. There are more than 205 million newspaper articles and records in our online MA archives!

Dig deep into the online archives and search for obituaries and other news articles about your ancestors in these recent and historical MA newspapers online. Our Massachusetts newspapers are divided into two collections: Historical Newspapers (complete paper) and Recent Obituaries (obituaries only).

Search Massachusetts Newspaper Archives (1690 – 1992)

Search Massachusetts Recent Obituaries (1988 – Current)

Here is our complete list of online Massachusetts newspapers in the archives. Each newspaper title in this list is an active link that will take you directly to that paper’s search page, where you can begin searching for your ancestors by surnames, dates, keywords and more. The MA newspaper titles are listed alphabetically by city.

City Title Date Range Collection
Acton Beacon 10/13/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Amesbury Amesbury News 11/11/2005 – 4/11/2013 Recent Obituaries
Andover Andover Townsman 4/4/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Arlington Arlington Advocate 8/25/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ashburnham Community Journal 5/11/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ashland Ashland TAB 12/17/2008 – 5/24/2013 Recent Obituaries
Attleboro Sun Chronicle 11/14/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Auburn Auburn Daily Voice 4/28/2010 – 2/7/2013 Recent Obituaries
Ayer Public Spirit 9/18/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Barnstable Barnstable Patriot 10/7/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Barre Barre Gazette 6/5/1835 – 8/29/1862 Newspaper Archives
Barre Barre Patriot 7/26/1844 – 11/30/1855 Newspaper Archives
Barre Farmers Gazette 6/13/1834 – 5/15/1835 Newspaper Archives
Barre Wachusett Star 11/23/1847 – 6/20/1848 Newspaper Archives
Bedford Bedford Minuteman 9/29/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bellingham Country Gazette 9/22/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Belmont Belmont Citizen-Herald 8/18/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Beverly Saturday Morning Citizen 10/13/1858 – 2/24/1893 Newspaper Archives
Beverly Beverly Citizen 4/13/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Beverly Salem News 5/31/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Billerica Billerica Minuteman 9/22/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bolton Bolton Common 12/23/2005 – 4/11/2013 Recent Obituaries
Boston Boston Herald 5/1/1848 – 4/30/1992 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Record American 12/2/1951 – 12/31/1972 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Traveler 7/5/1825 – 7/8/1967 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Daily Record 12/1/1951 – 9/30/1961 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston American 12/1/1951 – 9/30/1961 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Journal 1/1/1866 – 10/6/1917 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Daily Advertiser 3/3/1813 – 12/31/1900 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Evening Transcript 1/1/1842 – 12/31/1866 Newspaper Archives
Boston Columbian Centinel 6/16/1790 – 12/31/1825 Newspaper Archives
Boston Repertory 1/25/1804 – 7/29/1826 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Commercial Gazette 10/9/1800 – 1/23/1840 Newspaper Archives
Boston New-England Palladium 3/11/1803 – 12/29/1820 Newspaper Archives
Boston Independent Chronicle 9/19/1776 – 5/29/1817 Newspaper Archives
Boston Daily Atlas 11/8/1832 – 4/11/1857 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Patriot and Daily Chronicle 6/2/1817 – 12/30/1820 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Recorder 1/3/1816 – 5/3/1872 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Gazette 12/21/1719 – 9/17/1798 Newspaper Archives
Boston Independent Chronicle and Boston Patriot 6/4/1817 – 12/31/1825 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Courier 6/13/1805 – 10/27/1864 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston News-Letter 4/24/1704 – 2/29/1776 Newspaper Archives
Boston Massachusetts Mercury 1/1/1793 – 3/8/1803 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Patriot 3/3/1809 – 5/31/1817 Newspaper Archives
Boston American Traveller 11/14/1846 – 8/19/1876 Newspaper Archives
Boston Liberator 1/1/1831 – 4/16/1898 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Evening-Post 8/18/1735 – 4/24/1775 Newspaper Archives
Boston Weekly Messenger 10/25/1811 – 5/26/1831 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Post-Boy 4/21/1735 – 4/10/1775 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Post 1/10/1840 – 10/16/1876 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Intelligencer 8/17/1816 – 12/30/1820 Newspaper Archives
Boston Democrat 1/4/1804 – 6/2/1809 Newspaper Archives
Boston Emancipator and Republican 2/17/1842 – 12/26/1850 Newspaper Archives
Boston Yankee 1/3/1812 – 1/20/1820 Newspaper Archives
Boston Massachusetts Centinel 3/24/1784 – 6/12/1790 Newspaper Archives
Boston Russell’s Gazette 6/7/1798 – 10/6/1800 Newspaper Archives
Boston Saturday Morning Transcript 11/19/1831 – 12/28/1839 Newspaper Archives
Boston Continental Journal 5/30/1776 – 6/21/1787 Newspaper Archives
Boston Saturday Evening Gazette 9/20/1856 – 12/30/1865 Newspaper Archives
Boston Constitutional Telegraph 10/2/1799 – 5/22/1802 Newspaper Archives
Boston New-England Weekly Journal 3/20/1727 – 10/13/1741 Newspaper Archives
Boston Federal Orrery 10/20/1794 – 10/31/1796 Newspaper Archives
Boston Trumpet and Universalist Magazine 7/5/1828 – 6/28/1834 Newspaper Archives
Boston Independent Ledger 6/15/1778 – 10/16/1786 Newspaper Archives
Boston Massachusetts Spy 7/17/1770 – 4/6/1775 Newspaper Archives
Boston Herald of Freedom 9/15/1788 – 7/19/1791 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Price-Current 9/7/1795 – 5/31/1798 Newspaper Archives
Boston American Herald 1/19/1784 – 6/30/1788 Newspaper Archives
Boston Polar-Star 10/6/1796 – 2/2/1797 Newspaper Archives
Boston Massachusetts Gazette 11/28/1785 – 11/11/1788 Newspaper Archives
Boston New-England Galaxy 10/10/1817 – 12/29/1820 Newspaper Archives
Boston Argus 7/22/1791 – 6/28/1793 Newspaper Archives
Boston American Apollo 10/5/1792 – 12/25/1794 Newspaper Archives
Boston Republican Gazetteer 5/26/1802 – 3/30/1803 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Chronicle 10/22/1767 – 6/21/1770 Newspaper Archives
Boston Gazetteer 4/2/1803 – 12/31/1803 Newspaper Archives
Boston Weekly Report 5/1/1819 – 12/30/1820 Newspaper Archives
Boston Weekly Rehearsal 9/27/1731 – 8/11/1735 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Evening Post 10/20/1781 – 1/10/1784 Newspaper Archives
Boston Christian Watchman 5/29/1819 – 12/30/1820 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Mirror 10/22/1808 – 7/21/1810 Newspaper Archives
Boston Federal Gazette 1/1/1798 – 3/26/1798 Newspaper Archives
Boston New-England Courant 8/7/1721 – 6/25/1726 Newspaper Archives
Boston Courier 7/1/1795 – 12/30/1795 Newspaper Archives
Boston Pilot 9/25/1812 – 1/15/1813 Newspaper Archives
Boston Daily Advertiser 6/5/1809 – 7/31/1809 Newspaper Archives
Boston Columbian Detector 11/7/1808 – 5/19/1809 Newspaper Archives
Boston Universalist Magazine 7/3/1819 – 1/12/1828 Newspaper Archives
Boston Times 7/28/1794 – 10/15/1808 Newspaper Archives
Boston Idiot 12/20/1817 – 1/2/1819 Newspaper Archives
Boston Kaleidoscope 12/5/1818 – 11/13/1819 Newspaper Archives
Boston New-England Chronicle 4/25/1776 – 9/12/1776 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Spectator 1/1/1814 – 2/25/1815 Newspaper Archives
Boston Agricultural 1/14/1820 – 7/7/1820 Newspaper Archives
Boston Ladies’ Port Folio 1/1/1820 – 7/8/1820 Newspaper Archives
Boston Fredonian 2/20/1810 – 5/15/1810 Newspaper Archives
Boston Scourge 8/10/1811 – 12/28/1811 Newspaper Archives
Boston Courier de Boston 4/23/1789 – 10/15/1789 Newspaper Archives
Boston Satirist 1/16/1812 – 5/9/1812 Newspaper Archives
Boston Saturday Evening Herald 7/24/1790 – 12/13/1790 Newspaper Archives
Boston Censor 11/23/1771 – 5/2/1772 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Courant 1/6/1900 – 1/6/1900 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Advance 2/17/1900 – 2/17/1900 Newspaper Archives
Boston Boston Cultivator 4/7/1866 – 4/7/1866 Newspaper Archives
Boston Publick Occurrences 9/25/1690 – 9/25/1690 Newspaper Archives
Boston Huntington News 9/24/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
Boston Metro – Boston 12/7/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Boston Bay Windows 12/10/1998 – Current Recent Obituaries
Boston Boston Herald: Blogs 10/28/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Boston South End News 6/7/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Boston Boston Herald 1/1/1997 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bourne Bourne Courier 3/30/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bourne Upper Cape Codder 1/5/2006 – 6/14/2007 Recent Obituaries
Braintree Braintree Forum 8/11/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bridgewater Bridgewater Independent 6/6/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Brockton Enterprise 7/14/2000 – Current Recent Obituaries
Brookfield Political Repository 8/14/1798 – 5/4/1802 Newspaper Archives
Brookfield Moral and Political Telegraphe 5/6/1795 – 8/17/1796 Newspaper Archives
Brookfield Worcester Intelligencer 10/7/1794 – 4/28/1795 Newspaper Archives
Brookline Brookline TAB 9/8/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Burlington Burlington Union 10/6/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cambridge New England Chronicle, or Essex Gazette 5/2/1775 – 3/28/1776 Newspaper Archives
Canton Canton Journal 9/9/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cape Ann Cape Ann Beacon 9/28/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Carver Carver Reporter 11/14/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Charlestown Franklin Monitor 1/2/1819 – 6/3/1820 Newspaper Archives
Charlestown American Recorder 12/9/1785 – 5/25/1787 Newspaper Archives
Charlestown Bunker-Hill Sentinel 6/24/1820 – 7/29/1820 Newspaper Archives
Chatham Cape Cod Chronicle 1/18/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Chelmsford Chelmsford Independent 8/18/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Chicopee Herald 3/13/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Clinton Times & Courier 9/1/2005 – 3/27/2013 Recent Obituaries
Cohasset Cohasset Mariner 1/6/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Concord Concord Journal 1/5/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Concord, Hanscom AFB Hansconian 2/17/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Danvers Danvers Herald 11/17/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Dedham Norfolk Democrat 2/9/1839 – 9/15/1854 Newspaper Archives
Dedham Village Register 6/9/1820 – 10/29/1829 Newspaper Archives
Dedham Norfolk Advertiser 7/13/1832 – 2/2/1839 Newspaper Archives
Dedham Dedham Gazette 8/20/1813 – 6/25/1819 Newspaper Archives
Dedham Columbian Minerva 1/3/1799 – 9/4/1804 Newspaper Archives
Dedham Norfolk Repository 5/14/1805 – 12/28/1809 Newspaper Archives
Dedham Minerva 10/11/1796 – 12/27/1798 Newspaper Archives
Dedham Dedham Transcript 8/29/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Dorchester Dorchester Reporter 1/9/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Dover Dover-Sherborn Press 4/13/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Dracut Valley Dispatch 10/22/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Duxbury Duxbury Reporter 11/17/2008 – 12/20/2013 Recent Obituaries
Duxbury Duxbury Clipper 1/19/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
East Bridgewater East Bridgewater Star 9/5/2007 – 4/28/2009 Recent Obituaries
East Bridgewater Wicked Local: East Bridgewater 8/29/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
East Longmeadow Reminder 3/13/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
East Longmeadow Metro West Reminder 3/13/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Easton Easton Journal 1/6/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fall River Herald News 10/2/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fall River O Jornal 2/2/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Falmouth Falmouth Bulletin 5/3/2010 – 11/11/2011 Recent Obituaries
Falmouth Cape Cod Times 12/8/1998 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise 9/14/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Framingham MetroWest Daily News 9/6/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Framingham Westwood Press 8/25/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Framingham Framingham TAB 6/16/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Georgetown Georgetown Record 5/11/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Gloucester Gloucester Telegraph 1/1/1827 – 12/31/1851 Newspaper Archives
Gloucester Cape Ann Light and Gloucester Telegraph 1/7/1843 – 8/2/1873 Newspaper Archives
Gloucester Cape Ann Advertiser 12/5/1857 – 12/28/1877 Newspaper Archives
Gloucester Gloucester Democrat 8/19/1834 – 2/16/1838 Newspaper Archives
Gloucester Gloucester Daily Times 8/13/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Grafton Grafton Daily Voice 6/25/2009 – 3/4/2013 Recent Obituaries
Greenfield Greenfield Gazette 8/2/1792 – 2/5/1811 Newspaper Archives
Greenfield Franklin Herald 1/7/1812 – 12/30/1817 Newspaper Archives
Greenfield Traveller 2/12/1811 – 12/31/1811 Newspaper Archives
Groton Groton Landmark 9/18/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Halifax Halifax-Plympton Reporter 12/10/2008 – 12/20/2013 Recent Obituaries
Hamilton Hamilton Wenham Chronicle 10/20/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hanover Hanover Mariner 1/4/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hanson Hanson Town Crier 10/4/2006 – 4/28/2009 Recent Obituaries
Hanson Whitman-Hanson Express 10/1/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hanson Wicked Local: Hanson 8/26/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Harvard Harvard Hillside 9/18/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Harvard Harvard Post 1/5/2006 – 2/15/2013 Recent Obituaries
Harwich Harwich Oracle 1/4/2006 – 12/18/2013 Recent Obituaries
Haverhill Haverhill Gazette 2/1/1823 – 12/25/1841 Newspaper Archives
Haverhill Haverhill Bulletin 7/11/1871 – 11/14/1894 Newspaper Archives
Haverhill Merrimack Intelligencer 7/2/1808 – 2/8/1817 Newspaper Archives
Haverhill Essex Patriot 5/10/1817 – 1/25/1823 Newspaper Archives
Haverhill Haverhill Museum 12/11/1804 – 11/22/1806 Newspaper Archives
Haverhill Haverhill Observer 12/5/1800 – 11/27/1804 Newspaper Archives
Haverhill Haverhill Gazette 4/12/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hingham Hingham Journal 3/9/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Holbrook Holbrook Sun 1/6/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Holden Landmark 4/26/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Holden Holden Daily Voice 4/28/2010 – 1/8/2013 Recent Obituaries
Holliston Holliston TAB 10/6/2005 – 2/15/2013 Recent Obituaries
Hopkinton Hopkinton Crier 7/29/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hopkinton Hopkinton Independent 5/16/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hudson Hudson Sun 7/6/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ipswich Ipswich Chronicle 9/1/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Jamaica Plain Jamaica Plain Gazette 10/6/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Jamaica Plain Mission Hill Gazette 1/16/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Kingston Kingston Reporter 5/5/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lakeville Lakeville Call 11/19/2008 – 1/12/2011 Recent Obituaries
Lawrence Eagle-Tribune 5/27/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Leicester Leicester Daily Voice 4/28/2010 – 1/18/2013 Recent Obituaries
Lenox Berkshire Journal 9/3/1829 – 8/25/1831 Newspaper Archives
Lenox Berkshire Star and County Republican 1/10/1828 – 12/25/1828 Newspaper Archives
Leominster Telescope 1/2/1800 – 10/14/1802 Newspaper Archives
Leominster Rural Repository 10/22/1795 – 4/13/1797 Newspaper Archives
Leominster Weekly Messenger 2/6/1806 – 12/18/1806 Newspaper Archives
Leominster Leominster Champion 2/17/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lexington Lexington Minuteman 9/8/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lexington Winchester Star 8/11/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lincoln Lincoln Journal 6/1/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Littleton Littleton Independent 10/13/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lowell Lowell Daily Citizen and News 4/28/1856 – 12/23/1896 Newspaper Archives
Lowell Lowell Mercury 11/14/1829 – 12/27/1833 Newspaper Archives
Lowell Lowell Patriot 1/2/1835 – 6/29/1837 Newspaper Archives
Lowell Sun 10/2/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lynn Daily Item 9/23/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lynnfield North Shore Sunday 1/13/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Malden Malden Observer 6/9/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Mansfield Mansfield News 1/6/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Marblehead Marblehead Reporter 8/4/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Marion Sentinel 7/26/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Marlborough Marlborough Enterprise 12/8/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Marshfield Abington Mariner-Rockland Standard 9/2/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Marshfield Marshfield Mariner 8/31/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Maynard Beacon Villager 10/13/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Medfield Medfield Press 11/10/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Medford Medford Transcript 8/10/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Melrose Melrose Free Press 8/18/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Milford Milford Daily News 9/18/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Millbury Millbury Daily Voice 12/15/2009 – 3/4/2013 Recent Obituaries
Millbury Millbury-Sutton Chronicle 5/3/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Nantucket Nantucket Inquirer 9/20/1821 – 12/31/1849 Newspaper Archives
Nantucket Nantucket Gazette 5/6/1816 – 3/8/1817 Newspaper Archives
Nantucket Nantucket Independent 3/30/2005 – 7/21/2010 Recent Obituaries
Natick Natick Bulletin & TAB 6/2/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Needham Wellesley Townsman 4/13/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Needham Watertown TAB & Press 9/16/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Needham West Roxbury Transcript 7/13/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Needham Needham Times 1/5/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Needham Allston-Brighton TAB 11/11/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
New Bedford New-Bedford Mercury 8/7/1807 – 3/16/1877 Newspaper Archives
New Bedford Whaleman’s Shipping List and Merchants’ Transcript 3/17/1843 – 9/13/1864 Newspaper Archives
New Bedford New Bedford Register 1/22/1840 – 1/6/1846 Newspaper Archives
New Bedford Columbian Courier 12/8/1798 – 3/1/1805 Newspaper Archives
New Bedford Medley 11/27/1792 – 10/18/1799 Newspaper Archives
New Bedford New Bedford Gazette 9/5/1831 – 1/25/1838 Newspaper Archives
New Bedford New-Bedford Courier 6/12/1827 – 5/28/1833 Newspaper Archives
New Bedford Old Colony Gazette 10/21/1808 – 10/11/1811 Newspaper Archives
New Bedford New-Bedford Gazette 10/18/1811 – 7/17/1812 Newspaper Archives
New Bedford Morning Mercury 12/4/1895 – 1/2/1919 Newspaper Archives
New Bedford Christian Philanthropist 5/14/1822 – 5/13/1823 Newspaper Archives
Newburyport Newburyport Herald 10/31/1797 – 3/19/1847 Newspaper Archives
Newburyport Impartial Herald 5/18/1793 – 10/27/1797 Newspaper Archives
Newburyport Essex Journal 12/4/1773 – 4/2/1794 Newspaper Archives
Newburyport Political Gazette 4/30/1795 – 10/27/1797 Newspaper Archives
Newburyport New-England Repertory 7/6/1803 – 1/21/1804 Newspaper Archives
Newburyport Political Calendar 3/26/1804 – 6/17/1805 Newspaper Archives
Newburyport Statesman 8/15/1808 – 3/9/1809 Newspaper Archives
Newburyport Merrimack Gazette 3/21/1803 – 2/18/1804 Newspaper Archives
Newburyport Newburyport Gazette 4/7/1807 – 9/18/1807 Newspaper Archives
Newburyport Morning Star 4/8/1794 – 12/3/1794 Newspaper Archives
Newburyport Merrimack Magazine 8/17/1805 – 8/9/1806 Newspaper Archives
Newburyport Independent Whig 4/5/1810 – 5/2/1811 Newspaper Archives
Newburyport American Intelligencer 6/4/1801 – 7/30/1801 Newspaper Archives
Newburyport Daily News of Newburyport 5/24/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Newburyport Newburyport Current 1/13/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Newton Newton TAB 9/28/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
North Adams Advocate 6/9/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
North Adams North Adams Transcript 8/8/2000 – 1/18/2014 Recent Obituaries
North Andover North Andover Citizen 4/14/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
North Andover Valley Patriot 4/1/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
North Attleborough North Attleborough Free Press 1/16/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Northampton Hampshire Gazette 9/20/1786 – 12/26/1843 Newspaper Archives
Northampton Republican Spy 6/14/1803 – 11/16/1808 Newspaper Archives
Northampton Hive 8/23/1803 – 1/22/1805 Newspaper Archives
Northampton Anti-Monarchist 12/14/1808 – 11/28/1810 Newspaper Archives
Northborough Northborough Daily Voice 10/28/2010 – 1/7/2013 Recent Obituaries
Northborough, Southborough Villager 12/2/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Northbridge Northbridge Daily Voice 8/11/2009 – 3/2/2013 Recent Obituaries
Norton Norton Mirror 8/11/2006 – 12/20/2013 Recent Obituaries
Norwell Norwell Mariner 4/13/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Norwood Norwood Transcript & Bulletin 5/3/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Orleans Cape Codder 9/2/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Pembroke Pembroke Express 3/28/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Pembroke Pembroke Mariner and Express 1/4/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Pepperell Pepperell Free Press 9/18/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Pittsfield Sun 9/16/1800 – 12/31/1873 Newspaper Archives
Pittsfield Berkshire County Whig 3/11/1841 – 2/22/1849 Newspaper Archives
Pittsfield Berkshire Reporter 1/3/1807 – 11/16/1815 Newspaper Archives
Pittsfield Berkshire Chronicle 5/8/1788 – 9/30/1790 Newspaper Archives
Pittsfield Berkshire Gazette 1/18/1798 – 2/11/1800 Newspaper Archives
Pittsfield Berkshire Eagle 1/10/1998 – Current Recent Obituaries
Plymouth Plymouth Journal 3/19/1785 – 6/13/1786 Newspaper Archives
Plymouth Old Colony Sentinel 12/8/1866 – 12/8/1866 Newspaper Archives
Plymouth Old Colony Memorial 11/11/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Plymouth Wareham Courier 11/4/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Plymouth Plymouth Bulletin 12/7/2005 – 4/28/2009 Recent Obituaries
Plymouth Wicked Local: Plymouth 5/12/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Provincetown Provincetown Banner 6/15/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Quincy Patriot Ledger 1/1/1916 – 12/29/1922 Newspaper Archives
Quincy Patriot Ledger 1/7/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Randolph Randolph Herald 5/9/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Raynham Raynham Call 4/18/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Reading Reading Advocate 12/22/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Roslindale Roslindale Transcript 8/17/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Salem Salem Gazette 10/18/1781 – 12/29/1849 Newspaper Archives
Salem Salem Register 1/4/1802 – 1/22/1891 Newspaper Archives
Salem Essex Register 7/23/1807 – 12/31/1827 Newspaper Archives
Salem Salem Observer 12/20/1823 – 1/10/1874 Newspaper Archives
Salem Essex Gazette 8/2/1768 – 5/2/1775 Newspaper Archives
Salem Impartial Register 5/12/1800 – 12/31/1801 Newspaper Archives
Salem Salem Mercury 10/14/1786 – 12/29/1789 Newspaper Archives
Salem Friend 1/3/1807 – 7/18/1807 Newspaper Archives
Salem Salem Chronicle 3/30/1786 – 8/3/1786 Newspaper Archives
Salem American Gazette 6/18/1776 – 7/30/1776 Newspaper Archives
Salem Salem Gazette 9/23/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sandwich Sandwich Broadsider 10/13/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Saugus Saugus Advertiser 9/22/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Scituate Scituate Mariner 1/5/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sharon Sharon Advocate 10/7/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Shirley Shirley Oracle 9/18/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Shrewsbury Shrewsbury Daily Voice 2/8/2010 – 2/15/2013 Recent Obituaries
Shrewsbury Shrewsbury Chronicle 9/15/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Somerville Somerville Journal 8/11/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Somerville Somerville Times 7/7/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Somerville Cambridge Chronicle 1/5/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Springfield Springfield Union 1/4/1864 – 1/29/1989 Newspaper Archives
Springfield Springfield Republican 3/27/1844 – 9/26/1946 Newspaper Archives
Springfield Springfield Union-News 9/24/1976 – 1/31/1989 Newspaper Archives
Springfield Springfield Daily News 1/2/1911 – 7/5/1969 Newspaper Archives
Springfield Hampden Federalist 1/4/1816 – 3/5/1823 Newspaper Archives
Springfield Hampshire Federalist 1/7/1806 – 7/23/1812 Newspaper Archives
Springfield Federal Spy 12/19/1792 – 12/31/1805 Newspaper Archives
Springfield Hampden Patriot 12/31/1818 – 12/25/1822 Newspaper Archives
Springfield Hampden Whig 2/24/1830 – 12/20/1837 Newspaper Archives
Springfield Hampshire Chronicle 3/12/1787 – 9/6/1796 Newspaper Archives
Springfield Hampden Journal and Advertiser 3/12/1823 – 11/26/1828 Newspaper Archives
Springfield Massachusetts Gazette 5/14/1782 – 7/20/1784 Newspaper Archives
Springfield Hampshire Herald 7/27/1784 – 9/26/1786 Newspaper Archives
Springfield Springfield Reminder 3/13/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Springfield Republican 6/16/1988 – Current Recent Obituaries
Springfield Republican, The: Web Edition Articles 11/16/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Stockbridge Western Star 12/1/1789 – 11/8/1806 Newspaper Archives
Stockbridge Berkshire Star 11/30/1815 – 1/3/1828 Newspaper Archives
Stockbridge Political Atlas 2/14/1807 – 7/22/1808 Newspaper Archives
Stoneham Stoneham Sun 11/2/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Stoughton Stoughton Sentinel 12/5/1863 – 12/23/1876 Newspaper Archives
Stoughton Avon Messenger 5/23/2007 – 1/9/2009 Recent Obituaries
Stoughton Stoughton Journal 9/30/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Stoughton Wicked Local: Avon 12/1/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sudbury Sudbury Town Crier 9/22/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Swampscott Swampscott Reporter 2/16/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Taunton Taunton Daily Gazette 10/8/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Taunton Taunton Call 4/18/2007 – 7/3/2009 Recent Obituaries
Tewksbury Tewksbury Advocate 7/6/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Topsfield Tri-Town Transcript 6/2/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Townsend Townsend Times 9/18/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Vineyard Grove Seaside Gazette 7/20/1872 – 8/30/1875 Newspaper Archives
Wakefield Wakefield Observer 9/1/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Walpole Walpole Times 7/17/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Waltham Waltham News Tribune 8/29/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Wayland Wayland Town Crier 5/11/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
West Bridgewater West Bridgewater Times 2/27/2008 – 4/21/2009 Recent Obituaries
West Bridgewater Wicked Local: West Bridgewater 8/29/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
West Springfield American Intelligencer 9/29/1795 – 11/28/1797 Newspaper Archives
Westborough Westborough News 10/28/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Westborough Westborough Daily Voice 4/28/2010 – 2/25/2013 Recent Obituaries
Westfield Westfield News 12/13/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Westford Westford Eagle 9/15/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Weston Weston Town Crier 12/22/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Weymouth Weymouth News 11/2/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Whitman Whitman Times 5/2/2007 – 4/28/2009 Recent Obituaries
Whitman Wicked Local: Whitman 8/29/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Wilmington Wilmington Advocate 1/5/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Woburn Woburn Advocate 8/11/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Worcester Worcester Daily Spy 1/1/1878 – 4/30/1904 Newspaper Archives
Worcester Massachusetts Spy 5/3/1775 – 12/29/1876 Newspaper Archives
Worcester National Aegis 12/2/1801 – 12/30/1876 Newspaper Archives
Worcester Independent Gazetteer 11/27/1799 – 12/29/1801 Newspaper Archives
Worcester American Herald 8/21/1788 – 10/8/1789 Newspaper Archives
Worcester Worcester Telegram & Gazette 1/16/1989 – Current Recent Obituaries
Yarmouthport Register 1/5/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries

You can either print or create a PDF version of this Blog post by simply clicking on the green “Print/PDF” button below. The PDF version makes it easy to save this post onto your desktop or portable device for quick reference—all the Massachusetts newspaper links will be live.

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Top 7 Websites for Revolutionary War Genealogy

Introduction: Gena Philibert-Ortega is a genealogist and author of the book “From the Family Kitchen.” In this blog post, Gena discusses—and provides links to—seven top online resources for researching your American Revolutionary War ancestors.

Do you have a Revolutionary War ancestor? Maybe you have always heard that your ancestor was a soldier or a patriot during the American Revolution. Perhaps you have a female ancestor who was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Do you have copies of your ancestor’s military records but are not sure where to go next with your family history research? It’s time to make a genealogy research plan.

Painting: surrender of British General John Burgoyne at Saratoga on 17 October 1777 to American General Horatio Gates, by John Trumbull

Painting: surrender of British General John Burgoyne at Saratoga on 17 October 1777 to American General Horatio Gates, by John Trumbull. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

When thinking about researching your Revolutionary ancestor, consider what records may be left behind that result from his military service, death, and even his legacy.* Also keep in mind where such records may be held. While it’s easy to assume that the majority of records will be found at the National Archives or a subscription-based website, there are various online repositories with historical Revolutionary-period records useful to your ancestry research.

Ask questions of each record you find and then look for documents that answer those questions. While some of the research you do will involve looking for documents that include his name, there will be general histories about events your ancestor was involved in—which don’t specifically mention him by name—that you will also want to consult to learn more about his day-to-day life in the battlefields and political developments of the time.

Not sure where to start? Begin first with an overall search of newspapers and digitized books.

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1) Newspaper Articles and Historical Books

In my previous article Tracing Your Colonial & Revolutionary Ancestry in Newspapers, I wrote about articles that can be found in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives for finding your Revolutionary War ancestor. Whether you are just starting your research or have been at it for years, you should begin with newspapers to see what more you can learn. Because GenealogyBank is constantly adding newspapers, searching just once is not enough—keep coming back, to search the new material. A helpful feature of GenealogyBank’s Newspaper Archives search page is that you can narrow your search to an “Added Since” date so that you are not going through the same results you viewed previously.

screenshot of GenealogyBank's Historical Newspaper Archives search page

Obviously, one of the newspaper article-types that you will hope to find is an obituary. An obituary may provide key information including family members’ names, military service, occupation, and the cemetery where he is buried.

One resource researchers might not be as familiar with is GenealogyBank’s Historical Documents & Records collection, which includes the American State Papers. These federal government documents can include mentions of Revolutionary War soldiers—and their widows—as they applied for things like pensions.

Search Tip: As you search the GenealogyBank collections, make sure to keep in mind name variations. Don’t just stop after searching one version of your ancestor’s name. Write out a list of various name combinations that take into account their initials, name abbreviations (Jno, Benj., Wm.), and nicknames—as well as possible misspellings of the first and last name.

2) Online Grave Listings

In addition to newspaper articles and historical books, there are several online resources available for lists of Revolutionary War soldiers’ graves. To read more about these resources, see the article Revolutionary War Cemetery Records on the FamilySearch Wiki.

screenshot of FamilySearch's page for American Revolutionary War records

Source: FamilySearch

3) Daughters of the American Revolution

Want to verify that your ancestor was a Revolutionary War patriot? Maybe you have a copy of a female family member’s DAR application. Looking to become a member of the DAR or the SAR (Sons of the American Revolution)? Even if you aren’t interested in joining these groups, they have a vast collection of resources that can help you with your research. According to DAR member and chapter registrar Sheri Beffort Fenley, there are two resources all non-DAR members should use.

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The first is the Genealogical Research System. According to their website, the Genealogical Research System (GRS) “is a collection of databases that provide access to the many materials amassed by the DAR since its founding in 1890.”

screenshot of the Daughters of the American Revolution's Genealogical Research System website

Source: Daughters of the American Revolution

The second resource Fenley recommends is the DAR Library.

screenshot of the Daughters of the American Revolution's Library website

Source: Daughters of the American Revolution

While you are looking at the DAR homepage, make sure to click on the Resources tab. Here you’ll find the Revolutionary Pension Card Index as well as a great eBook entitled Forgotten Patriots: African American and American Indian Patriots of the Revolutionary War: A Guide to Service, Sources, and Studies.

4) Google Books

I would also recommend using Google Books to look through books and periodicals involving the DAR and their various chapters, as well as other genealogical information from the Revolutionary War. It’s a great place to find lineages and transcriptions.

screenshot of the Google Books website

Source: Google

5) Sons of the American Revolution

The Sons of the American Revolution Genealogical Research Library in Kentucky also may be of use to your research. To learn more about their collection and their SAR Patriot Index, see their website.

screenshot of the Sons of the American Revolution's Research Library website

Source: Sons of the American Revolution

6) National Archives & Records Administration (NARA)

The National Archives holds the records of our federal government, including military records. For the Revolutionary War you can find everything from Compiled Military Service Records to pensions and bounty land records. (Please note that NARA is the caretaker for federal records; they do not have state records such as state militia records. For those records, you need to contact the appropriate state archives.) Click here to see a list of NARA Revolutionary War records. A good tutorial for learning more about obtaining military records from NARA is on their web page: Genealogy Research in Military Records.

screenshot of the National Archives and Records Administration's American Revolutionary War records website

Source: National Archives and Records Administration

7) FamilySearch Resources

There are also several Revolutionary War databases available from the free website FamilySearch, including the searchable United States Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Applications, 1800-1900. Most people automatically think of service records and pensions when they think of military service—but what is often missed are bounty land grants. Military Bounty Land was offered to men in return for their military service. This served as both an enticement and a reward for longer service. Your ancestor may have received much more from his service than just monetary compensation. To learn more about bounty land and how to research it, see Christine Rose’s book Military Bounty Land 1776-1855.

The United States Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783 from FamilySearch “contains images of muster rolls, payrolls, strength returns, and other personnel, pay, and supply records of the American Army during the Revolutionary War.” This collection is not searchable; you have to browse it, and you need to know the state your soldier fought for. Make sure to utilize the FamilySearch Family History Research Wiki to learn more about other Revolutionary War documents available from FamilySearch.

screenshot of FamilySearch's Family History Research Wiki website

Source: FamilySearch

Wherever you are in your search for your Revolutionary War ancestor, make sure to have a plan and a list of genealogy resources—and then go through each one. Using a combination of sources including newspapers, digitized books, and military records, you can start to put together the story of your Revolutionary War ancestor soldier’s life.

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* Because the majority of soldiers in the Revolutionary War were men, I’m going to refer to them as “he.” However, women did fight alongside their male relatives on the battlegrounds. To learn more about the women of the Revolutionary War, see the book Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America’s Independence by Carol Berkin.

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GenealogyBank Just Added 7 Million More Genealogy Records!

Every day, GenealogyBank is working hard to digitize more newspapers and obituaries, expanding our collection to give you the largest newspaper archives for family history research available anywhere online. We just completed adding 7 million more U.S. genealogy records, vastly increasing our content coverage from U.S. coast to coast!

screenshot of GenealogyBank's home page announcing addition of 7 million more genealogy records

Here are some of the details about our most recent U.S. newspaper additions:

  • A total of 52 newspaper titles from 21 U.S. states
  • 19 of these titles are newspapers added to GenealogyBank for the first time
  • Newspaper titles marked with an asterisk (*) are new to our online archives
  • We’ve shown the newspaper issue date ranges so that you can determine if the newly added content is relevant to your personal genealogy research

The list of our new newspaper additions is directly below. Also, see our entire list of newspaper archives by state to see all of our archived collections.

State City Title Date Range Collection
Arizona Tucson TucsonSentinel.com* 01/28/2010–Current Recent Obituaries
California Barstow Desert Dispatch* 03/16/2007–Current Recent Obituaries
California San Francisco Corriere del Popolo 09/05/1922–12/20/1945 Newspaper Archives
California San Francisco San Francisco Chronicle 9/19/1881–4/30/1915 Newspaper Archives
California San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo Daily Telegram 4/2/1934–3/30/1937 Newspaper Archives
California Santa Monica Santa Monica Mirror* 01/07/2010–Current Recent Obituaries
Colorado Bayfield Pine River Times* 02/21/2014–Current Recent Obituaries
Colorado Denver Denver Rocky Mountain News 5/1/1908–5/31/1908 Newspaper Archives
Florida Lake City Lake City Reporter* 11/01/2013–Current Recent Obituaries
Georgia Elberton Elberton Star & Examiner, The* 08/02/2004–Current Recent Obituaries
Georgia Hartwell Hartwell Sun, The* 01/05/2012–Current Recent Obituaries
Georgia Lavonia Franklin County Citizen* 01/02/2014–Current Recent Obituaries
Georgia Marietta Marietta Journal 1/29/1964–12/13/1991 Newspaper Archives
Idaho Boise Idaho Statesman 8/16/1929–12/30/1933 Newspaper Archives
Illinois Highland Highland News Leader* 04/03/2014–Current Recent Obituaries
Kentucky Lexington Lexington Herald 10/1/1929–1/31/1930 Newspaper Archives
Louisiana Lafayette Acadiana Advocate, The* 12/13/2013–Current Recent Obituaries
Louisiana New Orleans New Orleans Item 9/19/1911–9/19/1911 Newspaper Archives
Louisiana New Orleans New Orleans States 10/25/1922–10/25/1922 Newspaper Archives
Maryland Baltimore Katholische Volkszeitung 04/08/1871–09/02/1871 Newspaper Archives
Massachusetts Hopkinton Hopkinton Independent, The* 05/16/2013–Current Recent Obituaries
Massachusetts Millbury Millbury-Sutton Chronicle* 05/03/2007–Current Recent Obituaries
Michigan Ann Arbor Ann Arbor News 4/16/1909–5/31/1917 Newspaper Archives
Michigan Detroit Herold 01/27/1911–01/27/1911 Newspaper Archives
Michigan Flint Flint Journal 1/26/1900–5/17/1920 Newspaper Archives
Michigan Muskegon Muskegon Chronicle 4/30/1880–5/26/1917 Newspaper Archives
Michigan Saginaw Saginaw News 12/23/1893–5/24/1895 Newspaper Archives
Mississippi Biloxi Daily Herald 1/1/1937–6/30/1942 Newspaper Archives
New Jersey Bridgeton Bridgeton Evening News 9/1/1896–5/7/1921 Newspaper Archives
New Jersey Egg Harbor City Egg Harbor Pilot 04/12/1862–07/27/1872 Newspaper Archives
New Jersey Jersey City Jersey Journal 7/14/1891–10/6/1922 Newspaper Archives
New Jersey Trenton Trenton Evening Times 12/30/1922–2/1/1946 Newspaper Archives
New Mexico Carlsbad Carlsbad Current-Argus* 01/28/2005–Current Recent Obituaries
New Mexico Deming Deming Headlight* 06/03/2006–Current Recent Obituaries
New York New York Cristoforo Colombo 08/28/1892–08/22/1893 Newspaper Archives
New York New York Jewish Messenger 04/29/1870–06/05/1891 Newspaper Archives
New York New York New Yorker Volkszeitung 05/25/1920–11/25/1922 Newspaper Archives
New York New York Progresso Italo-Americano* 09/21/1884–12/11/1889 Newspaper Archives
New York New York Sozialist 02/16/1889–02/16/1889 Newspaper Archives
New York New York Vorwarts 09/02/1893–12/30/1922 Newspaper Archives
North Carolina Charlotte Charlotte Observer 7/1/1927–7/31/1927 Newspaper Archives
North Carolina Spruce Pine Mitchell News-Journal* 06/12/2013–Current Recent Obituaries
Ohio Bellevue RFD News* 10/01/2013–Current Recent Obituaries
Ohio Cincinnati Catholic Telegraph, The* 03/06/2009–Current Recent Obituaries
Ohio Cleveland Cleveland Leader 9/5/1862–4/3/1885 Newspaper Archives
Ohio Cleveland Plain Dealer 1/1/1923–6/5/1923 Newspaper Archives
Ohio Fredericktown Knox County Citizen* 12/11/2013–Current Recent Obituaries
South Dakota Aberdeen Aberdeen Daily News 10/29/1925–5/19/1996 Newspaper Archives
Washington Bellingham Bellingham Herald 1/1/1935–6/30/1937 Newspaper Archives
Washington Olympia Morning Olympian 6/24/1940–12/30/1941 Newspaper Archives
Wisconsin Appleton Appleton Volksfreund 10/02/1919–02/17/1921 Newspaper Archives
Wisconsin La Crosse La Crosse Volksfreund 07/11/1906–07/11/1906 Newspaper Archives

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Old Music in Historical Newspapers: Tips for Finding Songs

Introduction: Mary Harrell-Sesniak is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background. In this blog post, Mary provides newspaper search tips to find articles and musical scores about the songs our ancestors enjoyed

When doing your family history research, have you ever wondered about the old music your American ancestors enjoyed?

What were the popular melodies and tunes of earlier days, what were their origins, and what musical discoveries can we find in historical newspapers?

Yankee Doodle

A fun place to start is by researching one of the more ubiquitous tunes in American history: “Yankee Doodle.” Just think—our parents, grandparents and great grandparents knew the same lyrics to this song. What a wonderful shared experience that is.

Yankee Doodle went to town
Riding on a pony;
He stuck a feather in his hat,
And called it macaroni.

To find a wide assortment of news articles about “Yankee Doodle” and amusing renditions of this popular American song, enter the title into GenealogyBank’s search engine. This search returns over 64,000 “best matches,” so you may wish to sort the results by date from the earliest to newest, or vice versa.

One of the earliest newspaper articles, from 1769, reports that the British military used the song as a type of verbal bantering or taunting of the colonists.

According to the article:

…the Officer of the Guard, in a sneering Manner, called upon the Musicians to play up the Yankee Doodle Tune, which completed the Conquest of the Military, and afforded them a temporary Triumph.

New-York Journal (New York, New York), 14 September 1769, page 2

New-York Journal (New York, New York), 14 September 1769, page 2

Limiting Music Searches by Categories

With so many search results, I looked for ways to narrow the focus. A promising option was the “Poems & Songs” category with over 1,200 historical newspaper articles to explore.

search results for "Yankee Doodle" in GenealogyBank

Adding Keywords to Your Article Search

To learn about specifics, I incorporated keywords such as “origins.”

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A newspaper article from 1861 reported that “Yankee Doodle’s” music was derived from the “Lucy Locket” nursery rhyme. I wasn’t familiar with it—but if you hum “Lucy Locket,” you’ll find it has the same musical syntax, or structure, as “Yankee Doodle.”

Lucy Locket lost her pocket
Kitty Fisher found it;
Not a bit of money in it
Only binding ’round it.

 
After the 1775 Battles of Lexington and Concord, the patriots came up with their own lyrics. An early version was titled “The Yankee’s Return from Camp,” used as a battle march.

The old song has direct references to George Washington (then a Captain) and Capt. Isaac Davis. See article on Capt. Isaac Davis at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Davis_(soldier).

Photos & Illustrations

You’ll discover a number of musical scores in the “Poems & Songs” category on GenealogyBank’s search results page, and there are others in the “Photos & Illustrations” category. By examining these, I found a promising lead from 1910 that was reprinted three years later, in 1913.

Historical Music Sheet Tab in Historical Newspapers Genealogy Bank

This sheet tab reference isn’t actually from the “Yankee Doodle” song itself, but instead a composition called “The Boys That Fight the Flames” by George M. Cohen. He composed it as part of his play, Fifty Miles from Boston.

Forgotten Old Songs

The “Photos & Illustrations” category is also a wonderful place to find musical scores of forgotten pieces. Although not familiar with “Life’s a Bumper,” I might try playing this song on my piano.

Bellows Falls Gazette (Bellows Falls, Vermont), 14 December 1839, page 1

Bellows Falls Gazette (Bellows Falls, Vermont), 14 December 1839, page 1

Search Tips for Finding Old Music

This blog post is just the tip of the iceberg on musical discoveries found in newspapers. Try these steps and be sure to share your own tips for researching the music of our ancestors in old newspapers.

  • Do a general search for a song title
  • Sort by Best Matches, Oldest Items or Newest Items
  • Narrow by the category “Poems & Songs”
  • Experiment with other categories, such as “Photos & Illustrations”
  • Repeat the previous steps by adding keywords, such as “origins” or a composer’s name

Related Music Articles:

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Weird News of Odd & Bizarre Happenings: Raining Frogs?

Census and other government records can give us dates and facts about our ancestors, but where do you turn to find their personal stories, an account of something fantastic, exciting or odd that they experienced? If you are lucky, you may possess your ancestors’ journals or family letters. Even if you don’t have these, however, you still have a great source for stories about your ancestors: an archive of historical newspapers, such as the 6,500 titles in GenealogyBank’s online Historical Newspaper Archives.

For example, if James Edward Van Voorhes is one of your ancestors, you won’t find in his census, marriage or death records an account of a truly bizarre experience he had one rainy day—but you will learn about it in the newspaper, because he wrote the following letter to the editor telling of a very bizarre happening.

A Rain of Frogs, Plain Dealer newspaper article 8 May 1922

Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), 8 May 1922, page 6

Can you imagine witnessing something as astonishing as raining frogs happening? What a great family story! In thinking of James getting down from his horse, huddling under the protection of a covered bridge during a heavy rainstorm, and staring in disbelief as the clouds suddenly rained frogs onto the road before him, you’ve shared an extraordinary sight your ancestor once experienced, seen the world in one vivid moment through his eyes—and in that way brought him a little closer to you.

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Here is another account of this bizarre phenomenon of raining frogs.

A Rain of Frogs in Arizona, Oregonian newspaper article 8 July 1871

Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), 8 July 1871, page 4

The writer goes on to say:

Several of the party took some [frogs] from their hat-rims. Our unexpected visitors were all of one size, about a quarter of an inch long from nose to rump, very lively, and apparently in the best condition. Their fall had been broken by the springy, resilient nature of the grass. It is not probable that several hundred thousand, perhaps millions, of frogs had suddenly been hatched into life in the ground by the rain, or, if they had, that in their infantile glee they jumped five feet eleven inches from the earth to the top of our heads merely to show how the game of leap-frog should be played. Nor had they any such caudal appendages as are generally attached to juvenile rana. They came from above, in company with the rain; and this fact was made clear by holding out the hand and seeing them fall upon it, as well as finding them on our hat-rims.

Stories, wonderful stories, that “smack of the incredible.” Newspapers are filled with them—the unusual, the odd, the bizarre, the humorous.

a collage of newspaper articles reporting incidents of it raining frogsEven if the weird or humorous stories you find are not about one of your ancestors, they make interesting reading and may give you a chuckle, adding to the fun of browsing through an archive of historical newspapers while doing your family history research. Keep an eye out for such odd stories—you never know what you’ll find!

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Great-Grandmother’s Swimsuit in Vintage Fashion Articles & Photos

Introduction: Gena Philibert-Ortega is a genealogist and author of the book “From the Family Kitchen.” In this blog post, Gena searches old newspapers to find ads and stories about vintage swimsuits, giving us another glimpse into our ancestors’ lives.

It’s HOT outside and it’s the perfect time to enjoy a day at the beach. One day as I was trying to stay cool at home with the air conditioning, I was scanning family photos and came across a 1920s-era photo of my great-grandfather and his sister-in-law at the beach. Looking at the old family photo reminded me of what I love about family history research: discovering the stories of ordinary people’s lives. Our ancestors’ lives were much more than a birth, marriage, and death date. They took part in all sorts of activities, including recreations like visiting the beach during the summer.

photo of Oscar Philibert and Lillie Chatham

Photo: Oscar Philibert and Lillie Chatham. Credit: Gena Philibert-Ortega.

So what type of swimsuits did your ancestors wear? Swimsuits, like all types of fashion, have evolved through the years to reflect the morals, laws, form, and textiles of the times. According to the article “Swim Wear History” by the Vintage Fashion Guild, the bathing suits of ancient Greece resembled the bikinis of today! As time progressed, modesty and segregation between the sexes called for swim attire that lacked function. As swimming and beach visits became more popular in the 19th century, beach wear evolved to the swimsuit fashions seen today. That article goes on to say that those early Victorian suits made of wool covered everything on the human form but they also adhered to wet bodies, defeating their original purpose: modesty. This lack of function for swimsuits can be seen in photos from the early 20th century as well.

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Controversy has always followed the wearing of swimsuits. Older generations voiced their disapproval of the younger generation showing too much skin—and in some cases the law has stepped in to make sure the public is well-covered. One example of someone who tried to push the envelope in what bathing beauties wore was the Australian professional swimmer and actress Annette Kellerman (1886-1975), who was an advocate of women wearing one-piece swimsuits instead of the impractical dress and pantaloons ensembles of the time. She was even arrested for wearing one of her one-piece suits on a U.S. beach.

photo of Annette Kellermann

Photo: pictorial post card, “Miss Annette Kellermann, Champion Lady Swimmer and Diver of the World.” Credit: State Library of New South Wales; Flickr the Commons.

Swimsuit Fashions through the 20th Century

This 1916 newspaper ad offers a swimsuit that pretty much covers every part of the body except the arms and neck. In describing this more “modern” suit, the writer states “that the suit is not the same as a half dozen years ago—a simple thing good enough to swim in.” As we read more about this ensemble and all of its pieces and design, it’s funny to see how language and descriptions have changed. I’m not sure how many women today would want to wear a swimsuit described as “…striped as a porch awning.” Modern-day women may take offense at someone commenting on their fashion choice looking like something that should be hanging off someone’s porch.

swimsuit ad, Charlotte Observer newspaper advertisement 11 July 1916

Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, North Carolina), 11 July 1916, page 7

It’s easy to see the style differences from the 1916 suit featured above and this “scantier” 1923 swimsuit. Scantier certainly describes this vintage swimsuit, with its “shorter trunks, narrower shoulder hands, and no sleeves.” It’s easy to understand how this suit style would be much easier to swim in as the model, Miss Martin of the Ziegfeld Follies, is quoted as saying.

swimsuit ad, Miami District Daily News newspaper advertisement 3 January 1922

Miami District Daily News (Miami, Oklahoma), 3 January 1922, page 3

While we most associate today’s bikinis as revealing swimsuits, women did wear two-piece swimsuits decades before the bikini, like this ad from 1937 describing how “an overskirt of white jersey dotted in red matches the ‘bra’ top of the suit, and is worn over red jersey shorts.”

swimsuit ad, National Labor Tribune newspaper advertisement 10 April 1937

National Labor Tribune (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), 10 April 1937, page 8

As younger generations look at the vintage swimsuit fashions from yesterday, they probably find amusement at past efforts to cover up on the beach, and wonder why our ancestors wore so much material. It would seem that each generation disapproves of the younger generations and their fashions—and vice versa. That’s as true for 1922 as for the bikini-wearing women of 1960, as shown in this article reporting comments from newspaper readers about the wearing of bikinis. Notice that listed with each name is also the commentators’ street address—a potentially valuable genealogy clue.

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My favorite quote is from Mrs. Nemitz who says of bikinis:

“Don’t think I’m old fashioned, because I’m not. I just don’t care for bikinis, and the men that I have talked to don’t care for them either.”

Good thing she didn’t know about what happened when the modest bathing costumes of her mother’s generation became wet—talk about revealing!

Bare Views on Bikinis, Plain Dealer newspaper article 2 July 1960

Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), 2 July 1960, page 12

So what did your female ancestors wear for a swimsuit? Were they daring and tried to show more than was allowed, or did they keep all covered up? Did they enjoy just dipping their toes into the ocean or did they need swimwear that allowed them freedom as they swam? Fashion history can provide an interesting look at our ancestors’ lives, and looking at swimwear reminds us of how similar some of our attitudes are to our ancestors’ opinions.

Related Vintage Fashion Articles:

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Tracing Your Colonial & Revolutionary Ancestry in Newspapers

Introduction: Gena Philibert-Ortega is a genealogist and author of the book “From the Family Kitchen.” In this blog post, Gena shows how old newspapers provide a great opportunity to learn more about your Revolutionary War-era ancestors, especially considering that primary sources are hard to find for this time period.

Are you researching your family history all the way back to your Revolutionary War-era ancestors? Old newspapers are a great way to learn about your ancestry during America’s Colonial and Revolutionary periods.

painting: Washington Crossing the Delaware, by Emanuel Leutze

Painting: Washington Crossing the Delaware, by Emanuel Leutze (1851). Source: Wikimedia Commons.

For example, GenealogyBank’s online Historical Newspaper Archives date from 1690 to today. What does this mean for you? It means a great opportunity to learn more about your Revolutionary War-era ancestors even when primary sources are few and far between. Remember that newspapers can hold rich family history information that details a person’s life story from cradle to grave.

Limit Your Ancestry Search—but Not Too Much

It’s natural to want to go straight to the advanced genealogy search engine on GenealogyBank to start your newspaper research. The advanced search engine is where we can limit or narrow our search, broadening it beyond just names by adding dates, and by including or excluding keywords. The advanced search box is a vital tool for researching a common surname. When researching a Revolutionary War-era ancestor, limiting the search to those years the ancestor was alive can help you filter out search results that aren’t about your specific ancestor.

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However, there is a caution: remember that the more information you add to a search engine the fewer results you will receive. Keep a log of your ancestor searches and results. Try a combination of keyword searches and note your results. One important aspect in researching Colonial newspapers is that language is much different now than in those early American newspapers. Don’t add too many “modern” words to your keyword search, as these may result in poor search results. Words associated with the cost of goods are just one example of a difference that could mean finding what you are looking for or not. It can be beneficial to take some time to read the newspaper from your ancestor’s area and time to get a sense of the layout, articles, and language.

Not sure which Colonial and Revolutionary newspapers are available on GenealogyBank? Find a list in this blog article: 27 Colonial Newspapers to Trace Your Early American Ancestry.

list of Colonial and Revolutionary newspapers available in GenealogyBank

Consider the possible articles that could exist about your 18th century ancestor in these early American Colonial newspapers!

While you won’t know what specific articles your ancestor may have been mentioned in until you do an actual search, simply reading through some of these early American newspapers can help to get a sense of what news was reported during their lifetime. When researching a Revolutionary War soldier for example, look for anything that might provide some historical context (think pension laws and battle descriptions), but would not necessarily mention him by name. Of course, with a specific search you are looking for articles like a pension list or an obituary that would mention him by name.

Revolutionary War Desertions

War is hell, and in every conflict some soldiers desert for a whole host of reasons. It makes sense that during the Revolutionary War desertions would be reported in the newspapers, so that the community could read the description and help find the missing soldier.

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In this 1777 desertion ad from a Pennsylvania newspaper, two soldiers are described. These descriptions are not limited to their physical attributes. One of the soldiers is listed as “Thomas Robinson…a stout well-made Irishman, about 35 years of age, fair complexion, and short dark hair, a little bald; he is a very great drunkard, and when sober his hands tremble as if afflicted with the palsy; he is very talkative, and speaks with his native brogue; his occupation is ditching and threshing.”

article about deserters in the American Revolutionary War, Pennsylvania Packet newspaper article 25 February 1777

Pennsylvania Packet (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 25 February 1777, page 1

War Pensions

Did your ancestor receive a pension? Newspapers may include lists of those receiving pensions, such as this one from a 1796 Massachusetts newspaper. Notice it includes the name and rank of the soldiers as well as the amount of each pension.

Pension Law, Western Star newspaper article 19 September 1796

Western Star (Stockbridge, Massachusetts), 19 September 1796, page 3

Stories of Your Ancestors’ Personal Lives

The newspaper isn’t just a place to find your ancestors’ names; it’s also a great place to learn more about their personal lives and the times they lived in. In this example the invalid pension law is explained, as well as when the pension is paid and the application process.

Invalid Pensioners, Salem Gazette newspaper article 16 February 1790

Salem Gazette (Salem, Massachusetts), 16 February 1790, page 3

Don’t forget that you can narrow your newspaper search by type of article. This is a great time-saving research tool in cases when you receive numerous “hits” or are looking for something specific. To narrow your search by type of article from the results list, click on the links to the left of the list, under the heading “Newspaper Archives.”

screenshot showing the newspaper article types on GenealogyBank's search results page

Combine Original Document Finds with Newspapers

Found your ancestor’s military file or pension record? Great! Follow that up by looking for information in the newspaper.

In the case of a common name, such as my ancestor Revolutionary War soldier Benjamin Jones, a search in the newspaper may bring up numerous hits but they may not be my Benjamin Jones. For that reason, consider using what you find in original documents in conjunction with the newspaper to help you narrow your search and analyze the evidence.

What can you find in the newspaper about your Colonial and Revolutionary War ancestry? Plenty! Those genealogy records can be an important and colorful addition to your family history.

Related Colonial & Revolutionary War Ancestry Articles:

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What Do You Plan to Do with Your Old Family Heirlooms?

Maybe you have an old cedar chest, or other large object, as one of your prized family heirlooms.

photo of a cedar chest

Source: Abernethy’s

We have an old chest that was owned by my grandmother, Adelaide Mildred (Wright) Kemp (1893-1949), and it was said that it had been passed down to her mother, Ida Estelle (Smith) Wright (1873-1963).

Now if the only family heirloom we had was one object, we might be able to handle that—but wait, there’s more.

Much more.

There are also old photos—large ones, framed—and dishware, glasses, books, and on and on.

What do you do when your home has become the designated family museum—and you start looking to the future wondering what will become of these treasured heirlooms?

Start by taking a photograph of each heirloom and upload that to your online family tree. Record which relative owned the object and tell the object’s story. What is it? Who owned it? And why is it important to the family?

That’s a start.

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But, as you look to the future, what is your plan if other family members are not interested in these old heirlooms?

What is the best way to preserve these pieces of your family history?

What solutions do you have for heirloom preservation?

What is your plan?

Please share and give all of us the benefit of your best thinking on this.

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