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.

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 Ohio newspaper links will be live.

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Genealogy Surprise: My Ancestor’s Journal of War Stories!

I didn’t expect to find this.
My family is obscure – generally unknown to history. Sure, their obituaries and marriages made the paper – and when something unusual happened to them, that made the newspaper too.

But – this was quite a find.

article about Jacob Robinson's Mexican-American War journal, Portsmouth Journal of Literature and Politics newspaper article 30 October 1847

Portsmouth Journal of Literature and Politics (Portsmouth, New Hampshire), 30 October 1847, page 2

It turns out that my cousin Jacob Sawyer Robinson (1814-1886), who was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, had enlisted in Col. Alexander Doniphan’s Missouri Regiment during the Mexican-American War – AND he kept a journal.

I didn’t know he was a soldier in the Mexican-American War.
His journal made its way to the editor of the Portsmouth Journal of Literature and Politics and the editor announced that he would be serializing the journal in his newspaper.

The editor told his readers:

Although his horse-back sketches may not be so well connected as a journalist under different circumstances might prepare, yet they will be found interesting.

This is terrific. What a valuable family history find.
My cousin had joined the military and kept a journal!

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The newspaper started the serialization on New Year’s Day 1848. According to the editor, Jacob Robinson “was probably the only New-England man in that expedition.”

From the Wikipedia article on Alexander William Doniphan:

In 1846, at the beginning of the Mexican–American War, [Col. Alexander] Doniphan was commissioned a Colonel of the 1st Regiment of Missouri Mounted Volunteers, and served in several campaigns, including General Stephen W. Kearny’s capture of Santa Fe and an invasion of northern Mexico (present day northern New Mexico).

photo of Colonel Alexander William Doniphan

Photo: Colonel Alexander William Doniphan, between 1844 and 1860. Credit: Mathew Brady; Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Northern New Mexico – Santa Fe – hey, I lived in that area for several years. Now I really want to read his journal entries.

article about Jacob Robinson's Mexican-American War journal, Portsmouth Journal of Literature and Politics newspaper article 1 January 1848

Portsmouth Journal of Literature and Politics (Portsmouth, New Hampshire), 1 January 1848, page 2

The published excerpts from Robinson’s journal start with his entry on 22 June 1846. When his unit got word that they would be leaving for Santa Fe, they reacted with “a joyous shout [that] rings in [his] memory yet.”

Amazing. I don’t know if anyone in my family still has a copy of Robinson’s journal. Until I found these newspaper articles, I did not even know he had kept a journal of his war experiences. Thanks to the old newspapers preserved in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives, now we have it – we have his story as he wrote it down in his personal journal.

Genealogy Tip: Keep digging – the old newspapers published more than obituaries and wedding announcements. They just might have published your ancestor’s journal from the Mexican-American War!

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How to Find Old Family Photos & More in Newspapers

Introduction: Gena Philibert-Ortega is a genealogist and author of the book “From the Family Kitchen.” In this blog article, Gena shares some of her favorite old photos that she’s found in historical newspapers.

There’s no doubt I love to read and research old newspapers. The diverse news stories you can find are always amazing. But newspapers also provide a visual feast of images. Let’s face it, images tell a story much more powerfully than words alone. Images provide us with additional information as we research our ancestor, their place, and time.

Often when we research an ancestor we are focused on finding information about that single person and perhaps their family. In some cases you might find your ancestor’s photo in the newspaper – but what other types of photographs are available? Here are some of my favorite examples of old photos I found while browsing in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives.

Old Family Reunion Photos

Newspapers are a great resource for finding family stories. Newspaper articles provide information about a person’s life from cradle to grave – and all the activities in between. One way they report on family stories is through articles about family reunions – and these articles can have photos that are very helpful to family historians.

Family reunion photos may be of everyone at the gathering or just a few members, such as this reunion photo of two of the older members in attendance at the Chenault-Chennault clan’s 1952 reunion that drew over 255 relatives from seven states to Dallas, Texas. One of the issues discussed at the reunion? Whether their surname should be spelled Chenault or Chennault.

photo from the Chenault family reunion, Dallas Morning News newspaper article 1 September 1952

Dallas Morning News (Dallas, Texas), 1 September 1952, section III, page 1

It’s great to have this old family photo and the accompanying information about those relatives pictured. Mrs. Blanche Chenault Junkin was a retired teacher and stated she had “won three college degrees after she was sixty years old.”

Sometimes a “family reunion” isn’t a large gathering of descendants, but instead a celebration of a singular family event – such as this photo taken on the occasion of Mrs. Nancy J. Atkinson’s 91st birthday in 1922, when her eight children came to pay her a visit and help celebrate.

photo of the Atkinson family reunion, Colorado Springs Gazette newspaper article 10 September 1922

Colorado Springs Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colorado), 10 September 1922, page 20

Multi-Generation Family Photos

How many generations of your family could you have pose for a family photo? Unfortunately, in my current family we max out at three – but for other families, four to six generations can be found in one photograph. Newspapers are a great place to find these types of multi-generation family photos.

This five-generation family photo is of Mrs. Eliza Heminger, her son George Heminger, Mrs. Lillian Hall, Mrs. Ethel Campany and Ethel’s baby daughter Leafy.

photo of the Smith family reunion, Grand Rapids Press newspaper article 12 January 1907

Grand Rapids Press (Grand Rapids, Michigan), 12 January 1907, page 11

Multi-generation family photos are just one of the general interest-type stories and images that one can find in old newspapers.

Natural Disaster Photos

Telling your ancestor’s story is more than just finding vital statistics about him or her. Filling in the details about their life is equally important – as well as finding out what was going on in the times they lived in – and for those stories, you need newspaper articles of the day. You can find all types of photos from historical events in the newspaper – and often if the event was big enough, those photos were not limited to just the hometown newspapers.

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For example, photographs of this 1915 Italian earthquake were published in a Northern California newspaper. Most likely this was the 13 January 1915 Avezzano earthquake that killed 30,000 people. Photos of the devastation, printed weeks and months after the event, were the only way that distant family, friends, and concerned parties could size up the destruction.

photo of an earthquake in Italy, San Jose Mercury News newspaper article 6 February 1915

San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, California), 6 February 1915, page 1

California is no stranger to earthquakes. One of the most famous is the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, which not only caused destruction from the shaking but the subsequent fires. Three days after the earthquake of 1906 struck, 500 city blocks—over 25,000 buildings—had been smashed or burned; the earthquake and fire combined to destroy over 80 percent of the city. So many old news articles and images can be found for this earthquake that it’s quite easy to put together information about how a family was affected during and after the disaster.

photo of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, Register Star newspaper article 18 April 2005

Register Star (Rockford, Illinois), 18 April 2005, page 3

Genealogy Tip: As you put together a timeline of your ancestor’s life, make sure to note any events, including disasters, which may have impacted them. Once you have identified dates for those events, search the newspaper for accompanying photos and stories.

School Group Photos

One thing I love about newspapers is the ability to find all family members, not just adults. Children, teens, and young adults are well represented in the newspaper, especially when it comes to school activities. Numerous school group photos can be found in newspapers. While we may think of class photos, graduation announcements, or sports highlights, other types of school happenings are also well documented in old newspapers, like this 1939 photo from Brownsville, Texas, of the new student leaders at the high school and junior college.

photo of school class presidents, Heraldo de Brownsville newspaper article 6 October 1939

Heraldo de Brownsville (Brownsville, Texas), 6 October 1939, page 3

Unlike the photo above that includes everyone’s name, this next photo has only one student name: Miss Borghild Asleson. However, this old school photo provides some important social history regarding attending college during the Great Depression. This class photo of students at Park Region Lutheran College in Minnesota shows them paying their tuition with wheat grown on their family farm. You can imagine how important that payment option was to families during those hard economic times.

photo of student paying tuition with grain at Park Region Lutheran College, National Labor Tribune newspaper article 24 September 1931

National Labor Tribune (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), 24 September 1931, page 8

The examples of historical photos shown in this blog article are just the tip of the iceberg. Newspaper photos provide an important element in telling your family story, whether you are searching for the people photographed, an event, or a place. Old newspapers can help you tell that story with this rich resource.

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Find the True Life Stories of Our Revolutionary War Ancestors

GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives have not only the stories of our Revolutionary War ancestors – but daily news reports of the war itself.

newspaper articles about the American Revolutionary War from GenealogyBank's archives

With newspapers in GenealogyBank’s collection spanning the entire 1700s, you can find thousands of exclusive historical news articles about Revolutionary War battles, politics and day to day life as it was reported in the newspapers of the time. Track your ancestor as he went from battle to battle…and then through the years after the war.

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Where else can you find these stories of the American Revolutionary period – recorded as our ancestors lived them?

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New Hampshire Archives: 75 Newspapers for Genealogy Research

One of the original Thirteen Colonies, New Hampshire was the first of the new United States to have its own state constitution. Part of the New England region, New Hampshire is the 5th smallest state in the nation, and the 9th least populous.

photo of Lake Winnipesaukee and the Ossipee Mountains, New Hampshire

Photo: Lake Winnipesaukee and the Ossipee Mountains, New Hampshire. Credit: Don Kasak; Wikimedia Commons.

If you are researching your ancestry from New Hampshire, you will want to use GenealogyBank’s online NH newspaper archives: 75 titles to help you search your family history in “The Granite State,” providing coverage from 1756 to Today. There are more than 3.5 million articles and records in our online New Hampshire archives!

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

Search New Hampshire Newspaper Archives (1756 – 1891)

Search New Hampshire Recent Obituaries (1989 – Current)

illustration: state flag of New Hampshire

Illustration: state flag of New Hampshire. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Here is a list of online New Hampshire 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 NH newspaper titles are listed alphabetically by city.

City Title Date Range* Collection
Amherst Farmer’s Cabinet 11/11/1802 – 12/29/1882 Newspaper Archives
Amherst Amherst Village Messenger 01/09/1796 – 12/05/1801 Newspaper Archives
Amherst Hillsboro Telegraph 01/01/1820 – 06/29/1822 Newspaper Archives
Amherst Amherst Journal 01/16/1795 – 01/02/1796 Newspaper Archives
Bedford Bedford Bulletin 01/08/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Candia, Auburn Candia-Auburn Post 12/04/2014 – Current Recent Obituaries
Chester, Hampstead, Sandown Tri-Town Times: Web Edition Articles 02/28/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Chester, Hampstead, Sandown Tri-Town Times 01/20/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Concord Republican Gazetteer 11/22/1796 – 04/04/1797 Newspaper Archives
Concord New Star 04/11/1797 – 10/03/1797 Newspaper Archives
Concord New Hampshire Patriot and State Gazette 04/18/1809 – 04/10/1890 Newspaper Archives
Concord Republican Gazette 02/05/1801 – 04/28/1803 Newspaper Archives
Concord Courier of New Hampshire 02/13/1794 – 10/30/1805 Newspaper Archives
Concord New Hampshire Observer 04/01/1822 – 12/26/1834 Newspaper Archives
Concord Concord Observer 01/04/1819 – 03/25/1822 Newspaper Archives
Concord Mirrour 09/06/1792 – 09/02/1799 Newspaper Archives
Concord American Patriot 10/18/1808 – 04/11/1809 Newspaper Archives
Concord Concord Herald 01/06/1790 – 02/06/1794 Newspaper Archives
Concord Concord Gazette 07/19/1806 – 05/01/1819 Newspaper Archives
Derry Nutfield News 01/13/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Derry Derry News 01/08/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Dover Political and Sentimental Repository, or Strafford Recorder 07/29/1790 – 01/04/1792 Newspaper Archives
Dover Phoenix 02/08/1792 – 08/22/1795 Newspaper Archives
Dover Foster’s Daily Democrat 03/04/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Dover Sun 10/10/1795 – 12/26/1820 Newspaper Archives
Dover New-Hampshire Republican 01/03/1825 – 10/30/1829 Newspaper Archives
Exeter Newhampshire Gazetteer 08/18/1789 – 02/13/1793 Newspaper Archives
Exeter American Herald of Liberty 06/04/1793 – 11/18/1795 Newspaper Archives
Exeter Constitutionalist 05/21/1810 – 06/14/1814 Newspaper Archives
Exeter Exeter Journal 02/24/1778 – 05/25/1779 Newspaper Archives
Exeter Freeman’s Oracle, and New-Hampshire Advertiser 07/01/1786 – 10/07/1789 Newspaper Archives
Exeter Exeter Watchman 01/07/1817 – 12/07/1819 Newspaper Archives
Goffstown Goffstown News 01/08/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hanover Dartmouth Gazette 08/27/1799 – 02/09/1820 Newspaper Archives
Hanover Eagle 07/22/1793 – 06/01/1799 Newspaper Archives
Hanover American 02/07/1816 – 04/02/1817 Newspaper Archives
Haverhill New Hampshire Intelligencer 12/27/1820 – 11/26/1823 Newspaper Archives
Hooksett Hooksett Banner 01/08/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Keene Columbian Informer or Cheshire Journal 05/09/1793 – 04/21/1795 Newspaper Archives
Keene Cheshire Advertiser 01/19/1792 – 12/06/1792 Newspaper Archives
Keene New Hampshire Sentinel 03/23/1799 – 12/30/1891 Newspaper Archives
Keene New-Hampshire Recorder 08/21/1787 – 02/24/1791 Newspaper Archives
Keene Rising Sun 08/11/1795 – 06/23/1798 Newspaper Archives
Kingston Carriage Towne News 10/08/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Laconia Lake Village Times 01/18/1868 – 12/30/1876 Newspaper Archives
Londonderry Londonderry Times 02/10/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Manchester Weekly Union 01/24/1851 – 12/26/1871 Newspaper Archives
Manchester New Hampshire Journal of Agriculture 02/26/1850 – 10/26/1853 Newspaper Archives
Manchester Telescope 01/13/1849 – 10/13/1849 Newspaper Archives
Manchester Mirror and Farmer 01/07/1865 – 12/30/1876 Newspaper Archives
Manchester Manchester Daily Mirror 01/01/1851 – 12/31/1863 Newspaper Archives
Manchester New Hampshire Union Leader / New Hampshire Sunday News 08/15/1989 – Current Recent Obituaries
Nashua Telegraph 07/28/1998 – Current Recent Obituaries
Portsmouth War Journal 03/12/1813 – 12/10/1813 Newspaper Archives
Portsmouth New-Hampshire Gazette 10/07/1756 – 12/30/1851 Newspaper Archives
Portsmouth Federal Observer 11/22/1798 – 05/29/1800 Newspaper Archives
Portsmouth United States Oracle 01/04/1800 – 10/15/1803 Newspaper Archives
Portsmouth Intelligencer 12/04/1806 – 05/15/1817 Newspaper Archives
Portsmouth People’s Advocate 09/24/1816 – 05/17/1817 Newspaper Archives
Portsmouth Portsmouth Oracle 10/22/1803 – 06/30/1821 Newspaper Archives
Portsmouth New-Hampshire Spy 10/24/1786 – 03/02/1793 Newspaper Archives
Portsmouth Portsmouth Journal of Literature and Politics 07/07/1821 – 12/30/1876 Newspaper Archives
Portsmouth Herald of Gospel Liberty 09/01/1808 – 03/08/1816 Newspaper Archives
Portsmouth Portsmouth Herald 02/18/2015 – Current Recent Obituaries
Portsmouth Oracle Post 10/25/1803 – 06/18/1805 Newspaper Archives
Portsmouth Political Star 06/28/1804 – 11/08/1804 Newspaper Archives
Portsmouth Oracle of the Day 06/04/1793 – 12/28/1799 Newspaper Archives
Portsmouth New-Hampshire Mercury and General Advertiser 12/24/1784 – 03/12/1788 Newspaper Archives
Portsmouth Freeman’s Journal 05/25/1776 – 06/09/1778 Newspaper Archives
Portsmouth Oracle of New-Hampshire 05/22/1817 – 09/11/1817 Newspaper Archives
Salem Salem Observer 01/08/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Walpole Democratic Republican 07/04/1812 – 07/05/1813 Newspaper Archives
Walpole Newhampshire Journal, or, the Farmer’s Weekly Museum 04/11/1793 – 03/28/1797 Newspaper Archives
Walpole Farmer’s Weekly Museum 04/04/1797 – 10/15/1810 Newspaper Archives
Walpole Political Observatory 11/19/1803 – 03/20/1809 Newspaper Archives

*Date Ranges may have selected coverage unavailable.

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Tips for Researching Birthdays & Birthday Notices in Newspapers

Introduction: Mary Harrell-Sesniak is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background. In this blog article, Mary finds birthday articles and notices in old newspapers to show how they can help with your family history research.

I suppose there are people who don’t celebrate birthdays, but they’re hard to find. Who wouldn’t want to partake in this annual celebration of life?

The Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson was the exception. In 1900, he bequeathed his birthday to Adelaide Ide, a little girl who had “carelessly” been born on Leap Day (29th February). Many accounts claim that she had been born on Christmas Day, but one of the wonderful things about historical newspaper articles is that they correct mistakes like this.

Not wishing for Adelaide to be cheated out of birthdays every three years out of four, Stevenson wrote:

I, Robert Louis Stevenson, in a sound state of mind and body, having arrived at an age when I no longer have any use for birthdays, do give and bequeath my birthday, on the 13th of November, to Miss Adelaide Ide, to be hers from this year as long as she wishes it. Robert Louis Stevenson.

article about Robert Louis Stevenson, Daily Illinois State Register newspaper article 3 June 1900

Daily Illinois State Register (Springfield, Illinois), 3 June 1900, page 10

What a delightful birthday idea!

Genealogical Stories in Newspaper Birthday Notices

Newspaper articles round out our genealogical stories, so use them lavishly to learn how family celebrated festive affairs such as birthdays. Many articles, such as this one from 1895, suggest hints for planning a child’s big day.

article about birthday cakes, Evening Star newspaper article 2 February 1895

Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 2 February 1895, page 12

This next newspaper article, from 1892, reminds us that high teas were in favor – but it also demonstrates that many birthday customs have not changed. As is practiced today, the child’s name was written in frosting on the birthday cake, which was decorated with candles to match her age plus one to grow on.

article about birthday cakes and parties, Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper article 6 November 1892

Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 6 November 1892, page 13

Life Milestones

Birthday articles with the most impressive genealogical data spotlight celebrants who attain impressive milestones, such as this 1894 newspaper article reporting on the 105th birthday of Hannah Chard. This article notes where she was born, her birth date, her maiden name and some of her progeny. Facts and narratives are reported, such as how she gathered cannonballs at the Revolutionary War battlefield in Pennsylvania from the Battle of Brandywine.

birthday notice for Hannah Chard, New York Herald newspaper article 14 April 1894

New York Herald (New York, New York), 14 April 1894, page 14

This 1800s newspaper article alludes to several timelines in Hannah’s life. Although she was of Pennsylvania Dutch heritage, Hannah came to live with a Quaker family around the age of five after her father passed away, and her husband’s death is reported as occurring 12 years earlier. If you were searching for pertinent dates, an old news article like this provides important leads.

We also learn that Hannah enjoyed exceptional health at the age of 105, despite taking great comfort in smoking a clay pipe four times a day!

An interesting genealogy aside: I have an ancestor who also found cannonballs at the Battle of Brandywine battlefield.

photo of a cannonball from the Battle of the Brandywine found by Mary Harrell-Sesniak's ancestor, Edith Scott

Photo: cannonball from the Battle of the Brandywine found by the author’s ancestor, Edith Scott. Credit: Mary Harrell-Sesniak.

Surprise Birthday Parties

Surprise birthday parties frequently make the news, and those newspaper articles can identify family relationships helpful to your family history research, or sometimes describe gifts that may have become family heirlooms.

Enter Last Name

This 1880 newspaper article does both, noting three generations of family in attendance and a special chair.

Mrs. Evelene Laverty turned 75 in 1880, and she was kept out of the house before being surprised by her son-in-law with upwards of thirty relatives and friends at her surprise birthday party. Two of the people attending were her brother and sister-in-law, the Darlings, a useful tidbit when searching for maiden names. Their daughter, Mrs. R. C. Dart, was also present.

birthday notice for Eveline Laverty, Jackson Citizen Patriot newspaper article 3 January 1880

Jackson Citizen Patriot (Jackson, Michigan), 3 January 1880, page 5

Surprise birthday parties are not always given by family members.

In this 1883 newspaper article, we learn about E. B. Myers, a school teacher at Elkhart, Indiana. When his students realized it was his birthday, they surprised him with a pair of elegant slippers and a lovely note:

Mr. Myers will please accept the accompanying gift as a token of the high esteem and regard of his pupils.

birthday notice for E. B. Myers, Elkhart Daily Review newspaper article 15 March 1883

Elkhart Daily Review (Elkhart, Indiana), 15 March 1883, page 3

Genealogy Tips for Researching Birthdays in the News

To recap, newspaper birthday notices may contain:

  • addresses (home & location of the party)
  • attire worn and decorations
  • dates (birthday & date of the festivity)
  • food, refreshments, activities & the entertainment
  • birthday gifts & presents
  • guest lists, family members & their relationships
  • photographs
  • Cross-reference birthday notices with birth and vital records, to see if someone fudged on an age
  • Cross-reference names to see how they are related
  • Search other years for similar announcements
  • Search for nicknames, particularly in classified advertisements

Foreign Birthday Terms

If an ancestor was an immigrant or child of an immigrant, search by foreign language birthday keywords. Remember that although different countries may share a language, the term in one location may vary from another. Here are some examples:

  • Dutch: verjaardag
  • French : anniversaire, fête, la jour de naissance
  • German: geburtstag
  • Irish: lá breithe
  • Spanish: ¡feliz cumpleaños!

Fun Genealogy Activity

If you’re working on your family genealogy or planning a summer reunion, search old newspaper headlines for memorable events that occurred on the day someone was born, or on a milestone birthday. You never know what interesting facts you might discover about their date of birth.

If you’ve found an unusual birthday notice doing your newspaper research, please share it with us in the comments.

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Brave Women of the American Revolutionary War Era

Introduction: Gena Philibert-Ortega is a genealogist and author of the book “From the Family Kitchen.” In this blog article, Gena searches old newspapers to find stories of some brave American women and their deeds during the Revolutionary War.

When we think of the American Revolutionary War we reflect on the sacrifices and bravery exhibited by the men of the era. We tell the stories of heroes like George Washington and John Paul Jones. But what did women do during the Revolutionary War era? What were these early American women like? We tend to believe that they were “just housewives,” more “delicate” than women of a latter era. Sure, they were tough due to lack of technology, access to medical care, and the hardships they faced. But how tough were they?

Illustration: “Heroism of Miss Elizabeth Zane” depicts Elizabeth Zane’s legendary feat of retrieving gunpowder during the siege of Fort Henry during the American Revolutionary War

Illustration: “Heroism of Miss Elizabeth Zane” depicts Elizabeth Zane’s legendary feat of retrieving gunpowder during the siege of Fort Henry during the American Revolutionary War. Lithograph by Nagel and Weingaertner, 1851. Source: Library of Congress.

When we look at our Revolutionary War foremothers, in some cases they were so tough that they kicked butt and didn’t bother to take names. Yes, that’s right. Our Revolutionary War-era foremothers were TOUGH!

Hannah Gaunt

My first introduction to this was from my own family history research: the story of Hannah Gaunt of South Carolina, daughter of Israel Gaunt who was a Quaker. Now let me set the scene for you. It seems that Israel was known to have some money. During the war, three Tories decided to go over to the Gaunt house to relieve Israel of that money. After sunset, the would-be robbers rode up to Israel’s home and asked for lodging. The Gaunts refused their request. One of the men, a guy named Hubbs, rode up to the kitchen door and asked Mrs. Gaunt for some water. When Mrs. Gaunt went to get the water, Hubbs jumped into action and entered the house. Mrs. Gaunt yelled to her husband so that he could lock the other doors, preventing the other two outlaws from getting in. Suddenly Hubbs drew his pistol and aimed it at Mr. Gaunt’s chest.

Now, let’s stop there. Here is Mr. Gaunt with a pistol to his chest while his wife and daughter look on, seemingly helpless. Two other outlaws who would do them harm are outside waiting for their chance to grab the family’s money. What do you do?

Well if you are Hannah Gaunt you leap into action: you wrestle the bad guy for his gun and pin him to the ground. According to this later 1859 newspaper article recounting the episode:

…she held him with an iron gripe [sic], notwithstanding his violent struggles to release himself, and his plunging his spurs again and again into her dress and her limbs. While the Amazonian damsel thus pinned him down, her father snapped two loaded muskets at his head…

article about Hannah Gaunt, Weekly Wisconsin Patriot newspaper article 22 January 1859

Weekly Wisconsin Patriot (Madison, Wisconsin), 22 January 1859, page 3

Mary Hooks Slocumb

So was Hannah Gaunt the only woman who had a fighting spirit? Certainly not; we know that some women during the American Revolutionary War fought on the battlefields, while others protected their homes. Newspapers reported on these brave women’s exploits.

Enter Last Name

This 1851 newspaper article, a review of Mrs. Elizabeth F. Ellet’s 1850 three-volume book The Women of the American Revolution, recounts one of the stories from that book involving a very brave woman: Mary Hooks Slocumb. One night after having a dream where she saw her soldier husband injured from battle, she took to her horse and rode all night alone, approximately 60 miles, to reach the battle where her husband’s unit was. Although he was not one of the injured, many others were – and Mary ignored the sounds of cannon fire and tended to their needs. So that readers would not get the impression that Mary was anything but a lady, the article added:

Though Mrs. Slocumb could ride a horse, shoot a pistol, or take part in many masculine employments, she was not inattentive to many feminine duties…

article about Mary Hooks Slocumb, Daily National Intelligencer newspaper article 19 June 1851

Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, D.C.), 19 June 1851, page 3

Elizabeth Zane

Women volunteered to do all sorts of tasks to help the Revolutionary War effort, often at great risk. This 1849 newspaper article recounted the story of Elizabeth Zane’s bravery during a British attack on the American Fort Henry. After two days of holding the enemy at bay, the patriots were running out of gunpowder. They needed someone to run through enemy fire to a nearby block-house and retrieve more. At first, when asked, none of the men would volunteer. Finally a boy said he would do it, which of course prompted the men to volunteer. The men then started arguing about who should go – when the sister of Colonel Silas Zane (who was in the outside block-house) volunteered. Another of her brothers was in the fort, and he didn’t want her to run the risk.

The old newspaper article reports:

Her brother thought she would flinch from the enterprise, but he was mistaken. She had the intrepidity to dare, and the fortitude to bear her up in the heroic risk of her life.

Her brother tried to talk her out of it, but Elizabeth was resolute. She ran to the block-house unharmed, and then returned to the fort with the precious extra gunpowder through a volley of enemy bullets.

article about Elizabeth Zane, Semi-weekly Eagle newspaper article 11 October 1849

Semi-weekly Eagle (Brattleboro, Vermont), 11 October 1849, page 1

Mrs. Porter Philbrook

The bravery and heroism of American women during the Revolution continued to be discussed long after the fighting ended. Newspaper obituaries and memoirs noted those women and their acts of valor during the Revolutionary War period. Even latter-day women who displayed strength and cunning were likened to their Revolutionary mothers, as in this case involving an 1850 home burglary that resulted in the capture of the culprit by the lady of the house, Mrs. Porter Philbrook of Wilton, New Hampshire.

In telling of her bravery in apprehending a burglar while her husband was away, this 1850 newspaper article said she performed:

“a deed of daring”…which would not be unworthy of the bravest of the “women of the Revolution.”

As Mrs. Philbrook was preparing to retire for the night, she heard a noise and found a burglar breaking in – whom she confronted and subdued.

article about Mrs. Porter Philbrook, National Aegis newspaper article 25 December 1850

National Aegis (Worcester, Massachusetts), 25 December 1850, page 2

What did your Revolutionary War-era ancestress do? Probably more than you imagine. While you might think that these women sat at home and waited, more likely they were involved in something to assist in the war effort. In some cases they were true heroines.

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Hungarian-Born Revolutionary War Vet Dies

I found this interesting obituary for John Baker (1741-1826).

obituary for John Baker, Boston Traveler newspaper article 3 May 1826

Boston Traveler (Boston, Massachusetts), 3 May 1826, page 3

It says that Baker:

was a native of Hungary, came to this country with [British General John] Burgoyne, and deserted from his army and joined the Americans, in whose service he continued his aid till the close of the revolution.

Is there more to know?

On its website, the Johannes Schwalm Historical Association describes itself this way:

JSHA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to researching those German auxiliary troops (generically called Hessian) who remained in America after the Revolutionary War, became loyal citizens, made cultural contributions and were the progenitors of any thousands of Americans living today.

An article in Hessians, the JSHA journal, gives more possible details about John Baker:

John Baker (Johann Becker) a so-called Hessian, is said to be buried in Westfield [Massachusetts]. He could have been Johann Becker, drummer (tambour) with Captain Ahler’s Company of the von Rhetz Regiment of the Brunswick Army. He was from Friedersdorf and born in 1749. He deserted (date unknown) and joined the American forces.

Article citation: Webler, Robert M. “German (so called Hessian) soldiers who remained in Massachusetts and neighboring states, particularly after the Battles of Bennington and Saratoga.” Hessians: Journal of the Johannes Schwalm Historical Association, Issue number 9 (2006), pages 82–88.

Enter Last Name

A Reminder: Records do not always agree. In this example, the obituary pegs his birth year as about 1841, while the Hessians article suggests “He could have been Johann Becker, drummer… [who] was from Friedersdorf and born in 1749.”

Since this might not be the same person and we don’t know the basis for Webler’s statement that Baker was born in 1749, I have used the earlier birth year suggested by his obituary notice for his life dates.

Are you a descendant of Revolutionary Ward soldier John Baker? If so, please contact us – we’d like to know more.

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Revolutionary War Ancestry: Our Top 6 How-to Posts

With the Fourth of July approaching, America prepares to celebrate Independence Day – and genealogists’ thoughts turn to their Revolutionary War ancestry. There are many good sources of information about this crucial period in American history, including historical newspaper archives, museums, and various Revolutionary War and military websites that can tell you about the times your ancestors lived in, the roles they played, and details of their individual lives.

This blog post highlights some of the past articles we’ve published on the GenealogyBank Blog about researching Revolutionary War ancestors. Just click on the title of any article that interests you to read the full blog post. Also, please note that in addition to the 27 Colonial newspapers listed in the graphic below, we just added 450+ newspaper titles from the 1700s and 1800s to GenealogyBank’s archives, creating one of the most comprehensive online resources for researching your Colonial and Revolutionary period ancestry on the web.

list showing 27 Colonial American newspapers in GenealogyBank's online collection

Painting: "Washington Crossing the Delaware," by Emanuel Leutze (1851)

Painting: Washington Crossing the Delaware, by Emanuel Leutze (1851). Source: Wikimedia Commons.

screenshot of the Daughters of the American Revolution website

Source: Daughters of the American Revolution

photo of Philipse Manor

Photo: Philipse Manor. Source: Library of Congress.

obituary for Isaac Van Wart, Barre Gazette newspaper article 31 July 1840

Barre Gazette (Barre, Massachusetts), 31 July 1840, page 2

obituary for Mary Wyckoff, Minerva newspaper article 29 May 1797

Minerva (New York, New York), 29 May 1797, page 3

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Lieutenant Colonel Custer’s Infamous ‘Last Stand’ at Little Big Horn

On 25 June 1876 a force of around 2,000 Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors, fiercely defending their combined village on the Little Bighorn River in Montana Territory, stopped a surprise attack from 600 men of the U.S. 7th Cavalry led by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer. When the dust finally settled from the furious fighting, Custer and every man of the five companies he was leading lay dead, with the 7th Cavalry’s other seven companies pinned down and unable to come to his aid.

Painting: “The Custer Fight” by Charles Marion Russell

Painting: “The Custer Fight” by Charles Marion Russell. Lithograph. Shows the Battle of Little Bighorn, from the Indian side. Source: Library of Congress.

U.S. forces lost 268 men that day, including 31 officers and 10 scouts, and another 55 were wounded in the legendary battle. History will never know how many Indians died during the fighting, with estimates ranging from 40 to 140. One thing is certain, however: the Battle of the Little Bighorn was a complete disaster for Custer, and is known as “Custer’s Last Stand.”

The battle remains one of the most famous in American history, and one of the most controversial. Was Custer the victim of bad luck, overwhelmed by superior numbers through no fault of his own? Or did he cause the deaths of his men because he was proud and vain, recklessly attacking a much larger force because he wanted the glory and credit of defeating the enemy before approaching reinforcements from General Terry and Colonel Gibbon could arrive?

Enter Last Name

The following two 1800s newspaper articles give an indication of how a shocked America learned the news of Custer’s annihilation, just days after the nation had jubilantly celebrated its centennial on 4 July 1876. The first old news article is an editorial that, while acknowledging Custer’s bravery and touting his remarkable Civil War record, nonetheless calls him “not well balanced” and speaks of his “rashness.” The second historical news article presents some of the first news the outside world learned of the disaster, conveyed by a scout who arrived on the scene with Colonel Gibbon after the battle and surveyed the carnage on the battlefield.

Gen. Custer's Disaster and Death, Boston Journal newspaper article 6 July 1876

Boston Journal (Boston, Massachusetts), 6 July 1876, page 2

This historical newspaper editorial states:

Gen. Custer’s Disaster and Death

The tidings of Gen. Custer’s fatal encounter with the Indian camp on the Little Horn River will be received by the public with mingled sorrow and indignation, and we may add with profound astonishment. The American people have known what it is to contend with the wily savage in his native forests from the days of Bradstreet’s terrible defeat to those of the Modoc war. Perhaps no amount of experience can guard disciplined troops against all danger of bloody surprises on the part of a foe whose cunning is equal to his ferocity. But here there seems to have been nothing of the kind. Gen. Custer directly and without a particle of excuse, so far as we now know, charged into the very jaws of destruction. He came upon an Indian camp, three or four miles long, occupied by from 2500 to 4000 warriors, and he attacked it in the very centre – amid grounds presumably chosen, as Indian camping places always are, for their advantages for defence – he attacked, we say, this overpowering force with 315 men! True, seven companies under General Reno were to make an attack in another quarter, and three companies were placed on a distant hill as a reserve, but these could render no assistance to Custer’s force, who, to a man, were simply butchered in cold blood! It is the most outrageous story that is yet on record in the annals of our regular army. We sincerely trust that some mitigating circumstances will come to light which will enable the American people to throw the mantle of charity over the fallen form of a brave officer who rendered some most excellent service in his time. Were he and his memory alone concerned we might say that he had paid the penalty of his rashness with his life, but the undeserved fate of his three hundred brave comrades who followed him to the slaughter, the bereavement of their families and the loss to their country, will not allow us to dismiss the matter thus lightly.

General George A. Custer, who, with two of his brothers and two other relatives, has thus fallen so suddenly and recklessly, was born in Ohio in 1840, so that he was only thirty-six years old at the time of his death. He graduated at West Point in 1861 and entered at once into active service in the war of the rebellion. He was in the Battle of Bull Run, in McClellan’s Peninsula campaign, in the battles of South Mountain and Antietam, in the Rappahannock campaign of 1863, in the battle of Gettysburg and the minor engagements connected therewith; he went through the whole of the Wilderness campaign and the Shenandoah campaign, and he bore a conspicuous part in the winding up operations at Five Forks and Appomattox Court House. It was a glorious career of service, and it raised its actor from Second Lieutenant of cavalry to brevet Major General. After the war Gen. Custer was put in command of the cavalry division of the Southwest and the Gulf, and in 1865-6 he was chief of cavalry in the Department of Texas. Since then he has been mainly on Western frontier duty.

Gen. Custer was preeminently the embodiment of the phrase, “a dashing cavalry officer.” His bravery was perfect, his energy was remarkable though not always sustained, and when under wise direction few officers were more effective and brilliant. But he was not well balanced, and Gen. Grant, whose judgment of army officers at least will never be questioned, deposed him from the chief command of the expedition against the Indians which has now so disastrously commenced operations. The act was largely attributed by a partisan press to personal and political prejudices, and Gen. Custer was ultimately allowed to go as commander of his regiment. It is of little use to bewail what is now past; we can only hope that Gen. Terry, who has the confidence of all, will retrieve the errors and fatalities which have thus far thrown a shadow over the expedition, and will bring it out successful in the end.

Custer's Death, Cincinnati Daily Gazette newspaper article 6 July 1876

Cincinnati Daily Gazette (Cincinnati, Ohio), 6 July 1876, page 1

This article reports:

Custer’s Death

The Fearful Tale of an Army Scout

An Indian Camp of Two Thousand Lodges Attacked by the Troops

General Custer and His Command Perish to the Last Man

Three Hundred Soldiers Killed and Thirty-one Wounded

Seventeen Commissioned Officers Surrender Their Swords to Death

Salt Lake, July 5. – A special correspondent of the Helena (Montana) Herald writes from Stillwater, Montana, on July 2d:

Muggins Taylor, scout for General Gibbon, got there last night direct from Little Horn River. General Custer found the Indian camp, of about 2,000 lodges, on the Little Horn, and immediately attacked the camp. Custer took five companies and charged the thickest portion of the camp. Nothing is known of the operations of the detachment, only as they trace it by the dead. Major Reno commanded the other seven companies, and attacked the lower portion of the camp. The Indians poured in a murderous fire from all directions, besides the greater portion fought on horseback. Custer, his two brothers, nephew, and brother-in-law were all killed, and not one of his detachment escaped. Two hundred and seven men were buried in one place, and the killed are estimated at three hundred, with only thirty-one wounded. The Indians surrounded Reno’s command, and held him one day in the hills, cut off from water, until Gibbon’s command came in sight, when they broke camp in the night and left. The Seventh fought like tigers, and were overcome by mere brute force. The Indian loss can not be estimated, as they bore off and cached most of their killed. The remnant of the 7th Cavalry and Gibbon’s command are returning to the mouth of Little Horn, where a steamboat lies. The Indians got all the arms of the killed soldiers. There were seventeen commissioned officers killed. The whole Custer family died at the head of their columns. The exact loss is not known, as both the Adjutants and the Sergeant-Major were killed. The Indian camp was from three to four miles long, and was twenty miles up the Little Horn from its mouth. The Indians actually pulled men off their horses in some instances. I give this as Taylor told me, as he was over the field after the battle. The above is confirmed by other letters which say that Custer has met with a fearful disaster.

(Another account.)

Bozeman, Montana, July 3 – 7:00 P.M. – Mr. Taylor, bearer of dispatches from Little Horn to Fort Ellis, arrived this evening and reported the following:

The battle was fought on the 25th, thirty or forty miles below the Little Horn. Custer attacked the Indian village, from 2,500 to 4,000 warriors, on one side, and Col. Reno was to attack it on the other. Three companies were placed on a hill as a reserve. Gen. Custer and fifteen officers and every man belonging to the five companies were killed. Reno retreated under the protection of the reserve. The whole number of killed was 315. When General Gibbon joined Reno the Indians left. The battleground looked like a slaughter pen, as it really was, being in a narrow ravine. The dead were much mutilated. The situation now looks serious. Gen. Terry arrived at Gibbon’s camp on a steamboat, and crossed the command over and accompanied it to join Custer, who knew it was coming before the fight occurred. Lieut. Crittenden, son of Gen. Crittenden, was among the killed.

(The scene of this reported fight is near the Crow Indian Reservation. The correspondent of the Chicago Tribune, accompanying Gen. Crook’s expedition, writes on June 9 as follows.)

It is getting very monotonous in camp, and we use up a good portion of the time discussing the general plan of the campaign, and the whereabouts of the Sioux. The most generally-accepted opinion appears to be that all the Indians have left this part of the country, and are now on the Yellowstone, watching Gibbon, and skirmishing after Terry. Supporters of this theory base their opinion mainly on the fact that we have not been molested; that none of our camps have been fired into; and that our column, starting from Fetterman so long after Gibbon and Terry had taken the field, concentrated the vigilance of the savages on them alone, and consequently they are not yet aware of our invasion of their country, which, by the way, is not their country, but “Absaroka,” or the country of the Crows, from which tribe the Sioux have taken it.

(If this reported engagement [i.e., Custer’s fight] should prove true, it would seem to prove the correctness of the correspondent’s opinion, as the Indian camp is represented as being immense in size, and was pitched on the land of the Crow Reservation.)

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