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?

Could GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives help me find the answer?

I knew that William came to America on board the ship Benjamin Adams, arriving 21 October 1853. He left from Liverpool, England, and arrived in New York City.

painting: “The Bay and Harbor of New York” by Samuel Waugh (1814-1885)

Painting: “The Bay and Harbor of New York” by Samuel Waugh (1814-1885). Source: Wikipedia.

Since I knew that shipping was big business, I wondered if newspapers could tell me more about the movements of the Benjamin Adams and William’s trip to America.

In testing my search I found that the name of the passenger ship appeared multiple ways in various newspaper articles – so I strategized that I needed to search every possible variation for any mention of the Benjamin Adams, from the spring to the fall of 1853, to make sure I didn’t miss any articles.

To find all of the articles I needed to search GenealogyBank’s archives using:

  • Benjamin Adams
  • Adams
  • Benj. Adams
  • Benj Adams
  • B. Adams
  • B Adams

This should give me all references to the passenger ship and William’s voyage to America.

Enter Last Name

Here’s what I found.

This Maine newspaper told me that by 23 August 1853, the passengers had boarded the Benjamin Adams and the ship was positioned “outward bound” in the Mersey River in Liverpool.

shipping news about the ship "Benjamin Adams," Portland Weekly Advertiser newspaper article 13 September 1853

Portland Weekly Advertiser (Portland, Maine), 13 September 1853, page 3

This Massachusetts newspaper gave me the critical fact that the ship sailed the next day – 24 August 1853. Wow – good to know.

shipping news about the ship "Benjamin Adams," Daily Atlas newspaper article 10 September 1853

Daily Atlas (Boston, Massachusetts), 10 September 1853, page 2

Next I looked for reports of the passenger ship arriving in America.

Here it is – this New York newspaper reported that the ship had docked in New York on 21 October 1853.

shipping news about the ship "Benjamin Adams," Weekly Herald newspaper article 22 October 1853

Weekly Herald (Albany, New York), 22 October 1853, page 344

The trip to New York took 56 days. There were 620 passengers – but here’s where the news turned more somber.

The old newspaper article reported:

Sept. 10, while laying to under a close reefed topsail in a heavy gale from the NW, lost all three topgallant masts, closed reefed mizzen topsail, foresail, mainsail, stern boat, and received other damage.

The ship was damaged in a fierce storm just 17 days after leaving Liverpool. The passengers must have been terrified – wondering if they were going to make it.

But there was more bad news:

Had 15 deaths on the passage.

Significant storm damage to the ship and 15 people died?
What?
Fifteen people died?
Wow. Was that normal on these trips? Why did so many die?

William was lucky to make it safely to America!

Enter Last Name

In a follow-up article a week later, the Weekly Herald explained why so many had died on the passage. These passengers just didn’t die of random causes – they died from an outbreak of cholera, which struck  many ships.

…it is pretty certain that the disease which carried them off was cholera. ….The sickness on the Benjamin Adams was decidedly cholera.

shipping news about the ship "Benjamin Adams," Weekly Herald newspaper article 29 October 1853

Weekly Herald (Albany, New York), 29 October 1853, page 350

This was a tough trip.

GenealogyBank’s newspapers continued to tell me more about William’s trip.

This New York newspaper mentioned that the ship Benjamin Adams had arrived “from Syria.”

shipping news about the ship "Benjamin Adams" and cholera, Albany Evening Journal newspaper article 22 October 1853

Albany Evening Journal (Albany, New York), 22 October 1853, page 2

From Syria?
I thought they left from Liverpool?

They did – but before arriving in Liverpool, the ship had been in Syria.

This Massachusetts newspaper told me that the Benjamin Adams had docked in Beirut, Syria, on 25 July 1853, before it went to Liverpool to pick up William Kemp and the other 619 passengers.

shipping news about the ship "Benjamin Adams," Daily Atlas newspaper article 1 September 1853

Daily Atlas (Boston, Massachusetts), 1 September 1853, page 2

The reason for the trip to the Holy Land was explained in this Massachusetts newspaper. The Benjamin Adams picked up artifacts there to display at the World’s Fair:  “an Arab plough and other agricultural implements for the World’s Fair…canes from the banks of the Jordan, branches from the Mount of Olives and cedars of Lebanon…” and apparently somewhere along the way it picked up cholera.

shipping news about the ship "Benjamin Adams," Springfield Republican newspaper article 25 October 1853

Springfield Republican (Springfield, Massachusetts), 25 October 1853, page 2

GenealogyBank doesn’t just give you the names, dates and places for your family tree – it gives you the stories of our ancestors’ lives.

You know when your ancestors arrived in America – dig in GenealogyBank and find out the rest of their stories.

Genealogy Tip: Search Wide Geo Areas

Did you notice a pattern with the newspaper articles in this blog post?

There were newspapers in Maine, New York, Massachusetts and beyond that reported on the Benjamin Adams. You want to search for this type of article and for the articles about your ancestors across all 8,000 of GenealogyBank’s newspapers. To find these articles, you cannot limit your search to only the newspapers of one or two states. If you limit your search geographically, you might miss an article critical to the telling of your ancestor’s story.

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Wisconsin Archives: 105 Newspapers Online for Genealogy Research

Wisconsin, part of America’s Midwest, is bordered by two Great Lakes: Lake Superior on the north and Lake Michigan on the east. The nation’s 23rd largest state and 20th most populous, Wisconsin is known as “America’s Dairyland” because of all its dairy farms, milk production, and world-famous cheese.

photo of the Daniel E. Krause Stone Barn in Chase, Wisconsin, built in 1903

Photo: the Daniel E. Krause Stone Barn in Chase, Wisconsin, built in 1903. Credit: KKNiteOwl; Wikimedia Commons.

If you are researching your ancestry from Wisconsin, you will want to use GenealogyBank’s online WI newspaper archives: 105 titles to help you search your family history in the “Badger State,” providing coverage from 1833 to Today. There are more than 7 million articles and records in our online Wisconsin archives!

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

Search Wisconsin Newspaper Archives (1833 – 1992)

Search Wisconsin Recent Obituaries (1989 – Current)

illustration of the state flag of Wisconsin

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

Here is a list of online Wisconsin 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 WI newspaper titles are listed alphabetically by city.

City Title Date Range* Collection
Appleton Appleton Volksfreund 9/11/1919 – 11/16/1922 Newspaper Archives
Ashland Daily Press 1/2/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Baraboo Baraboo News-Republic 1/1/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bayside North Shore NOW 1/27/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Beaver Dam Daily Citizen 1/27/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Beloit Soul City Courier 10/12/1976 – 1/18/1977 Newspaper Archives
Beloit Beloit Daily News 7/26/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Brookfield Brookfield-Elm Grove NOW 1/14/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cedarburg News Graphic 6/25/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Chippewa Falls Chippewa Herald 1/30/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Chippewa Falls Chippewa Herald, The: Blogs 6/21/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Columbus Journal 1/26/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Dousman Kettle Moraine Index 12/2/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fond du Lac Fond du Lac Weekly Commonwealth 3/24/1858 – 12/15/1858 Newspaper Archives
Fond du Lac Fond du Lac Trade Extension 2/13/1918 – 2/13/1918 Newspaper Archives
Fond du Lac Democratic Press 6/5/1858 – 12/15/1858 Newspaper Archives
Fond du Lac Daily Fond du Lac Press 7/23/1866 – 7/25/1866 Newspaper Archives
Fond du Lac Press 6/5/1858 – 7/25/1866 Newspaper Archives
Fort Atkinson Wisconsin Chief 10/15/1856 – 9/29/1866 Newspaper Archives
Fort Atkinson Daily Jefferson County Union 1/12/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fox Lake Fox Lake Representative 12/15/1911 – 12/20/1917 Newspaper Archives
Franklin Oak Creek-Franklin-Greendale NOW 2/11/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Galesville Galesville Independent 11/5/1874 – 8/30/1889 Newspaper Archives
Germantown Germantown-Menomonee Falls NOW 1/27/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Grafton Grafton Enterprise 7/27/1927 – 8/3/1927 Newspaper Archives
Gratiot Gratiot Reporter 6/13/1912 – 10/9/1913 Newspaper Archives
Green Bay Green-Bay Intelligencer and Wisconsin Democrat 12/11/1833 – 6/1/1836 Newspaper Archives
Green Bay Wisconsin Free Press 10/3/1835 – 3/30/1836 Newspaper Archives
Green Bay Sunday Advance 6/15/1884 – 7/6/1884 Newspaper Archives
Green Bay Green Bay Spectator 2/21/1852 – 9/28/1852 Newspaper Archives
Green Bay Wisconsin Republican 1/21/1845 – 2/8/1847 Newspaper Archives
Green Bay Phoenix 10/8/1841 – 10/8/1841 Newspaper Archives
Hartford Times Press 9/18/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hartland Living Lake Country: Blogs 1/10/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hartland Lake Country Reporter 1/27/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hartland Sussex Sun 11/17/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hayward Sawyer County Record 1/11/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
La Crosse La Crosse Volksfreund 1/3/1906 – 12/28/1907 Newspaper Archives
La Crosse Wisconsin Labor Advocate 8/20/1886 – 8/6/1887 Newspaper Archives
La Crosse Nord Stern 4/10/1908 – 4/10/1908 Newspaper Archives
La Crosse La Crosse Tribune 7/11/1989 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lancaster Grant County Herald 3/18/1843 – 12/5/1850 Newspaper Archives
Madison Wisconsin State Journal 3/10/1857 – 12/27/1889 Newspaper Archives
Madison Wisconsin Daily Patriot 9/10/1859 – 11/14/1864 Newspaper Archives
Madison Weekly Wisconsin Patriot 7/8/1854 – 10/22/1864 Newspaper Archives
Madison Daily Argus and Democrat 1/3/1854 – 7/21/1854 Newspaper Archives
Madison Wisconsin Democrat 10/18/1842 – 5/8/1852 Newspaper Archives
Madison Wisconsin Enquirer 11/8/1838 – 3/27/1841 Newspaper Archives
Madison Wisconsin Free Press 4/3/1984 – 1/12/1990 Newspaper Archives
Madison Wisconsin Populist 9/10/1892 – 11/8/1892 Newspaper Archives
Madison Wisconsin State Journal 3/3/1989 – Current Recent Obituaries
Madison Capital Times 3/20/1989 – Current Recent Obituaries
Mauston Juneau County Argus 7/26/1888 – 7/26/1889 Newspaper Archives
Mauston Juneau County Star-Times 1/22/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Menomonie Dunn County News 12/9/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
Milwaukee Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 11/11/1966 – 12/31/1968 Newspaper Archives
Milwaukee Milwaukee Sentinel 12/10/1844 – 12/30/1968 Newspaper Archives
Milwaukee Milwaukee Star 7/22/1967 – 2/10/1977 Newspaper Archives
Milwaukee Wahrheit 1/7/1893 – 6/25/1910 Newspaper Archives
Milwaukee Wisconsin Free Democrat 8/23/1848 – 11/28/1860 Newspaper Archives
Milwaukee Wisconsin Weekly Advocate 5/7/1898 – 9/19/1907 Newspaper Archives
Milwaukee Milwaukee Weekly Sentinel 6/27/1837 – 6/13/1866 Newspaper Archives
Milwaukee Milwaukee Advertiser 7/14/1836 – 3/20/1841 Newspaper Archives
Milwaukee Milwaukee Journal of Commerce 3/15/1871 – 12/22/1880 Newspaper Archives
Milwaukee Soul City Times 9/14/1968 – 12/16/1971 Newspaper Archives
Milwaukee Milwaukee Defender 1/3/1957 – 2/1/1958 Newspaper Archives
Milwaukee Milwaukee American 4/8/1857 – 10/28/1857 Newspaper Archives
Milwaukee Milwaukie Democrat 8/11/1843 – 2/23/1844 Newspaper Archives
Milwaukee Guardia 10/21/1969 – 8/1/1975 Newspaper Archives
Milwaukee Jugend-Post 1/1/1895 – 12/28/1895 Newspaper Archives
Milwaukee Wisconsin Afro-American 8/13/1892 – 11/19/1892 Newspaper Archives
Milwaukee Northwestern Recorder 12/3/1892 – 3/30/1893 Newspaper Archives
Milwaukee Milwaukiean 10/28/1844 – 11/4/1844 Newspaper Archives
Milwaukee Milwaukee’r Socialist 9/22/1876 – 9/21/1877 Newspaper Archives
Milwaukee Milwaukee Herold und Seebote 1/1/1901 – 1/1/1901 Newspaper Archives
Milwaukee Milwaukee Herold 1/1/1901 – 1/1/1921 Newspaper Archives
Milwaukee Wiskonsin Banner 9/14/1844 – 9/21/1844 Newspaper Archives
Milwaukee Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 1/22/1990 – Current Recent Obituaries
Milwaukee Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Blogs 7/20/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Monroe Jeffersonian Democrat 8/14/1856 – 3/26/1857 Newspaper Archives
Mukwonago Mukwonago Chief 5/19/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
New Lisbon Juneau County Argus 11/8/1858 – 12/6/1894 Newspaper Archives
Oconomowoc Oconomowoc Focus 2/3/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Oconomowoc Oconomowoc Enterprise 4/14/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Oneida Kalihwisaks 5/13/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Oshkosh Oshkosh True Democrat 2/9/1849 – 5/12/1857 Newspaper Archives
Park Falls Price County Review 6/6/2014 – Current Recent Obituaries
Phillips Phillips Bee 3/3/1999 – 6/3/2014 Recent Obituaries
Portage Daily Register 1/7/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Portage Wisconsin Dells Events 2/26/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Racine Weekly Racine Advocate 1/8/1851 – 4/25/1866 Newspaper Archives
Racine Racine Courier 10/16/1976 – 7/25/1992 Newspaper Archives
Reedsburg Reedsburg Times-Press 1/28/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Rice Lake Chronotype 1/4/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ripon Ripon Commonwealth Press 1/27/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sauk City Sauk Prairie Eagle 5/18/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sheboygan Sheboygan Nieuwsbode 10/6/1849 – 11/7/1850 Newspaper Archives
Spooner Spooner Advocate 9/24/1998 – Current Recent Obituaries
Superior Superior Telegram 5/19/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Washburn County Journal 4/20/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Waukesha American Freeman 9/9/1845 – 12/29/1847 Newspaper Archives
Waukesha Waukesha NOW 2/3/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Waukesha Freeman 6/12/2000 – Current Recent Obituaries
Wauwatosa Wauwatosa NOW 9/9/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
West Bend Washington County Daily News 7/12/2000 – Current Recent Obituaries

*Date Ranges may have selected coverage unavailable.

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

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Full List of Mayflower Passengers in Gov. Bradford’s Newly-Restored Journal

Governor William Bradford’s (ca. 1590-1657) handwritten Of Plymouth Plantation is well known to genealogists as the earliest journal history of the Mayflower passengers, their voyage across the Atlantic, and the settlement in Plymouth Plantation.

According to the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC), the Bradford Manuscript contains 580 pages, is hand sewn, “and bound in a parchment-covered binding.” It is housed in the State Library of Massachusetts.

photo of the Bradford Manuscript being restored by the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC)

Photo: the Bradford Manuscript. Source: Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC).

Click here to read the State Library’s guide to the Bradford Manuscript.

Enter Last Name

The Northeast Document Conservation Center took on the task of conserving, repairing and restoring this historic manuscript. The NEDCC has now put a detailed article about the conservation process for this important document online.

Click here to read the NEDCC’s account of their work on the Bradford Manuscript.

screenshot of a page from the Northeast Document Conservation Center website describing the restoration of the Bradford Manuscript

Source: Northeast Document Conservation Center

The conservation work was done to prevent further deterioration of the historical journal, and to make it more accessible to the public by the creation of two facsimile volumes.

A digitized version of the Bradford Manuscript is available online.

Of special interest to genealogists, the Bradford Manuscript contains a multipage list of the passengers on the Mayflower.

photo of a page from the Bradford Manuscript showing the list of Mayflower passengers

Photo: Bradford Manuscript page showing the list of Mayflower passengers. Source: State Library of Massachusetts.

Having this invaluable historical Mayflower resource protected – and having a digital copy of the manuscript online – is a great benefit to genealogists.

Related Mayflower Articles & a Link:

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Wow! 4-Page Obituary for William Bullock Clark

I was looking for the obituary of William Bullock Clark (1860-1917), a geology professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Looking in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives, I quickly found multiple obituaries for him. For example, there is this obituary from the Sun (Baltimore, Maryland).

obituary for William Clark, Sun newspaper article 28 July 1917

Sun (Baltimore, Maryland) 28 July 1917, page 6

Great obituary. It includes the basic genealogical facts: his date of birth, death, and information about his immediate family.

Here’s an extra family fact:

“Their…daughter, who was Miss Helen Clark, was married to Capt. H. Findlay French, the Baltimore lawyer, who now is stationed at Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., as a member of the quartermaster’s department.”

Enter Last Name

Other helpful family history facts:

“He sprang from stock which came over in the Mayflower and from others which settled in Plymouth Colony in its earliest days and attained leadership.”

These are key research facts and clues to follow up on for more information.

Looking deeper in GenealogyBank’s Historical Documents area, I found this four-page obituary for Clark that is rich in detailed information about his life.

montage of the four pages of William Clark's obituary

Annual report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution showing the operations, expenditures, and condition of the institution for the year ending June 30, 1917. Date: Tuesday, January 1, 1918. Publication: Serial Set Vol. No.7432; Report: H.Doc. 1252 pt. 1, pages 663-665.

This detailed obituary is a great research find: four pages about his life, his family and his career.

It is common for the annual reports of government agencies to include detailed obituaries for not only employees but also for individuals who worked closely with the government – such as Clark, who was a college geology professor who worked with the Smithsonian Institution.

obituary for William Clark, Serial Set Vol. No.7432; Report: H.Doc. 1252 pt. 1, 1 January 1918

Annual report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution showing the operations, expenditures, and condition of the institution for the year ending June 30, 1917. Date: Tuesday, January 1, 1918. Publication: Serial Set Vol. No.7432; Report: H.Doc. 1252 pt. 1, pages 663-665.

Notice that this four-obituary gives us more information on the immediate family and on his colonial ancestors than the shorter obituary in the newspaper did.

obituary for William Clark, Serial Set Vol. No.7432; Report: H.Doc. 1252 pt. 1, 1 January 1918

Annual report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution showing the operations, expenditures, and condition of the institution for the year ending June 30, 1917. Date: Tuesday, January 1, 1918. Publication: Serial Set Vol. No.7432; Report: H.Doc. 1252 pt. 1, pages 663-665.

We learn that Clark was a descendant of: John Howland and John Tilly, two of the passengers on the Mayflower; ancestors who fought in the Colonial wars; and Daniel Stewart, who fought at the Battle of Lexington in 1775. This is exactly the type of family history information that we need.

Genealogy Tip: When searching in GenealogyBank, don’t search only the newspapers – look at all search results from all areas of GenealogyBank’s resources, including historical documents, government reports and records, the U.S. Congressional Serial Set, historical books, and the Social Security Death Index.

Have you had success finding detailed genealogical records about your ancestors such as this four-page obituary in GenealogyBank’s historical archives? If so, please share your research finds with us in the comments.

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Minnesota Archives: 91 Newspapers Online for Genealogy Research

Today Minnesota celebrates the 157th anniversary of its statehood—it was admitted into the Union on 11 May 1858 as the 32nd state. The state’s name is based on a Native American Dakota word meaning “clear water,” and Minnesota is famous for its many beautiful lakes—hence the state’s nickname “Land of 10,000 Lakes.”

photo of Eagle Mountain, Minnesota

Photo: Eagle Mountain, Minnesota. Credit: Skye Marthaler; Wikimedia Commons.

If you are researching your ancestry from Minnesota, you will want to use GenealogyBank’s online MN newspaper archives: 91 titles to help you search your family history in the “North Star State,” providing coverage from 1849 to Today. There are more than 4.3 million articles and records in our online Minnesota archives!

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

Search Minnesota Newspaper Archives (1849 – 1923)

Search Minnesota Recent Obituaries (1986 – Current)

illustration of the state flag of Minnesota

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

Here is a list of online Minnesota 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 MN newspaper titles are listed alphabetically by city.

City Title Date Range* Collection
Albany Stearns – Morrison Enterprise 7/18/2005 – 1/12/2011 Recent Obituaries
Albert Lea Albert Lea Tribune 10/2/2014 – Current Recent Obituaries
Apple Valley Apple Valley – Rosemount Sun-Current 2/22/2011 – 3/6/2012 Recent Obituaries
Austin Austin Daily Herald 7/25/2014 – Current Recent Obituaries
Brooklyn Center Brooklyn Center Sun-Post 2/16/2011 – 9/9/2013 Recent Obituaries
Brooklyn Park Brooklyn Park Sun-Post 1/26/2011 – 9/9/2013 Recent Obituaries
Burnsville Burnsville Sun-Current 2/22/2010 – 3/6/2012 Recent Obituaries
Champlin, Dayton Champlin – Dayton Press 8/15/2005 – 8/22/2013 Recent Obituaries
Chanhassen Chanhassen Villager 11/12/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Chaska Chaska Herald 11/19/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cloquet Pine Journal 5/17/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Coon Rapids Blaine – Spring Lake Park Sun-Focus 2/6/2011 – 5/15/2012 Recent Obituaries
Crookston Crookston Daily Times 10/20/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Crow River South Crow River News – Rockford Area News Leader 11/21/2005 – 8/22/2013 Recent Obituaries
Crystal, Robbinsdale Crystal – Robbinsdale Sun-Post 2/16/2011 – 4/9/2013 Recent Obituaries
Delano Delano Eagle 7/26/2005 – 8/22/2013 Recent Obituaries
Duluth Duluth News-Tribune 5/16/1881 – 12/31/1922 Newspaper Archives
Duluth Duluth Daily News 7/2/1887 – 9/4/1892 Newspaper Archives
Duluth Duluth Weekly Tribune 1/6/1876 – 7/15/1887 Newspaper Archives
Duluth Duluth Minnesotian 4/24/1869 – 9/4/1875 Newspaper Archives
Duluth Duluth Minnesotian-Herald 9/11/1875 – 5/11/1878 Newspaper Archives
Duluth Lake Superior News 7/4/1878 – 1/27/1881 Newspaper Archives
Duluth Duluth Weekly News-Tribune 1/2/1897 – 6/26/1897 Newspaper Archives
Duluth Budgeteer News 6/9/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Duluth Duluth News Tribune 1/1/1995 – Current Recent Obituaries
Eagan Eagan Sun-Current 2/16/2011 – 3/6/2012 Recent Obituaries
Eden Prairie Eden Prairie News 10/22/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Eden Prairie St. Louis Park Sun-Sailor 2/9/2010 – 9/9/2013 Recent Obituaries
Eden Prairie Plymouth Sun-Sailor 1/26/2011 – 9/9/2013 Recent Obituaries
Eden Prairie Eden Prairie Sun-Current 2/22/2010 – 8/19/2013 Recent Obituaries
Eden Prairie Bloomington Sun-Current 2/22/2010 – 8/19/2013 Recent Obituaries
Eden Prairie Richfield Sun-Current 1/25/2010 – 8/19/2013 Recent Obituaries
Edina Edina Sun-Current 1/28/2010 – 8/19/2013 Recent Obituaries
Excelsior Excelsior – Shorewood Sun-Sailor 2/22/2010 – 9/9/2013 Recent Obituaries
Fergus Falls Fergus Falls Daily Journal 12/3/1998 – Current Recent Obituaries
Grand Rapids Grand Rapids Herald-Review 10/12/1997 – Current Recent Obituaries
Granite Falls Advocate Tribune 11/11/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hibbing Hibbing Daily Tribune 6/2/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hopkins Hopkins Sun-Sailor 1/11/2011 – 9/9/2013 Recent Obituaries
Hutchinson Hutchinson Leader 11/10/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
International Falls Journal 8/25/2000 – Current Recent Obituaries
Jordan Jordan Independent 12/10/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lakeville Lakeville Sun-Current 2/16/2011 – 3/6/2012 Recent Obituaries
Litchfield Litchfield Independent Review 10/15/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Mankato Free Press 10/11/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Melrose Melrose Beacon 7/18/2005 – 1/13/2011 Recent Obituaries
Minneapolis Minneapolis Journal 1/1/1895 – 12/31/1900 Newspaper Archives
Minneapolis Minneapolis Tidende 10/18/1895 – 12/28/1900 Newspaper Archives
Minneapolis Afro-American Advance 5/27/1899 – 11/17/1900 Newspaper Archives
Minneapolis Columbia Heights – Fridley Sun-Focus 2/16/2011 – 4/9/2013 Recent Obituaries
Minneapolis Star Tribune 1/21/1986 – Current Recent Obituaries
Minnetonka Minnetonka Sun-Sailor 2/22/2010 – 9/9/2013 Recent Obituaries
Montevideo Montevideo American-News 11/11/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Monticello Monticello Times 11/29/2006 – 8/15/2013 Recent Obituaries
Mound Laker 1/7/2011 – 6/14/2013 Recent Obituaries
Mounds View Mounds View – New Brighton – St. Anthony Sun-Focus 2/16/2011 – 4/9/2013 Recent Obituaries
New Hope New Hope – Golden Valley Sun-Post 1/26/2011 – 4/9/2013 Recent Obituaries
Osseo, Maple Grove Osseo – Maple Grove Press 7/28/2005 – 8/22/2013 Recent Obituaries
Prior Lake Prior Lake American 10/10/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Red Wing Goodhue County Republican 6/26/1863 – 12/28/1876 Newspaper Archives
Redwood Falls Redwood Falls Gazette 10/3/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sartell Sartell Newsleader 10/14/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Savage Savage Pacer 10/3/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Shakopee Shakopee Valley News 10/22/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sleepy Eye Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch 7/29/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
St. James St. James Plaindealer 11/9/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
St. Joseph St. Joseph Newsleader 1/4/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
St. Michael North Crow River News 4/17/2006 – 8/22/2013 Recent Obituaries
St. Paul St. Paul Daily Press 1/2/1868 – 12/29/1872 Newspaper Archives
St. Paul Appeal 2/7/1903 – 11/24/1923 Newspaper Archives
St. Paul Broad Axe 9/17/1891 – 6/11/1903 Newspaper Archives
St. Paul St. Paul Daily Pioneer 9/23/1854 – 12/31/1857 Newspaper Archives
St. Paul Weekly Minnesotian 6/4/1853 – 12/25/1858 Newspaper Archives
St. Paul Minnesota Democrat 1/14/1851 – 10/31/1855 Newspaper Archives
St. Paul Western Appeal 6/13/1885 – 12/29/1888 Newspaper Archives
St. Paul Minnesota Pioneer 4/28/1849 – 1/20/1853 Newspaper Archives
St. Paul Negro World 3/10/1900 – 6/9/1900 Newspaper Archives
St. Paul Daily Minnesotian 1/6/1854 – 1/6/1854 Newspaper Archives
St. Paul Sun Newspapers 1/10/2001 – 2/24/2010 Recent Obituaries
St. Paul St. Paul Pioneer Press 3/25/1988 – Current Recent Obituaries
Stillwater Stillwater Gazette 11/13/2000 – 10/30/2013 Recent Obituaries
Two Harbors Lake County News-Chronicle 5/11/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Virginia Mesabi Daily News 3/17/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Waconia Carver County News 8/4/2005 – 9/9/2013 Recent Obituaries
Waconia Pioneer 9/15/2005 – 6/7/2013 Recent Obituaries
Waconia Waconia Patriot 8/3/2005 – 9/9/2013 Recent Obituaries
Walker Pilot-Independent 12/18/1998 – Current Recent Obituaries
Wayzata Wayzata – Orono – Long Lake Sun-Sailor 9/9/2010 – 9/9/2013 Recent Obituaries
Winona Winona Post 2/12/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Winona Winona Daily News 5/15/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Young America Norwood Young America Times 8/4/2005 – 9/9/2013 Recent Obituaries

*Date Ranges may have selected coverage unavailable.

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

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Oh Mother Where Art Thou? How to Find Females in Newspapers

Introduction: Gena Philibert-Ortega is a genealogist and author of the book “From the Family Kitchen.” In this blog article, Gena provides search tips to find your often-elusive female ancestors in old newspapers.

How do you find stories about your mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and other female ancestors in the newspaper? Sometimes that can be easier said than done, but here are a few tips to help you search for those elusive female ancestors.

What Types of News Articles Feature Women?

While the digitization of newspapers provides us the luxury of finding newspaper articles we weren’t specifically looking for, knowing what type of articles feature women can make it easier to focus your searches. It’s hard to imagine all the different types of articles a mother could be mentioned in, but reading copies of your ancestor’s local newspaper can be helpful. A few types of news articles to consider include the following.

Food & Recipe Newspaper Articles

What’s the best thing your mom cooks? Do you have memories of grandma’s homemade pies at Thanksgiving? Don’t forget that she could have been featured in the pages of the food section of the newspaper for her culinary prowess. Recipe contests sponsored by the newspaper or food companies, requests for recipes, or sharing a favorite recipe were all occasions for women to be published in the local newspaper.

For example, this article from a 1951 Texas newspaper about a pear recipe contest includes the names and addresses of the female judges and the winners. Even three-year-old Peggy Womack, who accompanied her mother to judge the entries, is mentioned.

article about a recipe contest, Dallas Morning News newspaper article 9 March 1951

Dallas Morning News (Dallas, Texas), 9 March 1951, page 22

Genealogy Tip: Remember that women may be mentioned using their husband’s name so don’t forget to try searching for her as Mrs. John Smith or Mrs. J. A. Smith.

Women’s Interest Pages

Women’s Interest pages printed all types of articles about women’s activities including causes they supported and clubs they were a member of. You can find mentions of events and articles that report on meetings at members’ homes, complete with an address.

Enter Last Name

Such is the case on this Clubs page from a 1926 Washington newspaper, which includes mentions of the WCTU (Women’s Christian Temperance Union), sororities, fraternal auxiliaries like Order of the Eastern Star, and Soroptimists. Awards women won, their names, addresses and even two photos can be found on this page.

women's club page, Seattle Daily Times newspaper article 22 August 1926

Seattle Daily Times (Seattle, Washington), 22 August 1926, page 60

Our female ancestors enjoyed club activities and membership in varied organizations. Identify membership organizations in the area your ancestor lived that she may have been a member of. Remember that she could have belonged to a group that believed in a cause she was passionate about (WCTU or League of Women Voters), was part of her church (Dorcas Society or Relief Society), or an auxiliary to an organization where her husband was a member (Women’s Relief Corp, Order of the Eastern Star).

There’s no doubt that being a mom and wife could get you in the paper as well. Whether it was for the birth of a baby, celebrating a wedding anniversary, attending a family reunion or even traveling with a child, your ancestress could be mentioned.

Great information about one family can be found in this report in a 1905 Idaho newspaper of the reunion attended in Texas by Mrs. J. F. Shellworth of Boise, Idaho. There are many names and much descendant information presented in this old newspaper article.

article about the Campbell family reunion, Idaho Statesman newspaper article 18 August 1905

Idaho Statesman (Boise, Idaho), 18 August 1905, page 6

I have to admit my favorite part is the last paragraph that states:

Of this large family there is nor has been no stain on their moral characters, nor have any of them been arraigned before a court of justice as far back as the family history records.

article about the Campbell family reunion, Idaho Statesman newspaper article 18 August 1905

Idaho Statesman (Boise, Idaho), 18 August 1905, page 6

Gossip & Social Columns

Don’t forget that gossip, social or “around town” articles provide opportunities for piecing together your female ancestor’s life. These short mentions often tell of the everyday activities she participated in like going shopping, traveling or even becoming ill.

For example, in this section of a 1904 Michigan newspaper entitled “News of Michigan Towns,” women are listed partaking in such activities as attending funerals, moving, attending club meetings, teaching, entertaining and in one instance passing away from a lengthy battle with consumption (TB):

Auburn, May 4.—Miss Lillie Miller, who has been suffering for the last six months with consumption, passed away April 30. Burial took place Monday morning at Midland. Miss Miller was with her parents during most of her sickness and death.

social column, Saginaw News newspaper article 4 May 1904

Saginaw News (Saginaw, Michigan), 4 May 1904, page 3

It’s All in the Name

I have discovered that often when I wasn’t able to find something in a digitized newspaper it was because I wasn’t searching my ancestor’s name the way the newspaper printed it. It’s always when I think the name can’t possibly be printed as Miss Philibert or M. B. Philibert that I’m proven wrong.

Genealogy Tip: Create a list of variations of your ancestor’s name and then add various spellings and misspellings to that list.

Keep a list of those name variations handy, and on that list have two parts. In the first part, write out all the variations of the name she could have used throughout her life. Such a list for one of my paternal great-grandmothers looks like this:

  • Mary Bell Chatham
  • Mary Chatham
  • M.B. Chatham
  • Miss Chatham
  • Mary Bell Philibert
  • Mary Philibert
  • Mrs. Oscar Philibert
  • Mrs. O. J. Philibert

Now if I add all the creative ways Chatham and/or Philibert can be spelled, my list starts to look like this:

  • Mary Bell Chatham
  • Mary Chatham
  • M.B. Chatham
  • Miss Chatham
  • Mary Bell Philibert
  • Mary Philibert
  • Mrs. Oscar Philibert
  • Mrs. O. J. Philibert
  • Philbert
  • Philabert
  • Filabert
  • Philburt
  • Phillabert
Enter Last Name

So you get the idea of how many variations you may amass. Not sure how a name could possibly be misspelled? Ask a first or second grader. They will sound out the name and base their guess on phonetics, something that others may have done when spelling your ancestor’s name.

Before you give up on a genealogy search, always try another variation of your ancestor’s name.

Keep Track of Your Family History Research

As you research, keep a timeline of your female ancestor’s life so that you can determine what types of newspaper articles you might find during various times of her life, such as birth notices when she could be having children, or notices about her death. Along with that keep a research log and track your findings each time you research her in the newspaper. You will find a link to a free research log at the end of this article.

Because GenealogyBank is constantly adding new newspapers, you will need to conduct your search at least every month to find new results.

It’s no secret that I love the information that historical newspapers provide about our female ancestors. Finding mom (or grandma or great-grandma) is made easier when you know how to search. Honor your foremothers this week for Mother’s Day by locating stories about their lives in the newspaper.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Free Research Log Template

Not sure what a Research Log is or how to start one? No problem; with this free download from GenealogyBank you’ll be tracking your research in no time.

photo of a genealogy research log

Clicking on the link (or the graphic) will let you download the Research Log template as a full-size, working Excel spreadsheet that you can use to organize and track your genealogy research. This log is compliments of Duncan Kuehn, who provided the following instructions:

Crafting your genealogy research plan:

  • Title: Give your document a title. This will likely be the name of the person or family line that you are working on.
  • Objective: Craft a very specific research objective. The more specific you can be the more effective your search will be. An example of a poorly crafted object would be: “Continue the Johnson line.” A better objective would be: “Find out when Jacob Johnson was born.” An even better objective would be: “Find out when Jacob Johnson (probable son of James Johnson and Sally Kunz) was born (likely 1882-1885 in Hardin County, Kentucky or Randolph County, South Carolina).” Having a clear objective keeps your search focused. Having more information helps you narrow your search and determine if you have found the right information.
  • Date: Always enter a date for each entry. This will help you keep organized.
  • Goal:Follow this basic outline for setting goals. Each goal or search should occupy its own row in the research plan.
    • Confirm the known information.
    • Identify which sources might contain more information. Prioritize these by likelihood to contain the information, reliability, ease of accessibility, quality, etc.
    • Determine what possible documents might exist. For example, were birth certificates issued in the area at that time?
    • Try to find the document.
      • Check to see if any online resources have digitized the collection.
        • If not, check to see if an online index exists.
    • Check to see if any near-to-you repositories have the collection.
    • Check to see if any archives in the local jurisdiction have the collection.
  • Obtain the document and analyze the information.
  • Re-evaluate if the objective was met or not. If it was, then create a new research plan with a new objective. If not, determine what additional information is required and then identify which sources might contain that additional information.
  • Source: Write down what source you are using to find the information. For example, when confirming the information where did you look? Was it on your family tree? Did you locate the birth certificate in your possession? Write down this source and include as much information as possible. Who authored it? What page in the book was it found on? What was the call number of the book? What was the URL of the online document?
  • Repository: Write down where you found the source. Where was the document found? Was it in your possession? Did you locate it on FamilySearch? Was it in the local library? Write down as much information as you can here. If it is a place you intend to visit, be sure to include the address, phone number, website, etc.
  • Result: Write down what you searched for and what you found. Be very, very specific. For example: “I searched for Jacob Aman’s (born 1901 in South Dakota) birth certificate on Ancestry, but nothing was found.  I also used the spellings of Amman, Amann, Ammann, Anan, Amam, Amon, etc. I searched the time span of 1898-1903. I did not restrict it to a particular county.” That way when you think of or discover additional alternative spellings, such as Jakob or the initials J.B., you know to go back and try searching with the new information. When you do find information, record it here.
  •  #: Use this column to record the document number, include a link to the document that is stored on your computer, or list the document name as saved on your computer or in your paper files. You will want to access the document again. How will you find it? Enter that information in this column. Note: be sure to obtain a copy for yourself; don’t rely on finding the document again online, because URLs change, collections get culled and removed from websites, websites go defunct, etc.

Note: What is the difference between a genealogy research log and a research plan? A genealogy research plan includes the log, keeping all the information together. This prepares you for conducting the research: what documents exist, where can they be found? A research log would generally not include the goals of confirming the information, identifying the sources, locating where the source can be found, but instead would focus on the actual document search within a repository. This hybrid combines the best of both worlds to keep all the information in one place. I’ve called it a research plan because genealogists tend to focus on the document search when they need to focus on the preparatory work. The title is intended to remind them to slow down, focus their research, start at the beginning and work their way through. Once the document containing the information is found, the work is not done. Each fact needs to be confirmed by multiple sources. The evidence from each source needs to be properly evaluated. Finally, a written statement needs to be crafted to “prove” the answer, taking into account any evidence that contradicts the genealogist’s conclusion. Once this statement, paragraph, or report has been written, you are ready to move on – keeping in mind that new sources and evidence will be found and that might cause you to go back and revise your previous conclusions.

———————-

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Massive 1700s-1800s Newspaper Collection Added to GenealogyBank!

GenealogyBank is especially pleased to announce a major addition to its vast newspaper archives – the single largest release of newspaper titles since the launch of GenealogyBank. More than 450 historical newspapers have been added with more coming soon – all newspapers are digital so that you can easily search every word.

What has been added:

  • Over 450 historical newspaper titles
  • Covering all 50 U.S. states
  • Years of coverage: 1730-1900
  • Over 160 of the 450 historical newspapers date back to the 1700s
  • Millions of never before available obituaries, birth and marriage notices, and news stories

illustration of a newspaper boy

This example from a Hawaii newspaper documents a marriage onboard the ship Collingwood performed by the ship’s chaplain – a very unusual venue – and likely a record that would be difficult to find if not for this major new set of newspapers being added to GenealogyBank. This is just one example of the millions of new marriage records, obituaries and birth announcements that we are pouring into GenealogyBank.

wedding announcement for Thomas Lindsay and Mary Fay, Sandwich Island News newspaper article 9 September 1846

Sandwich Island News (Honolulu, Hawaii), 9 September 1846, page 3

1700s Newspapers for Colonial & Revolutionary Research

Over 160 of these 450 historical newspapers date back to the 1700s, including more than 60 newspapers from Florida, New York, North Carolina and Ohio – all with back runs dating into the Colonial/Revolutionary War period.

montage showing front pages of historical newspapers

Sample List of Our New Historical Newspapers

We have added very old newspapers from multiple states, pushing back family history documentation in these states to periods when other genealogical records can be difficult to find.

Enter Last Name

Here are just a few examples of the new content that’s been added:

It’s a great day for genealogy!

Start searching these new additions in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives to see what genealogy records are now available about your ancestors that have never been this easily available online before.

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Are You Related to Pocahontas & John Rolfe?

If you are related to Pocahontas and John Rolfe, you’ll want to read this recent article from Popular Archaeology: Archaeologists rebuild 1608 church where Pocahontas was married.

article about Pocahontas in the magazine Popular Archaeology

Credit: Popular Archaeology

The June 2015 issue of Popular Archaeology has this interesting article that archeologists have found the original site of the church in Jamestown, Virginia, where Pocahontas and John Rolfe were married 401 years ago, on 5 April 1614.

Archeologists are rebuilding a replica of the church on the site. Here is a companion Youtube video showing how this rebuilding is being done: Experimental archaeology: bringing Jamestown’s early church to life.

Enter Last Name

In 1616 the Rolfes traveled to England and stayed for 10 months. In March 1617 they set sail to return to Virginia, but as the ship was heading down the river Thames Pocahontas (then renamed Rebecca Rolfe) took sick. She was taken ashore in Gravesend, England, where she died. She was buried there on 21 March 1617 in Saint George’s Church cemetery.

photo of a statue of Pocahontas in Saint George’s Church, Gravesend, Kent, England

Photo: statue of Pocahontas in Saint George’s Church, Gravesend, Kent, England. Source: Wikipedia.

According to Wikipedia:

Pocahontas and Rolfe had one child, Thomas Rolfe, who was born in 1615 before his parents left for England. Through this son, Pocahontas has many living descendants.

Two of Pocahontas’s descendants have become First Lady of the United States, both First Lady Edith Wilson and First Lady Nancy Reagan.

photo of First Lady Edith Wilson

Photo: First Lady Edith Wilson. Source: Wikipedia.

photo of First Lady Nancy Reagan

Photo: First Lady Nancy Reagan. Source: Wikipedia.

Did you know?

Pocahontas was known by many different names during her lifetime. She was a Powhatan Native American and it was common for Powhatan Indians to have several names. Pocahontas’s other Powhatan names included Matoaka and Amonute. She also changed her name to Rebecca upon converting to Christianity.

Do you know if you are related to Pocahontas?

If so – tell us how.

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Indiana Archives: 116 Newspapers Online for Genealogy Research

Located on the southern shore of Lake Michigan and bordered by Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois, Indiana state signs proclaim it the “Crossroads of America.” Indiana is the 38th largest state in the country, and the 16th most populous. It became the nation’s 19th state when it was admitted into the Union on 11 December 1816.

photo of an Indiana state sign on Interstate Highway 65

Photo: Indiana state sign on Interstate Highway 65. Credit: Andreas Faessler; Wikimedia Commons.

If you are researching your family roots in Indiana, you will want to use GenealogyBank’s online IN newspaper archives: 116 titles to help you search your family history in “The Hoosier State,” providing news coverage, family stories and vital statistics from 1804 to Today. There are currently more than 42 million newspaper articles and records in our online Indiana archives!

photo of Indianapolis, the capital of Indiana

Photo: Indianapolis, the capital of Indiana. Credit: Jasssmit; Wikimedia Commons.

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

Search Indiana Newspaper Archives (1804 – 1992)

Search Indiana Recent Obituaries (1988 – Current)

Here is a list of online Indiana 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 IN newspaper titles are listed alphabetically by city.

City Title Date Range* Collection
Anderson Herald Bulletin 11/13/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Attica Fountain Ledger 11/18/1852 – 5/19/1853 Newspaper Archives
Aurora Journal-Press 7/6/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Avon Hendricks County Flyer 9/24/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Batesville Batesville Herald-Tribune 12/24/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Batesville WRBI – 103.9 FM 1/29/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bedford Times-Mail 1/19/1996 – Current Recent Obituaries
Beech Grove Southside Times 5/29/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bloomington Indiana Gazette 11/27/1824 – 1/15/1825 Newspaper Archives
Bloomington Herald-Times 4/3/1988 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bluffton Bluffton News-Banner 1/4/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Boonville, Newburgh Boonville Standard & Newburgh-Chandler Register 8/11/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bremen Bremen Enquirer 6/12/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Brookville Brookville Enquirer 2/5/1819 – 12/26/1820 Newspaper Archives
Brookville Plain Dealer 11/5/1816 – 11/12/1816 Newspaper Archives
Carmel Current in Carmel 3/15/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbia City Post & Mail 10/3/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Connersville News-Examiner 3/26/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Corydon Indiana Gazette 6/21/1817 – 11/29/1821 Newspaper Archives
Covington Fountain Ledger 7/3/1851 – 10/29/1852 Newspaper Archives
Crawfordsville Journal Review 9/1/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Crawfordsville Paper of Montgomery County 11/26/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Culver Culver Citizen 6/12/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Decatur Decatur Daily Democrat 3/11/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
East Chicago Latin Times 2/1/1958 – 5/2/1975 Newspaper Archives
Elkhart Elkhart Daily Review 8/13/1872 – 5/21/1920 Newspaper Archives
Elkhart Elkhart Truth 2/11/1860 – 12/30/1922 Newspaper Archives
Elkhart Elkhart Weekly Review 2/5/1859 – 12/11/1909 Newspaper Archives
Elkhart Elkhart Weekly Truth 1/16/1902 – 7/21/1910 Newspaper Archives
Elkhart Elkhart Progressive Democrat 2/3/1914 – 3/31/1914 Newspaper Archives
Elkhart Elkhart Truth 12/29/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Evansville Evansville Courier and Press 5/29/1875 – 11/30/1992 Newspaper Archives
Evansville Evansville Courier & Press 6/19/1991 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fishers Current in Fishers 1/25/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fort Wayne Fort Wayne News Sentinel 6/29/1901 – 2/24/1923 Newspaper Archives
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette 2/14/1992 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fort Wayne News-Sentinel 1/16/1990 – Current Recent Obituaries
Frankfort Times 2/5/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Gary Gary Crusader 12/3/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Goshen Goshen News 10/26/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Greensburg Greensburg Daily News 7/22/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Huntington Huntington Herald-Press 5/13/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Indiana Harbour Amigo del Hogar 11/22/1925 – 4/13/1930 Newspaper Archives
Indianapolis Indianapolis Sentinel 7/2/1872 – 9/30/1882 Newspaper Archives
Indianapolis Freeman 7/21/1888 – 12/30/1916 Newspaper Archives
Indianapolis Indiana State Journal 6/24/1846 – 12/27/1899 Newspaper Archives
Indianapolis Indiana Democrat 8/14/1830 – 6/9/1841 Newspaper Archives
Indianapolis American Nonconformist 6/16/1892 – 4/2/1896 Newspaper Archives
Indianapolis Recorder 1/7/1899 – 12/29/1900 Newspaper Archives
Indianapolis Indianapolis Gazette 7/12/1825 – 2/25/1830 Newspaper Archives
Indianapolis Indianapolis Ledger 4/13/1918 – 10/28/1922 Newspaper Archives
Indianapolis Indianapolis World 1/27/1900 – 1/27/1900 Newspaper Archives
Indianapolis Indianapolis Business Journal 6/22/1998 – 5/12/2014 Recent Obituaries
Indianapolis Southsider Voice 7/1/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Indianapolis Indianapolis Recorder 9/10/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Indianapolis Franklin Township Informer 7/13/2011 – 5/7/2014 Recent Obituaries
Jasper Herald 6/24/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Jeffersonville, New Albany Evening News and Tribune 6/3/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Knox Leader 8/7/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Kokomo Kokomo Tribune 4/12/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
La Porte La Porte County Herald-Argus 6/7/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lawrenceburg Dearborn Gazette 8/17/1818 – 8/17/1818 Newspaper Archives
Lawrenceburg Dearborn County Register 7/3/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lebanon Reporter 4/9/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Logansport Colored Visitor 8/1/1879 – 8/1/1879 Newspaper Archives
Logansport Pharos-Tribune 11/2/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Madison Madison Daily Banner 3/23/1849 – 11/27/1851 Newspaper Archives
Madison Western Eagle 8/6/1813 – 4/8/1814 Newspaper Archives
Madison Indiana Republican 10/4/1817 – 5/20/1829 Newspaper Archives
Madison Madison Courier 5/1/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Marion Chronicle-Tribune 3/18/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Martinsville Reporter-Times 2/2/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Merrillville Post-Tribune 9/17/2000 – Current Recent Obituaries
Michigan City News-Dispatch 3/27/1997 – Current Recent Obituaries
Mooresville Mooresville-Decatur Times 2/2/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Mt. Vernon Mt. Vernon Democrat 12/23/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Nappanee Advance News 6/12/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
New Albany New Albany Daily Ledger 2/11/1854 – 9/15/1860 Newspaper Archives
New Albany New-Albany Chronicle 11/11/1820 – 7/28/1821 Newspaper Archives
New Albany Weekly Review 4/16/1881 – 4/16/1881 Newspaper Archives
New Castle Courier-Times 8/2/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
New Harmony Disseminator 6/29/1830 – 4/30/1840 Newspaper Archives
Noblesville Times 10/22/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Noblesville Current in Noblesville 1/25/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Notre Dame Observer, The: University of Notre Dame 10/4/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Peru Peru Tribune 6/19/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Plymouth Bourbon News-Mirror 7/31/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Plymouth Pilot-News 10/3/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Portland Commercial Review 4/17/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Princeton Princeton Daily Clarion 7/29/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Richmond Public Ledger 3/6/1824 – 8/18/1827 (selected coverage) Newspaper Archives
Richmond Earlham Word, The: Earlham College 4/16/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Rising Sun Ohio County News, The – Rising Sun Recorder 12/3/2009 – 10/6/2010 Recent Obituaries
Rockport Spencer County Journal-Democrat 4/9/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Rushville Rushville Republican 4/13/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Salem Indiana Farmer 5/30/1823 – 11/18/1825 Newspaper Archives
Salem Tocsin 3/31/1818 – 7/5/1819 Newspaper Archives
Salem Annotator of News Politics and Literature 1/1/1827 – 1/8/1827 Newspaper Archives
Shelbyville Shelbyville News 6/2/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
South Bend South Bend Forum 5/26/1923 – 5/26/1923 Newspaper Archives
South Bend South Bend Tribune 1/1/1994 – Current Recent Obituaries
South Bend South Bend Tribune: Web Edition Articles 3/10/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
State-Wide County Indiana Lawyer 11/5/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Tell City Perry County News 11/13/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Terre Haute Wabash Courier 3/31/1826 – 1/1/1853 Newspaper Archives
Terre Haute Terre Haute Express 12/25/1878 – 8/20/1879 Newspaper Archives
Terre Haute Tribune-Star 1/9/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Vevay Indiana Register 9/16/1816 – 11/25/1817 Newspaper Archives
Vincennes Western Sun and General Advertiser 8/5/1820 – 11/4/1843 Newspaper Archives
Vincennes Indiana Centinel 3/14/1817 – 9/8/1821 Newspaper Archives
Vincennes Indiana Gazette 8/7/1804 – 8/14/1805 Newspaper Archives
Vincennes Vincennes Sun-Commercial 10/7/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
Wabash Wabash Plain Dealer 5/19/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Washington Washington Times-Herald 11/5/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Westfield Current in Westfield 9/28/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Zionsville Zionsville Times Sentinel 12/7/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries

*Date Ranges may have selected coverage unavailable.

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

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Willard Hyatt’s Genealogy Puzzler: ‘Houston, We Have a Problem’

In researching Willard O. Hyatt’s genealogy, I quickly found this entry for his tombstone.

a montage showing Willard Hyatt’s tombstone and death certificate

Montage showing Willard Hyatt’s tombstone and death certificate. Credit: FamilySearch – partner site Find-a-Grave.

Great – that is my target Willard O. Hyatt. He was born in Burlington, Calhoun County, Michigan, and I knew that he died there.  I could see by his tombstone that he died in 1934.

Armed with this initial tombstone information it was time to dig deeper.

By pulling his entries in the old U.S. census, his death certificate, and other records, we can begin to piece together the facts of his life.

I next found his death certificate.

photo of Willard Hyatt's death certificate

Credit: FamilySearch, Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952

Hmm…“Houston, we have a problem.”

His date of death in the death certificate is not agreeing with the date carved on his tombstone.

I looked in the old newspapers in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives to see if I could find out more about this discrepancy – and uncovered an unusual story.

article about Willard Hyatt's tombstone, Heraldo de Brownsville newspaper article 4 November 1937

Heraldo de Brownsville (Brownsville, Texas), 4 November 1937, page 9

This article in the Heraldo de Brownsville newspaper gives us the rest of Willard’s story, telling us why he decided to commission his own gravestone so many years before his death – and why it has the wrong date.

Enter Last Name

Willard figured that since both of his parents – Thomas Hyatt (1806-1887) and Mary Ann (Odell) Hyatt (1811-1891) – died at age 80, he too would die at 80 years of age.

So in 1906 – 18 years before his projected date of death – he bought a tombstone and had the carver enter his life dates as he expected them to be: 1854-1934, when he would be 80 years old.

But as things turned out, it was another 10 years before Willard finally passed away – on the 28th of October 1944.

Genealogy Tip: Dig deep and find every supporting genealogical document. Go beyond census and vital records in your genealogy research. Be sure to search the old newspapers – that’s where the stories of our ancestors are.

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