Genealogy Humor

One of our readers (Kevin Clark) pointed me to today’s Wizard of Id cartoon – that speaks to the “high cost” of family history research.

To see the cartoon – click here
or if that site is busy – click here

Wizard of Id by Parker and Hart is one of my favorites.

GenealogyBank adds new search tools

GenealogyBank has added new search capabilities to speed up your research.

These new features let you:
1. Limit your search to only the most recently added content
2. Search multiple states at the same time

3. Search multiple cities at the same time
4. Search one newspaper or multiple newspapers at the same time
5. Narrow search by article category


1. Limit your search to only the most recently added content.
This feature let’s you limit your search to the content added in the last 3 months. Simply select from the drop down menu to search only content added in February through today; in January through today or in December 2008 through today. This handy feature let’s you search only the most recently added content.

2. Search multiple states at one time
Previously you could limit your search to one state – now you may limit your search to any number of states. Simply check the states that you want to search.

3. Search multiple cities at one time
This handy features allows you to narrow your search to all of the newspapers published in a specific town or towns. Simply click on the state and a new map and list of cities will appear. Check the city or cities that you want to search. You may search one or multiple cities from the same state.

4. Search one newspaper or multiple newspapers at the same time
This new feature let’s you search only a specific newspaper or select multiple newspapers that you want to search. This feature let’s you focus your search and saves you time.

5. Narrow your search by article category
I have saved the best for last. Once you have done a search in the Historical Newspapers – a new column appears on the left side of the screen. This featue let’s you select out only the article categories that you are looking for. For example you could select: Birth Notice – and then see only your “hits” that were birth announcements. Or you could select to see only the advertisements; shipping notices; marriage announcements etc.

To see how this works – take the tour below or go directly to GenealogyBank and start searching.

Genealogy Bank – New Features Added Feb 2009

Birth Announcements – newspapers are packed with them

Newspapers have been announcing births since the 1700s.

It is common to see birth notices in newspapers all across the country, like this one for triplets born to “Mrs. Rust of Wolfeboro, NH” in 1796. It appeared in the Massachusetts Mercury 14 Oct 1796.
You’ll find millions of births recorded in newspapers on GenealogyBank from the colonial period right up to recent times.
Newspapers often had regular columns for all area births. Sometimes these were listed by the name of the hospital. These notices often give the names of the child, parents and even grandparents.

Some are written in a fun, familiar style – as this one from the Dallas Morning News 1 June 1967 – “She’ here…” and went on to give the details of their new daughter.

This 1918 birth notice from the Belleville (IL) Democrat 8 March 1918, gave three generations of genealogical information including the name of the grandmother, the mother’s maiden name and the name of the parents – but not the name of the baby!

Other newspapers simply gave the essential facts of their area births. Like these births from the San Francisco (CA) Daily Evening Bulletin 12 August 1856.

But no matter how much detail the newspaper included, genealogists will find GenealogyBank a practical tool for uncovering the birth notices for their relatives.

Since the name of the child is not always given, search for them by the name of the parents or simply the surname. You may limit your search by date or place to see if the birth of the children you are looking for was published in the newspaper.

For a complete list of the newspaper titles and dates of coverage click here.

Newspapers are a great source for finding the historical records that document our family tree.