African American Slave Born in 1686 Dies at Age 116 in 1802!

While doing genealogy research recently in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives, I came upon the obituary of a woman identified only as “a female slave named Alice,” who died at Bristol, Pennsylvania, at the remarkable age of 116! Alice was only … Continue reading

Rhode Island Archives: 52 Newspapers for Genealogy Research

Though small in size, Rhode Island has been part of United States history from the very beginning; it was one of the original Thirteen Colonies. Rhode Island is the smallest state in the Union and the eighth least populous. However, … Continue reading

Have You Seen This Intricate Patchwork Heirloom Quilt?

In 1881 New Hampshire held its 26th Annual State Fair in Laconia, New Hampshire. The fair had not been held in Laconia since 1852. The New Hampshire Patriot and State Gazette devoted an entire page to reporting the handicrafts, food, … Continue reading

‘People’s Lawyer’ Louis Brandeis: 1st Jewish Supreme Court Justice

On 1 June 1916, President Woodrow Wilson achieved one of his greatest political triumphs when his controversial nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Louis Dembitz Brandeis, was confirmed as the first Jewish Supreme Court justice. Brandeis, whose brilliant legal mind … Continue reading

Genealogy Research with Legal Notices in Newspapers

Newspapers have long been the way that official notices of court actions, legal matters and other announcements have been communicated to the public, and researching these legal notices can help you learn more about your ancestors and fill in details … Continue reading

Elisha Perkins Invented Metallic Tractors – in the 1700s?

Here is the death notice of Dr. Elisha Perkins (1741-1799). It is fairly straightforward. The death notice tells us that Perkins died in New York City on Friday morning, 6 September 1799, and that he was the inventor of “metallic … Continue reading

South Carolina Archives: 103 Newspapers for Genealogy Research

South Carolina, the 40th largest and 24th most populous of the United States, has a long history of independence. South Carolina was the first of the 13 British North American colonies to declare its independence from the British Crown (a … Continue reading

Sukey, I Never Knew You

This obituary caught my eye for several reasons. First is the header, with its poem and graphic. “The Knell.” Not “Deaths” or “Died” – which are very common headers for obituary notices even today – but instead “The Knell,” as … Continue reading

My Ancestor’s Trip to America: Newspapers Tell the Story

I knew my ancestor William Kemp had come to America – but I didn’t know anything about the trip itself. What was it like for him as an immigrant traveling by passenger ship across the ocean to the new frontier? … Continue reading