August Update: 4 Million Genealogy Records Just Added!

Every day, GenealogyBank is working hard to digitize more newspapers and obituaries, expanding our burgeoning collection to give you the largest newspaper archives for family history research available online. We just completed adding 4 million more U.S. genealogy records, vastly increasing our content coverage from coast to coast!

screenshot of GenealogyBank's homepage showing the Monthly Update for the month of August

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

  • A total of 30 newspaper titles from 19 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia
  • 10 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

To see our newspaper archives’ complete title lists, click here.

State City Title Date Range Collection
California Idyllwild Idyllwild Town Crier 11/1/1946–12/20/1947 Newspaper Archives
California Redding Free Press 1/2/1892–12/31/1892 Newspaper Archives
California Riverside Riverside Daily Press 4/1/1941–6/30/1941 Newspaper Archives
California San Francisco San Francisco Chronicle 1/1/1871–8/31/1984 Newspaper Archives
Connecticut Cheshire Cheshire Citizen, The* 11/20/2012–Current Recent Obituaries
Connecticut New Canaan New Canaan Messenger 1/2/1904–12/25/1909 Newspaper Archives
District of Columbia Washington (DC) Washington Times 3/1/1982–10/31/1989 Newspaper Archives
Idaho Boise Idaho Statesman 10/21/1886–12/6/1970 Newspaper Archives
Idaho Idaho Falls Idaho Falls Times* 5/16/1966–5/31/1966 Newspaper Archives
Indiana Evansville Evansville Courier and Press 1/1/1932–12/31/1937 Newspaper Archives
Kentucky Lexington Lexington Herald-Leader* 3/1/1951–1/8/1984 Newspaper Archives
Kentucky Lexington Lexington Leader 1/1/1965–9/15/1981 Newspaper Archives
Louisiana New Orleans New Orleans States 11/1/1923–11/30/1928 Newspaper Archives
Louisiana New Orleans Times-Picayune 1/1/1860–9/3/1860 Newspaper Archives
Maryland Baltimore Sun 1/28/1921–2/20/1921 Newspaper Archives
Massachusetts Manomet Manomet Current, The* 04/27/2011–Current Recent Obituaries
Mississippi Biloxi Daily Herald* 4/1/1953–12/31/1955 Newspaper Archives
Missouri Kansas City Kansas City Star 5/27/1945–7/12/1945 Newspaper Archives
New Mexico Albuquerque Albuquerque Morning Democrat 9/20/1882–12/30/1885 Newspaper Archives
North Carolina Winston-Salem Winston-Salem Journal 4/1/1921–12/31/1922 Newspaper Archives
Ohio Cleveland Cleveland Leader 7/6/1902–7/6/1902 Newspaper Archives
Oklahoma Coweta Coweta American* 03/13/2006–Current Recent Obituaries
Pennsylvania Bristol LevittownNow.com* 03/13/2013–Current Recent Obituaries
Pennsylvania State College Centre Daily Times 7/1/1988–12/31/1996 Newspaper Archives
South Carolina Charleston Charleston News and Courier 5/1/1970–5/1/1970 Newspaper Archives
South Carolina Charleston Evening Post 11/1/1977–11/30/1977 Newspaper Archives
Texas Austin Texas State Gazette 8/25/1849–6/7/1851 Newspaper Archives
Texas San Angelo San Angelo LIVE!* 06/09/2015–Current Recent Obituaries
Virginia Dumfries, Stafford, Woodbridge Potomac Local* 06/28/2010–Current Recent Obituaries
West Virginia Charleston Charleston Gazette-Mail* 07/20/2015–Current Recent Obituaries

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Tennessee Archives: 78 Newspapers for Genealogy Research

Originally part of North Carolina, Tennessee was admitted into the Union as the nation’s 16th state on 1 June 1796. It is the 36th largest of the United States, and the 17th most populous. So many volunteer soldiers from Tennessee fought for the young U.S. during the War of 1812 with Great Britain – especially at the famous Battle of New Orleans under the leadership of Andrew Jackson – that Tennessee earned the nickname “The Volunteer State.”

photo of the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville

Photo: Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville. Credit: Kaldari; Wikimedia Commons.

If you are researching your ancestry from Tennessee, you will want to use GenealogyBank’s online TN newspaper archives: 78 titles to help you search your family history in “The Volunteer State,” providing coverage from 1793 to Today. There are more than 3.7 million articles and records in our online Tennessee archives!

Dig deep into our archives and search for historical and recent obituaries and other news articles about your Tennessee ancestors in these TN newspapers online. Our Tennessee newspapers are divided into two collections: Historical Newspapers (complete paper) and Recent Obituaries (obituaries only). Note that GenealogyBank’s expansive collection includes rare publications that date back to the late 1700s and early 1800s, including Tennessee’s first newspaper: the Knoxville Gazette.

Search Tennessee Newspaper Archives (1793 – 1982)

Search Tennessee Recent Obituaries (1990 – Current)

illustration of the state flag of Tennessee

Illustration: state flag of Tennessee. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Here is a list of online Tennessee 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 TN newspaper titles are listed alphabetically by city.

City Title Date Range* Collection
Athens Daily Post-Athenian 03/28/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Carthage Western Express 11/21/1808 – 11/21/1808 Newspaper Archives
Carthage Carthage Gazette 08/13/1808 – 07/01/1817 Newspaper Archives
Chattanooga Chattanooga Times Free Press 04/01/1995 – Current Recent Obituaries
Chattanooga Chattanooga Courier 02/10/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Chattanooga Chattanooga Daily Rebel 08/09/1862 – 08/30/1863 Newspaper Archives
Chattanooga Justice 12/24/1887 – 12/24/1887 Newspaper Archives
Clarksville Clarksville Gazette 11/21/1819 – 12/23/1820 Newspaper Archives
Clarksville Weekly Chronicle 02/18/1818 – 09/16/1818 Newspaper Archives
Clarksville Town Gazette & Farmers Register 07/05/1819 – 11/08/1819 Newspaper Archives
Clarksville Tennessee Weekly Chronicle 01/27/1819 – 06/07/1819 Newspaper Archives
Cleveland Cleveland Daily Banner 05/05/1998 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbia Daily Herald 01/10/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cookeville Herald-Citizen 04/12/1998 – Current Recent Obituaries
Crossville Crossville Chronicle 09/01/1996 – Current Recent Obituaries
Crossville Glade Sun 06/02/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Dayton Herald-News 08/28/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Elizabethton Elizabethton Star 04/08/2014 – Current Recent Obituaries
Erwin Erwin Record 02/16/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Greeneville Greeneville Sun 09/14/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hartsville Hartsville Vidette 07/06/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Jackson Jackson Headlight 01/27/1900 – 01/27/1900 Newspaper Archives
Johnson City Johnson City Press 06/30/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Jonesborough Herald & Tribune 02/01/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Kingsport Kingsport Times-News 01/10/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Kingston Roane County News 10/31/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Knoxville Knoxville Register 08/10/1816 – 10/22/1839 Newspaper Archives
Knoxville Negro World 10/15/1887 – 11/26/1887 Newspaper Archives
Knoxville Knoxville News-Sentinel 01/01/1940 – 12/31/1982 Newspaper Archives
Knoxville Knoxville Journal 04/01/1888 – 12/31/1896 Newspaper Archives
Knoxville Knoxville News Sentinel: Blogs 06/01/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Knoxville Press and Messenger 01/08/1873 – 12/15/1875 Newspaper Archives
Knoxville Knoxville Gazette 12/07/1793 – 10/29/1806 Newspaper Archives
Knoxville Knoxville News Sentinel 01/04/1991 – Current Recent Obituaries
Knoxville Knoxville Gazette 09/01/1818 – 09/01/1818 Newspaper Archives
Knoxville Knoxville Enlightener 03/23/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lafayette Macon County Times 10/08/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
LaFollette LaFollette Press 11/21/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lebanon Lebanon Democrat 07/06/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lenoir City News-Herald 09/27/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Maryville Blount Today 02/01/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Maryville Daily Times 12/12/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Memphis Commercial Appeal 01/01/1968 – 12/31/1969 Newspaper Archives
Memphis Commercial Appeal, The: Web Edition Articles 05/19/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Memphis Memphis Triangle 11/17/1928 – 07/27/1929 Newspaper Archives
Memphis Commercial Appeal 06/27/1990 – Current Recent Obituaries
Memphis Memphis Daily Avalanche 01/01/1866 – 04/30/1869 Newspaper Archives
Memphis Tri-State Defender 08/03/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Memphis Memphis Evening Post 04/27/1868 – 05/31/1869 Newspaper Archives
Mt. Juliet Mt. Juliet News 07/06/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Murfreesboro Murfreesboro Union 06/06/1939 – 06/06/1939 Newspaper Archives
Nashville Nashville Clarion 02/16/1808 – 08/29/1821 Newspaper Archives
Nashville City Paper 01/09/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Nashville Nashville Scene 11/23/1995 – Current Recent Obituaries
Nashville Colored Tennessean 08/12/1865 – 07/18/1866 Newspaper Archives
Nashville Nashville Pride 01/02/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Nashville National Banner and Nashville Whig 09/16/1834 – 12/30/1836 Newspaper Archives
Nashville Tennessee Gazette 02/25/1800 – 05/30/1807 Newspaper Archives
Nashville Nashville Post 01/21/2000 – Current Recent Obituaries
Nashville National Banner and Daily Advertiser 01/01/1834 – 09/15/1834 Newspaper Archives
Nashville Impartial Review, and Cumberland Repository 01/18/1806 – 08/16/1806 Newspaper Archives
Nashville Murfreesboro Vision 01/15/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Nashville Nashville Republican 01/16/1835 – 01/16/1835 Newspaper Archives
Nashville Nashville Examiner 09/29/1813 – 05/25/1814 Newspaper Archives
Nashville Nashville Republican 08/07/1824 – 10/16/1833 Newspaper Archives
Nashville Nashville Gazette 05/26/1819 – 02/14/1827 Newspaper Archives
Nashville Review 11/10/1809 – 05/03/1811 Newspaper Archives
Newport Newport Plain Talk 07/01/1998 – Current Recent Obituaries
Oak Ridge Oak Ridger 02/17/1997 – Current Recent Obituaries
Paris Paris Post-Intelligencer 07/05/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Rogersville Western Pilot 08/19/1815 – 08/19/1815 Newspaper Archives
Rogersville Rogersville Review 12/16/1998 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sevierville Mountain Press 10/03/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Shelbyville Tennessee Herald 12/19/1817 – 03/08/1820 Newspaper Archives
Spring Hill Advertiser News 05/14/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sweetwater Advocate and Democrat 06/12/1998 – Current Recent Obituaries
Tazewell Claiborne Progress 11/18/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Wartburg Morgan County News 12/19/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries

*Date Ranges may have selected coverage unavailable.

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Ohio Archives: 194 Newspapers for Genealogy Research

Originally part of early America’s “Northwest Territory,” Ohio joined the nation as the 17th state on 1 March 1803. Ohio is the country’s 34th largest state, and the 7th most populous. It’s largest city is the capital, Columbus.

photo of an Ohio welcome sign on Highway 52

Photo: Ohio welcome sign on Highway 52. Credit: Andreas Faessler; Wikimedia Commons.

If you are researching your ancestry from Ohio, you will want to use GenealogyBank’s online OH newspaper archives: 194 titles to help you search your family history in “The Buckeye State,” providing coverage from 1795 to Today. There are more than 118 million articles and records in our online Ohio archives!

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

Search Ohio Newspaper Archives (1795 – 1991)

Search Ohio Recent Obituaries (1985 – Current)

illustration of the state flag of Ohio

Illustration: state flag of Ohio. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Here is a list of online Ohio 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 OH newspaper titles are listed alphabetically by city.

Ohio Population Fact

The 500-mile radius surrounding Columbus, OH, houses 50% of the state’s population. GenealogyBank’s archives span Columbus news from the 1800s to today.

City Title Date Range* Collection
Ada Ada Icon 04/28/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Akron Akron Beacon Journal: Blogs 08/15/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Akron Akron Beacon Journal 01/07/1985 – Current Recent Obituaries
Akron Summit County Beacon 01/03/1877 – 12/25/1889 Newspaper Archives
Amherst Amherst News-Times 10/20/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ashtabula Star Beacon 10/30/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Athens Athens Messenger 09/01/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Avon, Avon Park Sun Sentinel 02/05/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bay Village West Shore Sun 04/22/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Beachwood Sun Press 04/25/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Beavercreek News-Current 09/14/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bellbrook, Sugarcreek Sugarcreek-Bellbrook Times 08/28/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bellefontaine Weekly Currents 01/09/2014 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bellevue Bellevue Gazette 10/23/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bellville Bellville Star 11/21/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Berea News Sun 09/04/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bexley Bexley News 09/17/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bluffton Bluffton Icon 10/04/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bluffton Bluffton News 12/30/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune 02/06/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Brunswick Brunswick Sun 09/18/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cadiz Cadiz Informant 01/09/1818 – 01/09/1818 Newspaper Archives
Canton Repository 02/23/1878 – 03/08/1953 Newspaper Archives
Canton Canton Repository 03/30/1815 – 12/28/1905 Newspaper Archives
Canton Canton Daily News 04/09/1917 – 04/09/1917 Newspaper Archives
Canton Daily Repository and Republican 06/11/1873 – 06/21/1873 Newspaper Archives
Canton Repository 10/01/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Chagrin Falls, Solon Chagrin Solon Sun 11/27/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Chillicothe Fredonian 02/19/1807 – 08/10/1813 Newspaper Archives
Chillicothe Scioto Gazette 08/02/1801 – 12/26/1839 Newspaper Archives
Chillicothe Weekly Recorder 07/05/1814 – 12/27/1820 Newspaper Archives
Chillicothe Supporter 01/05/1809 – 01/20/1818 Newspaper Archives
Chillicothe Ohio Herald 07/27/1805 – 11/15/1806 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Cincinnati Herald 02/13/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cincinnati Whig 04/13/1809 – 05/02/1810 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Cincinnati Post 07/01/1882 – 12/30/1922 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Catholic Telegraph 03/06/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cincinnati Cincinnati Daily Gazette 01/01/1835 – 01/03/1883 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Centinel of the North-Western Territory 05/23/1795 – 03/05/1799 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Liberty Hall 12/23/1805 – 12/30/1814 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Cincinnati Daily Enquirer 01/04/1861 – 09/30/1876 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Colored Citizen 05/19/1866 – 05/19/1866 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Philanthropist 05/06/1836 – 10/28/1840 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Cincinnati Commercial Tribune 01/01/1869 – 12/31/1890 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Cincinnati Chronicle and Literary Gazette 02/17/1827 – 10/24/1829 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Spirit of the West 07/26/1814 – 04/15/1815 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Cincinnati Volksfreund 02/18/1863 – 12/28/1904 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Cincinnati Advertiser 01/26/1819 – 09/26/1827 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Cincinnati Republikaner 12/01/1858 – 03/23/1861 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Western Spy and Hamilton Gazette 06/04/1799 – 12/25/1805 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Cincinnati Post 04/02/1990 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cincinnati Cincinnati Daily Times 07/01/1871 – 12/30/1876 Newspaper Archives
Circleville Circleville Herald 07/01/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cleveland Plain Dealer 04/07/1845 – 05/31/1991 Newspaper Archives
Cleveland News and Herald 04/02/1887 – 04/18/1905 Newspaper Archives
Cleveland Plain Dealer, The: Web Edition Articles 10/15/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cleveland Plain Dealer 06/02/1991 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cleveland Cleveland Gazette 08/25/1883 – 05/20/1945 Newspaper Archives
Cleveland Cleveland Tri-Weekly Leader 11/19/1863 – 11/19/1863 Newspaper Archives
Cleveland Aliened American 04/09/1853 – 04/09/1853 Newspaper Archives
Cleveland Cleveland Leader 06/01/1854 – 12/31/1913 Newspaper Archives
Cleveland Sendbote 01/05/1927 – 06/26/1952 Newspaper Archives
Clinton Ohio Register 06/26/1813 – 12/05/1815 Newspaper Archives
Clyde Clyde Enterprise 12/17/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Ohio Statesman 09/05/1837 – 11/02/1852 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Columbus Dispatch 07/16/1985 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Worthington News 09/25/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus German Village Gazette 11/07/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Columbus Standard 07/27/1901 – 07/27/1901 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Ohio State Journal 10/13/1825 – 10/09/1860 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Northwest Columbus News 01/08/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Daily Reporter 01/09/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Other Paper 07/10/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Northland News 09/13/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Olentangy Valley News 09/18/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Lantern, The: Ohio State University 08/03/1998 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Times 09/17/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Whitehall News 09/19/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Tri-Village News 09/19/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Big Walnut News 09/12/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus ThisWeek Community Newspapers 05/09/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Westland News 09/19/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Tri-weekly Ohio Statesman 03/19/1845 – 08/09/1847 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Lutherische Kirchenzeitung 01/01/1910 – 01/01/1910 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Ohio Monitor 01/13/1820 – 02/12/1835 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Booster 09/12/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Daily Ohio Statesman 08/11/1847 – 12/29/1865 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Gahanna News 09/17/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Crisis 01/31/1861 – 01/19/1870 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Free American 03/19/1887 – 03/19/1887 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Daily Ohio State Journal 03/13/1839 – 11/22/1876 Newspaper Archives
Dayton Minority Report 01/01/1969 – 12/18/1970 Newspaper Archives
Dayton Ohio Republican 11/01/1813 – 10/02/1816 Newspaper Archives
Dayton Democratic Herald 05/07/1835 – 08/12/1837 Newspaper Archives
Dayton Dayton Daily News 02/01/1990 – Current Recent Obituaries
Delaware Sunbury News 10/19/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Delaware Delaware News 09/27/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Delaware Delaware Gazette 10/01/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Dublin Dublin News 09/18/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Eaton Register Herald 10/17/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Elyria Elyria Republican 02/12/1835 – 12/27/1837 Newspaper Archives
Englewood Englewood Independent 10/23/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fairborn Fairborn Daily Herald 08/25/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fairfield Fairfield Echo 12/07/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Findlay Courier 03/17/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fostoria Review Times 07/14/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fredericktown Knox County Citizen 12/11/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Galion Galion Inquirer 10/22/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Gallipolis Gallipolis Daily Tribune 10/14/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Gallipolis, Pomeroy Sunday Times Sentinel 04/23/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Gates Mills Sun Messenger 09/14/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Georgetown News Democrat 11/21/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Green Suburbanite 11/02/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Greenville Daily Advocate 07/06/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Grove City Grove City News 09/19/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hamilton JournalNews 10/05/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hilliard Hilliard Northwest News 09/17/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hillsboro Times-Gazette 11/01/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Huber Heights Huber Heights Courier 08/27/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ironton Ironton Tribune 10/02/2014 – Current Recent Obituaries
Jackson Jackson County Times-Journal 07/01/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lakewood Sun Post-Herald 10/28/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lancaster Independent Press 09/12/1812 – 09/12/1812 Newspaper Archives
Lancaster Political Observatory, and Fairfield Register 09/08/1810 – 09/15/1810 Newspaper Archives
Lebanon Western Star 02/13/1807 – 07/11/1820 Newspaper Archives
Lebanon Western Star 01/04/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lima Lima News 08/01/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Logan Logan Daily News 08/05/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
London Madison Press 10/20/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Marblehead Peninsula News 10/25/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Marietta Western Spectator 10/30/1810 – 01/25/1812 Newspaper Archives
Marietta American Friend 04/24/1813 – 06/19/1818 Newspaper Archives
Marietta Ohio Gazette and Virginia Herald 04/24/1806 – 12/09/1811 Newspaper Archives
Mason Pulse-Journal 01/05/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Massillon Independent 08/06/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
McArthur Vinton County Courier 07/30/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Mechanicsburg Telegram 02/24/2014 – Current Recent Obituaries
Medina Medina Sun 05/17/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Middletown Middletown Journal 08/06/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Minster Community Post 09/04/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Mt. Gilead Morrow County Sentinel 10/24/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
New Albany New Albany News 09/17/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
New Lexington Perry County Tribune 07/30/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
New Philadelphia Times Reporter 07/17/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
New Richmond Philanthropist 01/01/1836 – 02/26/1836 Newspaper Archives
North Baltimore North Baltimore News 08/25/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Norwalk Norwalk Reflector 05/31/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Oberlin Oberlin News-Tribune 11/01/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Oxford Oxford Press 11/18/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Painesville Painesville Telegraph 09/25/1822 – 12/31/1845 Newspaper Archives
Parma Parma Sun Post 02/17/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Pickerington Pickerington Times-Sun 09/18/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Piqua Piqua Daily Call 08/07/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Plain City Plain City Advocate 10/20/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Pomeroy Daily Sentinel 10/17/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Portsmouth Community Common 12/20/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Portsmouth Portsmouth Daily Times 10/11/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ravenna Portage County Democrat 04/05/1854 – 03/28/1855 Newspaper Archives
Reynoldsburg Reynoldsburg News 09/19/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ripley Ripley Bee 11/22/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sandusky Daily Commercial Register 04/24/1848 – 04/24/1867 Newspaper Archives
Sandusky Sandusky Register 12/04/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sidney Sidney Daily News 09/13/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Springfield Springfield News-Sun 10/03/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
St. Clairsville Ohio Federalist and Belmont Repository 08/15/1816 – 12/11/1817 Newspaper Archives
St. Clairsville Impartial Expositor 03/25/1809 – 03/25/1809 Newspaper Archives
St. Marys Evening Leader 04/02/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Steubenville Jefferson Democrat and Farmers’ and Mechanics’ Advocate 05/25/1831 – 02/06/1833 Newspaper Archives
Steubenville Steubenville Herald 11/05/1812 – 06/23/1827 Newspaper Archives
Strongsville Sun Star Courier 10/29/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Swanton Swanton Enterprise 04/14/2014 – Current Recent Obituaries
Tipp City Weekly Record Herald 11/22/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Toledo Blade 09/24/1996 – Current Recent Obituaries
Toledo Toledo Express 03/31/1932 – 03/31/1932 Newspaper Archives
Troy Troy Daily News 09/14/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Upper Arlington Upper Arlington News 09/17/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Urbana Spirit of Liberty 04/04/1816 – 04/04/1816 Newspaper Archives
Urbana Urbana Daily Citizen 11/18/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Vandalia Vandalia Drummer News 08/30/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Wapakoneta Wapakoneta Daily News 03/10/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Warren Trump of Fame 11/05/1812 – 08/07/1861 Newspaper Archives
Washington Court House Record-Herald 11/01/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Waverly Pike County News Watchman 07/02/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Wellington Wellington Enterprise 11/05/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
West Union People’s Defender 11/12/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Westerville Westerville News & Public Opinion 09/17/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Williamsburg Western American 07/29/1814 – 09/07/1816 Newspaper Archives
Wilmington Wilmington News Journal 07/26/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Wooster Wooster Republican 06/16/1853 – 12/26/1872 Newspaper Archives
Xenia Greene County Torch-Light 07/01/1841 – 12/26/1850 Newspaper Archives
Xenia Greene County Journal 10/02/1863 – 02/05/1864 Newspaper Archives
Xenia Ohio Standard and Observer 01/27/1900 – 01/27/1900 Newspaper Archives
Xenia Daily Gazette 08/10/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Youngstown Daily Legal News 06/24/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries

*Date Ranges may have selected coverage unavailable.

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Georgia Archives: 141 Newspapers for Genealogy Research

The last of the original Thirteen Colonies and named after Great Britain’s King George II, Georgia was established in 1732. Its most populous city is Atlanta, the state capital. Georgia is the nation’s 24th largest state, and the 8th most populous.

photo of the Georgia State Capitol building in Atlanta, Georgia

Photo: Georgia State Capitol building in Atlanta, Georgia. The dome is covered with gold leaf mined from the north Georgia city of Dahlonega. Credit: J. Glover (AUtiger); Wikimedia Commons.

If you are researching your ancestry from Georgia, you will want to use GenealogyBank’s online GA newspaper archives: 141 titles to help you search your family history in the “Peach State,” providing coverage from 1763 to Today. There are more than 69 million articles and records in our online Georgia archives!

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

Search Georgia Newspaper Archives (1763 – 2003)

Search Georgia Recent Obituaries (1985 – Current)

illustration of the state flag of Georgia

Illustration: state flag of Georgia. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Here is a list of online Georgia 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 GA newspaper titles are listed alphabetically by city.

City Title Date Range* Collection
Acworth Bright Side, The [Kennesaw-Acworth Edition] 6/1/2011 – 12/1/2013 Recent Obituaries
Albany Albany Herald 10/20/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Alpharetta, Roswell Revue & News 1/5/2006 – 10/14/2009 Recent Obituaries
Americus Americus Times-Recorder 6/23/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Athens Southern Banner 3/23/1833 – 1/4/1865 Newspaper Archives
Athens Athens Banner-Herald 6/10/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Atlanta Jeffersonian 6/17/1909 – 11/17/1910 Newspaper Archives
Atlanta Weekly Defiance 10/24/1882 – 2/24/1883 Newspaper Archives
Atlanta Atlanta Age 1/13/1900 – 1/13/1900 Newspaper Archives
Atlanta Atlanta Daily World 2/23/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Atlanta Emory Wheel, The: Emory University 8/25/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
Atlanta Atlanta Jewish Times 4/28/2006 – 3/13/2009 Recent Obituaries
Atlanta Atlanta Journal-Constitution 1/1/1985 – Current Recent Obituaries
Atlanta Maroon Tiger, The: Morehouse College 8/25/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Augusta Augusta Chronicle 1/7/1792 – 11/30/2003 Newspaper Archives
Augusta Daily Constitutionalist 3/19/1833 – 12/31/1869 Newspaper Archives
Augusta Augusta Herald 7/17/1799 – 12/28/1815 Newspaper Archives
Augusta Southern Centinel, and Universal Gazette 11/28/1793 – 5/31/1798 Newspaper Archives
Augusta Mirror of the Times 10/31/1808 – 10/28/1811 Newspaper Archives
Augusta Weekly Constitutionalist 9/26/1860 – 1/12/1876 Newspaper Archives
Augusta Loyal Georgian 1/20/1866 – 2/15/1868 Newspaper Archives
Augusta Georgia Gazette and General Advertiser 2/5/1816 – 3/11/1816 Newspaper Archives
Augusta Colored American 12/30/1865 – 1/13/1866 Newspaper Archives
Augusta Augusta Union 1/27/1900 – 1/27/1900 Newspaper Archives
Augusta Augusta Chronicle 1/1/1994 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bainbridge Bainbridge Post-Searchlight 10/3/2014 – Current Recent Obituaries
Blue Ridge News Observer 3/28/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Canton Cherokee Tribune 11/21/1998 – Current Recent Obituaries
Carrollton Times-Georgian 5/8/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cartersville Bartow Neighbor 12/30/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cartersville Daily Tribune News 8/11/1998 – Current Recent Obituaries
Chatsworth Chatsworth Times 11/17/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Clayton Clayton Tribune 11/21/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cleveland White County News 7/19/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Columbus Daily Enquirer 9/24/1858 – 12/13/1945 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Columbus Ledger 1/3/1903 – 12/31/1922 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Columbus Daily Sun 9/1/1865 – 2/28/1873 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Columbus Tri-Weekly Enquirer 11/27/1855 – 9/21/1858 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Sunday Herald 10/17/1897 – 5/12/1900 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Columbus Weekly Enquirer 1/3/1887 – 5/6/1899 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Columbus Weekly Ledger 5/21/1903 – 6/4/1903 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Columbus Chronicle 1/27/1900 – 1/27/1900 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer 6/8/1993 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer: Blogs 8/3/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Conyers Rockdale Citizen 2/28/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cordele Cordele Dispatch 12/16/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cornelia Northeast Georgian 4/12/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Covington Newton Citizen 11/16/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cumming Forsyth County News 2/16/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cumming Forsyth Herald 3/23/2006 – 11/30/2009 Recent Obituaries
Dahlonega Dahlonega Nugget 1/4/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Dallas Paulding County Sentinel 7/8/2009 – 4/9/2010 Recent Obituaries
Dalton Daily Citizen 9/29/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Darien Darien Gazette 1/4/1819 – 9/2/1828 Newspaper Archives
Dawsonville Dawson News & Advertiser 6/5/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Decatur Decaturish.com 11/6/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Decatur DeKalb Neighbor 4/22/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Douglasville Douglas County Sentinel 5/21/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Douglasville Douglas Neighbor 3/2/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Duluth Johns Creek Herald 1/5/2006 – 12/10/2009 Recent Obituaries
Dunwoody Dunwoody Crier 3/3/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Elberton Elberton Star & Examiner 8/2/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fayetteville Today in Peachtree City 5/2/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fayetteville Fayette Chronicle 8/25/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fayetteville Fayette County News 12/2/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Griffin Daily Chattanooga Rebel 6/9/1864 – 9/17/1864 Newspaper Archives
Griffin Griffin Daily News 5/17/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hartwell Hartwell Sun 7/7/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Jackson Jackson Progress-Argus 10/23/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Jasper Pickens County Progress 10/7/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Jesup Press-Sentinel 9/13/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Jonesboro Clayton News Daily 10/10/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
LaGrange LaGrange Daily News 1/1/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lake Lanier Lakeside on Lanier 8/1/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lavonia Franklin County Citizen 8/2/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lawrenceville Gwinnett Daily Post 3/16/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Loganville Loganville Tribune 7/25/2007 – 10/21/2009 Recent Obituaries
Louisville Louisville Gazette 5/12/1802 – 3/2/1811 Newspaper Archives
Louisville Louisville Courier 8/21/1811 – 10/30/1811 Newspaper Archives
Louisville American Standard 5/14/1812 – 5/14/1812 Newspaper Archives
Macon Macon Telegraph 2/1/1860 – 12/31/1945 Newspaper Archives
Macon Macon Weekly Telegraph 11/1/1826 – 6/30/1909 Newspaper Archives
Macon Georgia Messenger 1/4/1825 – 8/28/1845 Newspaper Archives
Macon Macon Sentinel 1/27/1900 – 1/27/1900 Newspaper Archives
Macon Macon Daily Herald 5/8/1865 – 5/8/1865 Newspaper Archives
Macon Macon Telegraph 8/18/1994 – Current Recent Obituaries
Marietta Marietta Journal 9/18/1868 – 10/31/1998 Newspaper Archives
Marietta Cobb County Times 10/5/1916 – 3/26/1925 Newspaper Archives
Marietta Chattanooga Daily Rebel 2/23/1864 – 4/22/1864 Newspaper Archives
Marietta Marietta Daily Journal 12/7/1998 – Current Recent Obituaries
McDonough Henry Daily Herald 10/10/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Milledgeville Georgia Journal 12/12/1809 – 9/22/1835 Newspaper Archives
Milledgeville Southern Recorder 2/13/1821 – 3/21/1865 Newspaper Archives
Milledgeville Reflector 11/12/1817 – 2/2/1819 Newspaper Archives
Milledgeville Georgia Argus 7/5/1808 – 2/14/1816 Newspaper Archives
Milledgeville Milledgeville Republican 3/20/1816 – 3/27/1816 Newspaper Archives
Milledgeville Union-Recorder 10/24/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Monroe Walton Tribune 1/1/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Moultrie Moultrie Observer 7/5/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Mt. Zion Missionary 1/28/1820 – 5/16/1825 Newspaper Archives
Newnan Newnan Times-Herald 10/12/1996 – Current Recent Obituaries
Peachtree Corners Weekly 6/5/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Richmond Hill Bryan County Now 3/22/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sandy Springs Sandy Springs Neighbor 10/27/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Savannah Columbian Museum 3/22/1796 – 10/3/1822 Newspaper Archives
Savannah Savannah Tribune 12/4/1875 – 12/28/1922 Newspaper Archives
Savannah Georgian 1/4/1819 – 1/1/1833 Newspaper Archives
Savannah Savannah Republican 3/21/1807 – 12/31/1851 Newspaper Archives
Savannah Savannah Daily Advertiser 12/8/1868 – 4/23/1875 Newspaper Archives
Savannah Georgia Gazette 4/7/1763 – 11/25/1802 Newspaper Archives
Savannah Public Intelligencer 4/18/1807 – 10/18/1808 Newspaper Archives
Savannah Royal Georgia Gazette 8/12/1779 – 12/27/1781 Newspaper Archives
Savannah Southern Patriot 7/26/1805 – 3/24/1806 Newspaper Archives
Savannah Georgia Republican and State Intelligencer 9/4/1802 – 10/22/1805 Newspaper Archives
Savannah Savannah Wholesale Prices Current 3/18/1819 – 5/18/1820 Newspaper Archives
Savannah Savannah Weekly Echo 8/26/1883 – 2/10/1884 Newspaper Archives
Savannah Georgia Journal and Independent Federal Register 12/25/1793 – 1/1/1794 Newspaper Archives
Savannah Gazette of the State of Georgia 2/13/1783 – 2/13/1783 Newspaper Archives
Savannah Savannah Tribune 8/13/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Savannah West Chatham Neighbor 4/28/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Savannah Coastal Senior 6/1/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Savannah Business in Savannah 3/31/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Savannah Coastal Antiques and Art 7/1/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
Savannah Savannah Morning News 7/1/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Savannah Closeup 11/11/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Senoia East Coweta Journal 11/11/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sparta Farmer’s Gazette 6/17/1803 – 8/8/1807 Newspaper Archives
Springfield Effingham Now 10/26/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
St. Mary’s Tribune & Georgian 11/3/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Thomaston Thomaston Times 10/9/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Thomasville Thomasville Times-Enterprise 11/14/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Thomson Jeffersonian 12/1/1910 – 10/8/1914 Newspaper Archives
Tifton Tifton Gazette 7/25/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Toccoa Toccoa Record 6/24/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Valdosta Valdosta Daily Times 9/5/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Washington Monitor 10/7/1800 – 8/6/1814 Newspaper Archives
Washington News 2/23/1816 – 4/9/1819 Newspaper Archives
Waycross Waycross Journal-Herald 8/25/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
West Point West Point Times-News 10/6/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Winder Barrow County News 2/3/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Woodstock Cherokee Ledger-News 8/18/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries

*Date Ranges may have selected coverage unavailable.

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Filling In My Family Tree with Stories in Old Newspapers

Introduction: Scott Phillips is a genealogical historian and owner of Onward To Our Past® genealogy services. In this blog post, Scott shares some of the family stories he’s learned by searching through old newspapers—stories that help him get to know his ancestors better than just the names and dates on a family tree.

Everyone who enjoys working on their family history knows that nothing enhances your family tree and attracts more family to your work than the stories you weave together in your research! My family tree is full of interesting stories—and I am always on the lookout for more of them to add to our family history every opportunity I get. One of the best places I have found for discovering these stories is in historical newspapers—and GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives are my “go to” source for those newspapers.

GenealogyBank’s newspapers have given me some of the biggest leads in my genealogy work, as well as having added real sparkle to, and interest in, our family tree.

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My Great Grandfather the Union Man

It was a newspaper discovery that really helped me break down the brick wall that was my maternal great grandfather, Joseph K. Vicha. My breakthrough genealogical find was this 1896 newspaper article that stated: “J. K. Vicha of the Clothing Salesmen’s union was nominated and elected by acclamation.” With this tidbit of knowledge that my great grandfather had been the president of the Central Labor Union, I was able to begin following his career through the years.

article about Joseph Vicha being elected president of the Central Labor Union, Plain Dealer newspaper article 9 January 1896

Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), 9 January 1896, page 3

It was then with particular interest that I read an article from the same date but published in a different Cleveland newspaper, titled “Peanut Reform. How the Central Labor Union Regards the School Bank.” It seems that with my great grandfather as president, the Central Labor Union was protesting the establishment of savings accounts at public schools…something that I well remember from my own younger school days. I guess he must not have been successful in his protest on this matter!

article about the Central Labor Union protesting the establishment of savings accounts at public schools, Cleveland Leader newspaper article 9 January 1896

Cleveland Leader (Cleveland, Ohio), 9 January 1896, page 8

My Mother’s First Engagement

Another fascinating fact I found concerned my own mother. While I was looking for any possible newspaper articles regarding her marriage to my dad, I happened to find this 1942 article. It was a brief story regarding an engagement announcement made by my grandmother for my mother, Laverne Evenden. However, I quickly noticed it was to a man she never ended up marrying. What a fun family find! Plus it brought a great opportunity for me to hear the whole story of what happened from my mom later on.

engagement notice for Laverne Evenden and Lincoln Christensen, Plain Dealer newspaper article 4 January 1942

Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), 4 January 1942, page 50

My Cousin & Minnie

Of course one of my all-time favorite story finds in the newspaper for my family tree—as regular readers of this blog have heard me talk about before—was the story of one of my cousins, Joseph Kapl, who as a zookeeper was almost trampled to death by the “loveable” Minnie the elephant!

article about zookeeper Joseph Kapl and Minnie the elephant, Plain Dealer newspaper article 23 March 1915

Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), 23 March 1915, page 4

The West Side “Dean”

In one instance I was able to find, in an obituary, wonderful details about the life of another of my ancestors, Dr. J. J. Kotershall. While I am accustomed to finding worthwhile genealogical information in obituaries, Dr. Kotershall’s held some real gems. His 1945 obituary explained that he was “instrumental in bringing to Cleveland the city’s first X-ray units in 1903.” It also reported: “Born in Cleveland of Bohemian parentage, Dr. Kotershall had spent the major part of his practice among the Bohemian, Slavic, Polish, and German groups on the West Side.” The old news article even listed where he attended college and conducted his internship. It was a real gold mine.

obituary for Dr. Joseph Kotershall, Plain Dealer newspaper article 11 December 1945

Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), 11 December 1945, page 6

Pictures of the Pretty Twins

On another occasion I was working on a branch of our family tree that included two sisters, Josephine and Florence. I had the feeling they might be twins since their births were listed as the same on the 1920 U.S. Census. Then I discovered a 1937 article with the headline “Twins Choose Dissimilar Careers.” This old newspaper article confirmed my suspicion that the sisters were indeed twins, plus it featured photographs of the twins as well—and provided a very complete review of their formative years. The best, however, might have been the fact that it also listed their parents and home address.

article about the twins Florence and Josephine Kotershall, Plain Dealer newspaper article 7 June 1937

Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), 7 June 1937, page 3

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A Genuine Country Fair

In addition to our ancestors’ stories that we can find in newspapers, there are also those stories we can discover that add to our understanding of places and events in our own lives. For instance, as a youngster I remember when the week of the county fair was something that my buddies and I looked forward to all year long. The rides, the midway, the games, the booths, the animals, and naturally the food! In just a few minutes of searching in the newspapers I found an 1896 article showing that the fair began as the “West Cuyahoga County Fair” and was advertised in the newspaper back then as “a genuine country fair.”

article about the West Cuyahoga County Fair in Ohio, Plain Dealer newspaper article 16 September 1896

Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), 16 September 1896, page 10

As this 1927 newspaper advertisement shows, it is evident that the fair had become “the” fair since it was billed as simply the “Cuyahoga County Fair” complete with horse racing and the King’s Rodeo.

ad for the Cuyahoga County Fair in Ohio, Plain Dealer newspaper advertisement 28 August 1927

Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), 28 August 1927, page 10

It was even more fun when I came across a 1967 news article. Oh, how that one brought back memories! My best boyhood friend Matt and I would marvel at the sideshow barkers while we tried to make up our minds as to which show we would spend some of our hard-earned paper route money to see! Those were the days!

article about the sideshow barkers at the Cuyahoga County Fair in Ohio, Plain Dealer newspaper article 18 August 1967

Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), 18 August 1967, page 8

Over and over, newspapers provide us with key leads, great stories, and many details about the times of both our own lives and our ancestors.

What are some of your favorite stories you have found in the newspapers as you work on your genealogy and family history? I’d love to hear them so please leave a comment!

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Where Did My Ancestors Work? Newspapers Reveal Occupations

Introduction: Scott Phillips is a genealogical historian and owner of Onward To Our Past® genealogy services. In this blog post, Scott shows how old newspapers can tell you a lot about your ancestors’ occupations and workplaces, and thereby better understand their lives and the times in which they lived.

Everyone works. They say the only things you can’t avoid are death and taxes, but I’d have to add “working” to that list. And in our genealogy this is a good thing. Searching for information about our ancestors’ occupations and work can add significantly to our family trees. This is especially true when you work with the thousands of newspapers in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives.

We can gain some exciting and interesting insights into the lives of our ancestors when we add their occupations to our usual family research. As a matter of fact, my family tree is peppered with some wonderful discoveries that came as the result of researching the occupations and workplaces of my ancestors.

One of the aspects of my youth that I regret is that I neither paid close enough attention to, nor asked enough questions about, the work of several of my ancestors who are now gone.

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Uncle Chuck

One example is my uncle Chuck. I remember from my youth and family stories that he worked for a company with the name of Acme-Cleveland, but not much more. So not long ago I decided to do some research to see if I could learn more about one of my favorite uncles.

When I searched on the company name “Acme Cleveland,” GenealogyBank’s search results page showed 2,600 hits. One of those results was this 1978 newspaper article which gave a detailed history of the company, explaining that its roots go all the way back to 1896. It also mentioned that the headquarters were at one time considered “to be one of the most modern manufacturing plants in the United States.” This is a fact I never knew when we would drive by and I would always shout in the car, as though my parents and sisters didn’t know: “That’s where Uncle Chuck works!” In the last paragraph of this old newspaper article they even quoted my uncle.

National Acme Division of Acme-Cleveland, Plain Dealer newspaper article 19 July 1978

Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), 19 July 1978, page 23

 My Great-Great-Grandfather Frederick Evenden

In another instance, I decided to do some occupational research on my mother’s family. She lost her dad when she was only 12 so I didn’t have much to go on—but one of the stories my mother had shared was that her paternal grandfather, Frederick Evenden (1851-1918) had worked for a firm by the name of Chandler and Rudd. I began my newspaper search and soon found several advertisements for Chandler and Rudd published in an 1876 newspaper. It immediately sounded like a wonderful grocery store. Listed in the advertisements were enticing entries for cheese, nuts, fruit, etc. What a cornucopia of edible offerings!

food ads for grocer Chandler & Rudd, Cleveland Leader newspaper advertisements 28 November 1876

Cleveland Leader (Cleveland, Ohio), 28 November 1876, page 8

Then I found this Chandler and Rudd advertisement in a 1907 newspaper for Easter week. It was fun to see they were offering some of the same Easter treats we can get today, such as Cream Easter Eggs, Marshmallow Eggs, and Chocolate Covered Almonds, plus some others I was unfamiliar with—like Sunshine Candies, Nut Puffs, and Chocolate Covered Fig Squares.

Easter ad for grocer Chandler and Rudd, Plain Dealer newspaper article 18 March 1907

Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), 18 March 1907, page 9

My Grandfather-in-Law Pasquale D’Aquila

On my wife’s side of the family we are blessed to have many family members who owed their livelihoods to the iron mining industry. My wife’s paternal grandfather, Pasquale D’Aquila, was one of those men who toiled away in the austere conditions of the open pit iron ore mines of Northern Minnesota. This was only after he had spent a few years in the mines of Minas Gerais, Brazil; then Western Canada; and then Montana. Sadly, Pasquale passed away long before I joined the family, so I did some newspaper research on what it was like in the mines in his day.

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I first found this 1902 newspaper article. In addition to saying Hibbing, Minnesota, was “what is known in the expressive vernacular of the street as a ‘crackerjack,’” the article also stated: “Hibbing is at present the theater of greatest iron mining activity on the planet.”

Hibbing Theater of Big Iron Production, Duluth News-Tribune newspaper article 19 October 1902

Duluth News-Tribune (Duluth, Minnesota), 19 October 1902, page 2

But of course it wasn’t all “crackerjack”—the mining work was hard and dangerous, as were other types of work such as railroads and sawmills. This 1903 newspaper article reported that more than 1,000 “casualties among the working people of Minnesota” had occurred in the past year.

Many Accidents During the Year, Duluth News-Tribune newspaper article 3 October 1903

Duluth News-Tribune (Duluth, Minnesota), 3 October 1903, page 2

Sometimes it was dangerous just getting to work in the mines in those days, as reported in this 1911 newspaper article. The Scranton Mine was one of the mines Pasquale worked in, and the article explained an accident in detail—and reported that the men involved were John Lampi, Emil Jackson, and John Fari.

article about a train accident at the Scranton Mine, Duluth News-Tribune newspaper article 11 November 1911

Duluth News-Tribune (Duluth, Minnesota), 11 November 1911, page 3

Here’s another mining accident, reported in this 1916 newspaper article. The Albany Mine was another mine in which Pasquale worked, and this article explained how a dozen railroad cars, each filled with 50 tons of ore, broke loose and wrecked in the mine.

article about a train accident at the Albany Mine, Duluth News-Tribune newspaper article 5 November 1916

Duluth News-Tribune (Duluth, Minnesota), 5 November 1916, page 8

This 1918 newspaper article reported another danger my ancestor faced: the scourge of Spanish influenza. This article explained that the area was under consideration for the imposition of martial law to combat the spread of this flu. The article detailed the situation in Grand Rapids, Gilbert, Hibbing, Aitkin, and Virginia, Minnesota, even listing an entire paragraph of the names of all those who died from the flu in Grand Rapids alone. No doubt, it had to have been a challenging life in a tough environment.

article about the Spanish flu, Duluth News-Tribune newspaper article 12 November 1918

Duluth News-Tribune (Duluth, Minnesota), 12 November 1918, page 9

These many articles from the historical newspapers of GenealogyBank have added immensely to my family tree and my genealogy work. So when you get into your family history work, be sure to do some of your searching on the occupations and companies of your ancestors. These articles really add some wonderful depth and richness to your family tree!

Do you know what type of work your ancestors did for a living? Share their occupations with us in the comments.

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How to Uncover Vital Record Clues in Old Newspapers

Introduction: Scott Phillips is a genealogical historian and owner of Onward To Our Past® genealogy services. In this blog post, Scott starts off searching old newspapers for clues to help him find his ancestor’s birth record—and finds so much information that he ends up filling out a new branch of his family tree!

We all know the frustration we feel when, in working on our genealogy, we can’t find an elusive—but important—vital record for one of our ancestors. I suggest that one good approach is to search for genealogical clues in the historical newspapers from your ancestor’s era.

The good news is that, at times, these clues are waiting to be found in all kinds of locations throughout the newspapers. Let me give you a few examples of what I mean, based on searches I’ve done in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives.

Clues about the Birth of My Cousin

While I have a wealth of information on one of my first cousins twice removed, Joseph Vicha, I have been unable to find his actual birth document to verify the year he was born. So I set out to see what clues to his birth I might find in the newspapers. My first discovery was this divorce notice in an 1899 Cleveland newspaper, which provided me with two very useful genealogy clues. It seems that Mrs. Barbara Vicha was seeking a legal separation, divorce, and alimony from Joseph Vicha. This old news article not only lists their wedding date as 13 June 1896, it also notes that Barbara was seeking the return of her maiden name of Vomasta.

divorce notice for Joseph and Barbara Vicha, Cleveland Leader newspaper article 8 August 1899

Cleveland Leader (Cleveland, Ohio), 8 August 1899, page 10

These two clues—her maiden name and their wedding date—enabled me to do a follow-up search at Ancestry.com, where I found the marriage license for their marriage—which in turn gave me the additional information of the year of his birth!

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Investigating More of My Family Tree

As is so often the case in genealogy, I then became interested in finding out more about not only Joseph, but his wife, Barbara (Vomasta) Vicha. One thing led to another and, several hours later, I had learned a substantial amount about this interesting family. It was like opening a picture window to life in the early Czech community of Cleveland, all through one family.

As I continued my genealogy research I discovered that Barbara remarried after her divorce from Joseph. Not surprisingly it was to another Czech, with the surname of Vlk. I then did a search on Barbara Vlk and found this helpful obituary in a 1936 Cleveland newspaper. It is for a man named John Vonasta [Vomasta], and mentions that he was the “beloved brother of Barbara Vlk.” This obituary also lists two nieces, complete with their married names: Edna Carroll and Gladys Baldy [Baldi].

obituary for John Vomasta, Plain Dealer newspaper article 9 October 1936

Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), 9 October 1936, page 23

I followed up these clues with a search of one of the City Directories for Cleveland, Ohio, dated 1891. In it I read that while the head of the household, Vaclav (later James) Vomasta, was a laborer, his son John Vomasta was listed as a cigar maker. Both were reported as living on Rock Street, which was deep in the heart of one of the largest Czech neighborhoods in Cleveland. It must have been a hardscrabble life for Vaclav since in the 1910 U.S. Census he is listed as a “(street) shovel” at the age of 65.

Discovering More Genealogy Clues…

There was another clue in John Vomasta’s obituary. Did you notice that last line? It reads: “New Haven (Conn.) papers please copy.” This was the Cleveland editors’ way of letting the New Haven editors know this obituary would be of interest to their own readers. Why would a Cleveland cigar maker’s death be of interest to readers in New Haven, Connecticut? This led me to additional searches, in which I discovered that John Vomasta was listed as a tenant in New Haven, Connecticut, in the 1920 and 1930 U.S. Censuses.

I wondered why a cigar maker might be drawn to New Haven, Connecticut—and so I did a bit of searching on the cigar industry there. GenealogyBank’s newspapers did not disappoint me as there were literally hundreds of search results on this topic. It seems that there was quite a flourishing cigar industry in New Haven in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

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One example is this article from an 1899 New Haven newspaper. This article features F. D. Grave and his “Judge’s Cave” Cigar company. The occasion was the imminent move of his “well known cigar factory” to a “magnificent four-story building at Nos. 204 to 210 State Street,” and the “excellent dinner and musical entertainment” he gave for his 285 employees to celebrate the move. Could this have been where John Vomasta worked? After all, the 1920 and 1930 U.S. Census returns for him list his address as 440 State Street, just up the street from F. D. Grave’s cigar factory.

article about F. D. Grave and his "Judge's Cave" cigar company, New Haven Register newspaper article 6 January 1899

New Haven Register (New Haven, Connecticut), 6 January 1899, page 7

As I continued researching this family, I discovered a variety of life’s occurrences. One of the daughters, who was once Gladys Baldi, had remarried—only to have this husband tragically die in an automobile accident slightly less than 14 months after they were married. Wanting to be complete in my genealogy research, but not expecting to find much from a marriage of less than 1 ½ years, I was interested when I found this 2001 obituary for Gladys K. Glaser in a Kansas City newspaper. This obituary provided me with the fact that, in spite of the short duration of her second marriage, their union produced a daughter, in addition to the son she had from her first marriage. I also learned that at the time of her passing she had seven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, a nephew—and her sister Edna was still alive.

obituary for Gladys Glaser, Kansas City Star newspaper article 19 February 2001

Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Missouri), 19 February 2001

With this helpful obituary providing me with Gladys’s survivors’ full names and places of residence, I now had many more clues to follow up on:

  • Sister Edna Carroll in Kelley Island, Ohio
  • Son (from Gladys’s first marriage) Bill Baldi in Shawnee, Kansas
  • Married Daughter (from Gladys’s second marriage) Bonnie Edwards in Kent, Ohio
  • Nephew Roger Carroll (Edna’s son) in Ravenna, Ohio
  • Plus those seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren to track down!

Just think: I began this search looking for one simple vital statistic that I found to be elusive: the birth year for my relative Joseph Vicha—but came away with a whole new branch of our family tree growing right before me, and many more clues for additional family history research.

Now before I get back to looking for Joseph Vicha’s birth document—which is what I started off trying to find and would still like to track down—let me ask: what have been some of the best clues in historical newspapers that you have found for your genealogy and family history?

Related Genealogy Clues Articles:

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GenealogyBank Just Added 6 Million More Genealogy Records!

Every day, GenealogyBank is working hard to digitize more newspapers and obituaries, rapidly expanding our content to give you the most comprehensive newspaper archives and largest obituary collection for family history research available online. We just completed adding 6 million more U.S. genealogy records, vastly increasing our content coverage from coast to coast!

screenshot of GenealogyBank's homepage announcing the addition of 6 million more genealogy records

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

  • A total of 42 newspaper titles from 19 U.S. states
  • 21 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

To see our newspaper archives’ complete title lists, click here.

State City Title Date Range Collection
Alabama Birmingham Birmingham Courier* 08/19/1899–09/12/1903 Newspaper Archives
Alabama Cullman Nord Alabama Colonist* 07/01/1881–07/01/1881 Newspaper Archives
Alaska Anchorage Alaska Dispatch News* 07/10/2014–Current Recent Obituaries
Alaska Anchorage Alaska Dispatch* 10/15/2009–Current Recent Obituaries
California Marin Sausalito Marin Scope* 09/16/2009–Current Recent Obituaries
California Novato Novato Advance* 08/26/2009–Current Recent Obituaries
California San Francisco Corriere del Popolo 01/04/1916–07/25/1935 Newspaper Archives
California San Francisco San Francisco Chronicle 12/5/1908–9/1/1927 Newspaper Archives
California San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo Daily Telegram 4/6/1934–12/31/1937 Newspaper Archives
California San Rafael San Rafael News Pointer* 03/10/2010–Current Recent Obituaries
Connecticut Stamford Stamford Advocate 4/5/1829–12/31/1841 Newspaper Archives
Georgia Macon Macon Telegraph 5/1/1932–5/20/1934 Newspaper Archives
Georgia Marietta Marietta Journal 4/14/1871–11/15/1990 Newspaper Archives
Georgia Toccoa Toccoa Record, The* 06/24/2004–Current Recent Obituaries
Idaho Boise Idaho Statesman 8/16/1931–12/31/1933 Newspaper Archives
Iowa Perry Perry Chief* 06/06/2014–Current Recent Obituaries
Iowa Story City Story City Herald* 06/11/2014–Current Recent Obituaries
Kentucky Lexington Lexington Herald 10/4/1929–12/31/1930 Newspaper Archives
Louisiana New Orleans New Orleans States 6/1/1920–6/1/1920 Newspaper Archives
Mississippi Biloxi Daily Herald 1/21/1937–3/27/1937 Newspaper Archives
New Jersey Egg Harbor City Egg Harbor Pilot 06/22/1872–07/20/1872 Newspaper Archives
New York New York Arbeiter Zeitung* 11/28/1874–05/19/1878 Newspaper Archives
New York New York Cristoforo Colombo 02/04/1892–08/20/1892 Newspaper Archives
New York New York Eco D’Italia* 01/01/1890–12/31/1896 Newspaper Archives
New York New York Fiaccola* 09/05/1912–02/10/1921 Newspaper Archives
New York New York Freiheit* 12/26/1903–12/26/1903 Newspaper Archives
New York New York Fur Worker* 09/01/1917–04/01/1931 Newspaper Archives
New York New York Progresso Italo-Americano 01/09/1886–12/27/1889 Newspaper Archives
New York New York Vorwarts 01/02/1915–10/29/1921 Newspaper Archives
North Carolina Charlotte Charlotte Observer 6/1/1928–5/31/1929 Newspaper Archives
North Carolina Greensboro Greensboro Record 5/6/1908–5/6/1908 Newspaper Archives
Ohio Cleveland Sendbote* 01/05/1927–06/26/1952 Newspaper Archives
Oregon Cannon Beach Cannon Beach Gazette* 05/02/2008–Current Recent Obituaries
Oregon Hermiston Hermiston Herald, The* 02/28/2001–Current Recent Obituaries
Oregon Seaside Seaside Signal* 03/25/2010–Current Recent Obituaries
South Dakota Aberdeen Aberdeen American 11/5/1924–11/21/1924 Newspaper Archives
South Dakota Aberdeen Aberdeen Daily News 6/29/1911–1/23/2000 Newspaper Archives
South Dakota Aberdeen Aberdeen Journal 3/3/1922–3/3/1922 Newspaper Archives
South Dakota Eureka Eureka Post* 06/06/1912–06/06/1912 Newspaper Archives
Vermont St. Albans St. Albans Daily Messenger 3/31/2006–3/31/2006 Newspaper Archives
Washington Bellingham Bellingham Herald 5/2/1935–6/29/1937 Newspaper Archives
Wisconsin Milwaukee Milwaukee Herold und Seebote* 01/01/1901–01/01/1901 Newspaper Archives

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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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Sleuthing for Clues in the News to Solve Genealogy Mysteries

Introduction: Scott Phillips is a genealogical historian and owner of Onward To Our Past® genealogy services. In this guest blog post, Scott shows how tiny clues in old newspapers can lead to big family history discoveries.

Every genealogist I have ever met seems to be a combination of Perry Mason, Jessica Fletcher, Columbo, Christine Cagney, Mary Beth Lacey, Thomas Magnum, and Sherlock Holmes—searching everywhere for clues, following each one (no matter how small or seemingly insignificant), and putting together the strongest case they can.

illustration of Sherlock Holmes in “The Five Orange Pips”

Illustration: Sherlock Holmes in “The Five Orange Pips.” Source: Wikimedia.org.

One of my favorite places to hunt for clues in my genealogy and family history is the online collection of GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives. There always seems to be some new discovery for me to delve into in order to make our family tree more complete.

Sleuthing for Clues in the News

Sometimes these genealogical clues are truly tiny—but when pursued, can lead to valuable information and additions to our family trees. Such was the case when I came across a small, three-sentence article in an 1897 newspaper.

article about Mary Lisy, Plain Dealer newspaper article 16 May 1897

Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), 16 May 1897, page 13

Having already identified that I had a couple in our family tree of Joseph and Mary Lisy, I decided this was worth investigating further. It certainly seemed to have all the elements of a highly interesting genealogy story. So my work began.

Enter Last Name










Investigating Joseph & Mary Lisy

In another Ohio newspaper the very next day was an even shorter article, this one containing only one sentence.

article about Mary Lisy, Cleveland Leader newspaper article 17 May 1897

Cleveland Leader (Cleveland, Ohio), 17 May 1897, page 6

Now I had some nice pieces of information to further my ancestry research. First I learned that the court that heard this case was the Probate Court, and, second, that this Mary Lisy was a patient in a facility named Cleveland State Hospital.
I began to look for Mary Lisy in the Census records of the time and sure enough, in the 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 United States Census records is listed “Lisy, Mary, Inmate” at the Cleveland State Hospital for the Insane. I then continued to look in GenealogyBank’s newspapers to see if there might be something I could learn about the institution itself.

My initial archive search returned hundreds and hundreds of search results. Many, like this 1909 newspaper article, detail terrible conditions and chronic overcrowding in the Cleveland State Hospital.

Asylum Cramped, Governor Finds, Plain Dealer newspaper article 9 August 1909

Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), 9 August 1909, page 1

Then in the 1940 United States Census returns I discovered Mary Lisy, who—while still listed as an “inmate”—was now at Hawthornden State Hospital (Insane) and had been at this facility at least since 1935. While I was not familiar with this facility from any of my prior research, it didn’t take me long to find this 1941 newspaper article, which contains a lot of good information on the system of insane asylums in Ohio, including Hawthornden.

Ohio Insane Asylums Slated for Repairs, Repository newspaper article 10 January 1941

Repository (Canton, Ohio), 10 January 1941, page 12

Genealogy Sleuthing Stumbling Block

Then I had one of those “uh-oh, I knew this was going too smoothly” moments in my genealogy research. As I continued researching Joseph and Mary Lisy, I discovered that there were at least two men in Cleveland named Joseph Lisy who had almost identical birth years. Both also happened to have married women with the given name of Mary, who also had similar birth years. To make this matter even more confusing, all these folks were Bohemian as well.

Enter Last Name










One of the couples seemed to have had a fairly “normal” life, but the other couple had a darker life together—including this Mary having been in an asylum for decades, as shown in this 1901 newspaper article. This article detailed a court case in which Joseph Lisy was found guilty of failing to provide for his four minor children and was sentenced to the workhouse.

article about Joseph Lisy, Plain Dealer newspaper article 28 February 1901

Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), 28 February 1901, page 12

This complication of multiple Joseph and Mary Lisy couples was a great learning experience for me and a good example of the need to get as much definitive documentation as we can find to ensure that our family trees are true and accurate.

Expanding My Genealogy Search

I branched out my research to include records from Cuyahoga County, the Ohio Probate Court, the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services, several local genealogical and history organizations, the diocese of Cleveland, several cemeteries, and, much to my luck, a cousin who was also struggling with this same dilemma. As they say “two heads are better than one,” and we all know this is certainly at its truest when it comes to genealogy and family history research.

It took some time to sift through all of the death listing for each Mary Lisy that we could find, but that is what we did. As we winnowed them down, one was discovered from 1960 that placed her death at the “Millcreek Psych. Ctr” in Knox County, Ohio. Of all the death listings for women named Mary Lisy, after the 1940 Census, this was the only one with any hint of an institution as the location of her death. It was from 1960, which means Mary had lived in Ohio insane asylums for over 60 years of her life, which was a sobering thought all by itself. Both my cousin and I agreed this was the most promising lead we had, so it was picked to be our first to pursue.

Then almost all at once the genealogy research started falling into place like dominos.

Pieces of the Family Mystery Come Together

Our first break came when a very helpful priest in the diocese provided a copy of the parish register for the marriage of Joseph and Mary, which gave us her maiden name of Bolf (Wolf).

photo of the marriage registry for Joseph Lisy and Mary Bolf

Photo: marriage registry for Joseph Lisy and Mary Bolf

Second, the archivist from the Cuyahoga County Probate Court sent me the files on the insanity hearings for Mary Lisy. Pages and pages of information—then in about the middle, penciled in the margin of one of the records was this: “nee Wolf.”

My cousin called to say that when she was speaking to her husband about this mystery, he mused aloud about why Mary would have been transferred to Hawthornden—which was not in Cuyahoga County, but rather in Summit County, Ohio. She said this didn’t click right away, but then like a bolt of lightning it struck her.

She recalled that the only children of Mary Lisy who were still alive in 1960 had been listed as living in Cuyahoga County, according to the 1940 Census. However, there was a cemetery listing in one obituary for a cemetery in Summit County, Ohio. The obituary for Edward Votypka was in a 1944 newspaper and nicely mentioned the cemetery by name.

obituary for Edward Votypka, Plain Dealer newspaper article 14 March 1944

Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), 14 March 1944, page 10

It was, as she said “a tenuous connection,” but she placed a call to the cemetery. There a wonderfully helpful staff member was able to verify that a family member had purchased 12 graves for a family plot. Not only were several of the children and other family members of Mary Lisy interred there, but one grave was the final resting place of Mary Lisy herself!

We are now tidying up the rest of our genealogy research on Mary and Joseph Lisy. And to think—this all came about from a three-sentence article in an 1897 newspaper!

What is the best and biggest genealogy and family history discovery you have made from a newspaper article? I’d love to learn about them so please leave your story in the comments here. Thanks for reading and Godspeed in your genealogy sleuthing!

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