Newspaper Archives 1690–2010, All 50 States

Newspaper Archives 1690–2010, All 50 States

Featuring complete copies of each newspaper with over 1 billion articles.

Enter your ancestor's name below and we'll search historical newspapers to help you learn more.

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Try different name spellings

Ex: Jenson, Jensen, Jens?n; Carrol, Carol, Caroll, Car* name search tips »

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Try variations of the first name

Ex: William, Will OR Bill, Wm., W., etc. name search tips »

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Try adding a word to narrow the hit results

Ex: occupation, university, home town, etc. keyword search tips »

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Try excluding a word to narrow the hit results

Reduce records from a particular state. Ex: Texas keyword search tips »


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Getting limited results? Broaden the date range

Use a range beyond the ancestor's life span. Ex: 1800 - 1890 or Jan 15, 1890 - Nov 22, 1890 date search tips »

Newspaper Search Tips

Search U.S. Newspaper Archives By State

Check your selection to search U.S. newspapers by state, city, or newspaper title.

Genealogy Records
Found in Newspapers

  • Birth Announcements

  • Engagements, Marriage, Anniversary & Divorce Records

  • Obituaries

  • Legal Notices

  • Advertisements

  • Family Reunions

  • Military Records

  • Passenger Lists

  • Photographs & Images

  • Shipping & Shipping Records

  • Community News Articles

  • And much more!

How to Search
Newspapers

This newspaper archive was built through OCR technology. There are a few important points to remember:

  • Newspapers don't always include full first names. Your ancestor could be listed under an initial or salutation. Also try last name variations.
  • Don't limit your search to just one newspaper. Newspapers often picked up stories and obituaries in former hometowns and in places where other family members lived.
  • If your family lived in a small town, look for a larger nearby city newspaper which might have included local news.
  • Don't limit your search to your direct ancestors. Search for the names of cousins, siblings, in-laws, and other family members who lived in the same area.
Essential for exploring your family history.

Newspaper Titles

Discover more than names and dates. Get to know your ancestors' stories—the lives they lived, their hardships and triumphs. Family trees are just not complete without the details available in newspapers.

GenealogyBank's Newspaper Archives Document Every Day of Your Ancestors' Lives

Newspapers are likely the only surviving documentation of the daily lives of your ancestors. Daily newspapers covered the news, reported on events, and recorded the births, marriages and deaths of the people in their community and beyond. Rich or poor, each of us makes it into the newspaper at least once—but the papers themselves record the daily pace of life unfolding around us.

GenealogyBank is the largest and fastest growing newspaper archive for family history research.

Featuring over 6,500 newspapers and a powerful search engine, no other online resource provides as much family history information. Search GenealogyBank now and begin discovering the many genealogical treasures provided by newspapers.

GenealogyBank currently has 215 million newspaper obituaries and death records covering over 320 years from over 6,500 newspapers. New obituary records are added daily.

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Historical Newspaper Archives Search Tips

Newspaper Archives Last & First Name Search

  • Using both name search fields returns newspaper articles in which the surname is automatically "near2" the first name.
    • This means the newspaper archive search engine automatically finds occurrences of the first and last names within two words of each other.
    • This helps to find occurrences of middle names or initials in the newspaper articles, without having to enter or remember them.
  • The "near2" search command is not order specific—meaning your newspaper search will retrieve the person's name no matter in what order it is mentioned: the first name then last name or the last name then first name.
    • This search default is intended to bring you the most occurrences of the name you are searching for in the online newspaper archives.
  • However, if the person's name is popular, like Smith, try using some of the available search options such as location, date range, and keyword, in order to narrow your search to the specific Smith you are looking for (see below).

Using Advanced Search in the Newspaper Archive Database

  • There are two keyword search boxes to narrow your search for newspaper articles: "Include keywords" box and "Exclude keywords" box (see below).
  • Use the Date search box to enter a specific date or date range of the newspaper content you want to search online.

Using Keywords & Quotation Marks to Search Newspapers

  • All the searches for historical newspaper articles are full-text keyword searches against OCR-generated ASCII text.
  • By using the "Include keywords" box and/or "Exclude keywords" box, you can narrow or expand your online newspaper article search.
  • Put phrases in quotes like "John Adams" in the "Include" keyword box to limit the newspaper article search to that exact name—versus using the last/first name search that brings back results matching John near2 Adams.
  • If you find too many names in the newspaper archive search results, narrow your search even more by typing names or places you do NOT want in your search in the "Exclude" box.

Using Boolean Operators to Search Newspaper Archives

  • Use AND, OR, ADJx (order specific), NEARx (order non-specific) and Wildcards, such as "?" and "*")

Broaden or narrow newspaper search queries

  • by emptying filled-in fields to broaden your search, or filling in empty fields to narrow your search.

Display newspaper search results in different ways, such as:

  • Best matches (this is the newspaper search default)
  • Oldest items (based on newspaper publication dates)
  • Newest items (based on newspaper publication dates)
  • Once changed, the selection will remain the default until you change it again.

Search Newspapers by Date Range

  • If you know the date of the newspaper content you are seeking, then use the "Date" search box.
    • Enter a specific date or a date range—a variety of date formats are accepted.
    • Examples: June 2, 1804, or 1804 - 1849, or June 1804 - August 1949.

Using Colonial English Variant Spellings to Search Old Newspapers

  • Many of the newspapers in the historical newspaper archives are very old, and the searches must deal with Colonial English.
  • The long "s" character was almost identical to the "f" in many texts.
    • When searching old newspaper articles on words containing the letter "s," use the "?" wildcard in place of the "s."
    • Note: this can occur whether it is the first letter, a letter within a word, or at the end of a word.
    • The double "s" is in words like Massachusetts needs to be replaced with two wildcards in historical newspaper searches.

Examples of Searching for Old Newspaper Articles with Colonial English

Modern Spelling Colonial Spellings Suggested Search
Spanish Spanifh Spani?h, ?pani?h
Boston Bofton Bo?ton
Massachusetts Maffachufetts Ma??achu?ett?
  • In addition, type was set by hand for early American newspapers and printers did not always have enough pieces of type to include all of the letters in a word. This resulted in letters being omitted, or sometimes letters that looked similar were used as substitutions.
  • Much of this historic newspaper material did not use standard spellings.
  • Examples of some conventions that were common in old newspapers:
    • Use of name variants - Smith or Smythe
    • Use of "e" in word endings - Chesapeake or Chesapeak
    • Dropping the letter "h" - Philadelphia or Philadelpia
  • Examples of irregular vowel usage:
    • clerk - cleark
    • color - colour
    • Delaware - Deleware
    • Elijah - Elifha
    • Israel - Ifreal - Ifral
    • Jehovah - Javovah
  • Examples of letter e to word endings
    • Brown - Browne
    • Chesapeake - Chefopeak or Chefopeake
    • Clark - Clarke
    • highways - highwayes
  • Examples of interchanging use of the letters "i" and "y"
    • adjoining - adjoyning
    • Pennsylvania - Pensilvania or Penfilvania
    • rails - rayls

Colonial Newspaper Search Notes

  • If in doubt, use wildcards such as the question mark "?" or the asterisk "*" in your colonial newspaper search.
  • A question mark is a single-character wildcard and an asterisk multi-character (allows for up to 5 characters) wildcard.

Name Search Tips

Broad Name Search

Begin by searching the website for your family records using broad queries. Remember, less is often times more. If your ancestor has an unusual first or last name, try searching the genealogy archives for one name at a time. Then refine your family search by adding additional information such as date range, occupation and location.

Note that using both first and last name search fields will return genealogy records in which the surname is automatically "near2" the first name.

  • "Near2" means our genealogy search engine automatically finds occurrences of the first and last names within two words of each other.
  • This helpful default search functionality automatically finds occurrences of middle names, initials and maiden names in the genealogy records, without you having to enter them in your query.
  • The "near2" search command is not order specific. This means your query will retrieve the ancestor's name no matter what order it is entered: the first name then last name, or the last name then first name.

This search default brings you the most record matches containing the family member name you are searching for in our online archives.

Common Ancestor Names

If your ancestor's surname is popular, like Smith, try using some of the available search options (such as location, date range, and keyword), in order to narrow your family search to the specific Smith you are looking for (see below).

If your family member has a surname that is also a common word (like Brown, Snow, etc.), put quotation marks around the entire name.

Example:

"John Snow"

Wrapping the family member's name in quotations will keep the name together and give you more accurate record results while helping to avoid common nouns such as "snow." Please note however that searching with quotations will eliminate records that include a middle name or initial, the name as seen in a list (e.g., Snow, John) or the name in a phrase (e.g., John and Sally Snow).

Also, try querying the genealogy archives using various name combination queries.

Examples:

"John Snow"

"Snow, John"

"John Joseph Snow"

"John J Snow"

"J J Snow"

"John and Mary Snow"

Shortened & Abbreviated Names

Newspapers would often shorten a name. Try searching for the shorter or abbreviated version of your ancestor's name.

Examples:

Wm for William

Chas for Charles

Jas for James

Jos for Joseph

Saml for Samuel

Fredr for Fredrick

Benj for Benjamin

Search Names with Initials & Quotations

Also try searching for your relative�s names with their initials in quotation marks.

Examples:

"A J Johnson" for Albert James Johnson

"B Fredrickson" for Benjamin Fredrickson

Also try searching nicknames: Bob, Bobbie, Rob, and Robbie would all apply for the name Robert.

Married Names

Try searching for a female family member under her married name if applicable.

Example:

"Mrs John Snow"

Name Misspellings

Keep in mind that early newspapers made mistakes and the name of your family member may have been misspelled. Also keep in mind that the spelling of a name may have changed over time. Try searching for your relative in the online archives using various name spellings.

If a single letter is commonly written incorrectly, use a question mark in its place in your query to search multiple matching records. The question mark is a search engine Boolean operator that will match any alphanumeric character.

Example:

When searching for the surname Larson, try Lars?n. This search query will return matching records for Larson and Larsen.

If several letters in the ancestor's name are often incorrect, the same query can be performed using an asterisk. The asterisk search engine Boolean operator will match up to 5 characters in a word.

Example:

Fred* will find records containing Frederick, Fredrick, Freddie, etc.

Keywords Search Tips

There are two keyword search boxes to narrow your search for genealogy records: the "Include Keywords" box and the "Exclude Keywords" box (see below). By using the "Include Keywords" box and/or the "Exclude Keywords" box, you can narrow or expand your genealogy record search results.

Include Keywords

Put phrases in quotes like "John Adams" in the "Include Keywords" box to limit the ancestor record search to that exact name�versus using the last/first name search that brings back records matching John near2 Adams.

Exclude Keywords

If you find too many names are returned in the search results, narrow your ancestor search even more by typing names or places you do NOT want in your results in the "Exclude Keywords" box.

For example, if you are getting matching records about a reverend but the family member you are looking for was never a reverend, go to the "Exclude Keywords" box and enter: Reverend OR Church OR Rev. Adding this info in the "Exclude Keywords" box will eliminate those irrelevant records.

Also, remember to capitalize both the O and the R when using the Boolean operator "OR." This tells the genealogy search engine to exclude the words or phrases you entered.

Date Search Tips

Use the "Date Search" box to enter a specific date�or enter the date range if you know the approximate date(s) of the historical content you are seeking to find in the online archives.

If you use the date range option, then enter a date range that includes the entire life span of your family member. For example, including a few years prior to their birth and a few years after their death can yield positive search results. Or if you are looking for an obituary record, use a date range of a few years before and after the known death date. Our genealogy search engine accepts a variety of date formats to help you easily find your family�s history.

Examples:

June 2, 1804

1804 - 1849

June 1804 - August 1949