Current Obituary Archives from 16 U.S. Newspapers Just Added!

GenealogyBank is pleased to announce that it is adding 16 current U.S. newspapers this month to our collection of recent obituaries, with titles from Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.

This addition of thousands more current obituaries and death notices will help you with your family history research, providing information on family members who have passed away recently.

Here is the list of current obits just added, expanding our coverage for 16 more U.S. states:

Chicago Crusader (Chicago, IL)

  • Obituaries:  11/26/2011 – Current

Gary Crusader (Gary, IN)

  • Obituaries:  12/03/2011 – Current

Advocate, The: New Orleans Edition (New Orleans, LA)

  • Obituaries:  10/22/2012 – Current

Retrospect (Collingswood, NJ)

  • Obituaries:  01/06/2012 – Current

American (Fairland, OK)

  • Death Notices:  10/04/2012 – Current

Bethany Tribune (Bethany, OK)

  • Death Notices:  12/07/2012 – Current

Nowata Star (Nowata, OK)

  • Death Notices:  10/03/2012 – Current

Perry Daily Journal (Perry, OK)

  • Obituaries:  12/04/2012 – Current

Vinita Daily Journal (Vinita, OK)

  • Obituaries:  11/10/2012 – Current

Weatherford Daily News (Weatherford, OK)

  • Obituaries:  11/27/2012 – Current

Independent-Observer (Scottdale, PA)

  • Obituaries: 4/21/2011 – Current

Ligonier Echo (Ligonier, PA)

  • Obituaries:  4/21/2011 – Current

North Journal (Monroeville, PA)

  • Obituaries:  04/12/2012 – Current

Plum Advance Leader (Penn Hills, PA)

  • Obituaries:  4/14/2011 – Current

South Hills Record (South Hills, PA)

  • Obituaries:  4/21/2011 – Current

Times Express (Monroeville, PA)

  • Obituaries:  4/14/2011 – Current

In addition to these 16 new obituary collections, we have also expanded the coverage of several of the other current obits collections already in our recent obituary archives:

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)

  • Death Notices:  added 09/28/2010 – Current

Burlington County Times (Willingboro, Burlington, NJ)

  • Death Notices:  added 12/27/2010 – 11/15/2011

Eastern Wake News (Zebulon, NC)

  • Death Notices:  added 11/12/2009 – Current

Garner-Cleveland Record (Garner, Cleveland, NC)

  • Death Notices: added 01/19/2011 – Current

Midtown Raleigh News (Raleigh, NC)

  • Death Notices:  added 04/13/2011 – Current

Smithfield Herald (Smithfield, NC)

  • Obituaries:  added 1/11/2012 – Current

Southwest Wake News (Apex, Holly Springs, NC)

  • Death Notices:  added 04/15/2012 – Current

Blairsville Dispatch (Blairsville, PA)

  • Death Notices:  added 09/26/2001 – 11/04/2011

Bucks County Courier Times (Levittown, Bristol, Langhorne, PA)

  • Death Notices:  added 06/02/2011 – 11/11/2011

Daily Courier (Connellsville, PA)

  • Death Notices: added 10/17/2001 – 11/7/2011

Herald (Fox Chapel, PA)

  • Death Notices:  added 4/21/2011 – Current

Intelligencer (Doylestown, PA)

  • Death Notices:  added 04/13/2011 – 11/10/2011

Leader Times (Kittanning, PA)

  • Death Notices:  added 10/12/2001 – 11/18/2011

Mount Pleasant Journal, The (Mount Pleasant, PA)

  • Death Notices:  added 04/21/2011 – Current

Valley Independent (Monessen, PA)

  • Death Notices:  added 10/16/2001 – 11/18/2011

Valley News Dispatch (New Kensington, PA)

  • Death Notices:  added 10/17/2001 – 11/18/2011

How to Do Genealogy Research with German-Language Newspapers

Introduction: Mary Harrell-Sesniak is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background. In this guest blog post, Mary writes about resources and techniques to help you find family history information in foreign-language newspapers, even if you’re not familiar with that language.

GenealogyBank’s recent announcement that it is adding Italian American newspapers in 2013 is a welcome addition—but it may also concern family history researchers who are nervous about navigating foreign languages.

However, there are certain resources and techniques you can use to find valuable genealogical information in foreign-language newspapers, even if you have limited—or no—familiarity with the language, as this article explains.

My roots include a number of German immigrants who settled in various parts of Pennsylvania. By using specific techniques, I have been able to locate information about these ancestors from the German American newspapers in GenealogyBank’s online historical newspaper archives.

Some of these German-language newspapers include:

  • Cincinnati Volksfreund (Cincinnati, Ohio)
  • Der Wahre Amerikaner (Lancaster, Pennsylvania)
  • Der Zeitgeist (Egg Harbor City, New Jersey)
  • Deutsche Porcupein (Lancaster, Pennsylvania)
  • Egg Harbor Pilot (Egg Harbor City, New Jersey)
  • Highland Union (Highland, Illinois)
  • New Jersey Deutsche Zeitung (Newark, New Jersey)
  • Nordwestliche Post (Sunbury, Pennsylvania)
  • Reading Adler (Reading, Pennsylvania)
  • New Yorker Volkszeitung (New York, New York)
  • Northumberland Republicaner (Sunbury, Pennsylvania)
  • Unparteyische Harrisburg Morgenroethe Zeitung (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania)

When presented with a language hurdle in your genealogy research, try not to be intimidated.

By employing a free language translator such as Google Translate and consulting foreign genealogical word lists, you may be able to determine the gist of a notice, such as the two death notices shown in the following illustration. They report that the decedents died (“starb”) on last Sunday night (“Sontag Nacht”), and on last Monday morning (“Montag Morgen”), respectively.

death notices from German-language newspapers

Death notices from German-language newspapers

Some of my family’s notices were published in the Reading Adler (Reading, Pennsylvania), which published alternately in both English and German.

Daniel Miesse obituary, Reading Adler newspaper article 14 April 1818

Reading Adler (Reading, Pennsylvania), 14 April 1818, page 2

This particular German-language obituary relates to my ancestor Daniel Miesse (28 January 1743, Elsoff, Germany to 1 April 1818, Berks County, Pennsylvania), who died in Bern Township in the 76th year of his age. This death notice was a bit more challenging to understand, since several German terms did not translate directly. For example, the first word (“Berstarb”) stumped me, but I was able to figure out that it corresponded to the term “verstarb” (died).

An interesting explanation of the interchangeability of Germanic letters can be found in Family Search’s German Word List.

Its explanation notes that “spelling rules were not standardized in earlier centuries,” so variations are common. It is best to substitute letters, if you cannot make a definitive translation, or to do a reverse look-up by querying obvious terms. For example, choose a word in English that you might assume to be in a foreign notice. Then, translate it into your target language (e.g., German).

This blog article would not be complete without noting that search engines are often type-face-challenged; being persistent and varying your queries is central to finding ancestral notices in foreign-language newspapers.

While researching my genealogy, I sometimes query with German terms whose meanings I have learned over the years: “taufe” or “taufen” helps locate christenings; “heiraten” finds marriages; and husband or wife can be found by searching on the terms “mann,” “ehermann” and “gatte,” or “ehegattin,” “frau” and “gattin.”

Generally, search software does a fine job in responding to queries, by employing sophisticated “optical character recognition” (OCR) techniques—which is the process by which the computer makes an electronic conversion of scanned images.

However, it sometimes does not produce the desired results. Reasons vary, but foreign publications often used different type styles, such as German Fraktur, Blackletter and Gothic type, and foreign languages may include letters of the alphabet which do not exist in English.

And even old English presents a unique situation—since archaic spellings changed over time. The classic example is the interchangeable use of ff and ss, as seen in this 18th century spelling of possessed.

the word "possessed" as spelled in an 18th century newspaper

The word “possessed” as spelled in an 18th century newspaper

Hopefully, by employing these techniques, you will be able to successfully navigate a variety of foreign-language newspapers. Don’t be intimidated! Plunge right in—you may be agreeably surprised by what you find out about your family history.

GenealogyBank’s Archives Keep Growing, Every Single Day

In the next few weeks GenealogyBank will be adding even more newspapers to its vast online historical newspaper archives, which currently contain more than 6,400 titles and over 1.25 billion articles—including more than 215 million obituaries.

Here is a list of the newspaper titles and date ranges that will be added from seven states: Illinois, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, and Virginia—plus the District of Columbia.

In the next few weeks GenealogyBank will be adding even more newspapers to its vast online historical newspaper archives, which currently contain more than 6,400 titles and over 1.25 billion articles—including more than 215 million obituaries.

Here is a list of the newspaper titles and date ranges that will be added from seven states: Illinois, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, and Virginia—plus the District of Columbia.

State City Newspaper

Issues

Pages

Start

End

District of Columbia Washington (DC) Evening Star            812     22234

4/28/1908

3/20/1912

Illinois Springfield Daily Illinois State Register               81        1184

7/3/1896

7/25/1915

Massachusetts Boston Boston Daily Record            226        3956

6/6/1958

8/25/1961

Massachusetts Boston Boston Herald 4819 78844

9/21/1920

1/31/1969

Massachusetts Boston Boston Traveller 1029     41660

7/1/1948

10/31/1959

Nebraska Omaha Omaha World Herald                  1               52

9/17/1981

9/17/1981

North Carolina Greensboro Greensboro Daily News               30            620

7/1/1939

7/31/1939

North Carolina Greensboro Greensboro News and Record               38        3940

4/4/1984

2/23/1986

North Carolina Greensboro Greensboro Record               62        2295

3/1/1946

10/21/1983

Ohio Cincinnati Cincinnati Post               23            425

7/23/1915

12/20/1922

South Carolina Charleston Evening Post                  5               62

10/5/1912

7/16/1913

Virginia Richmond Richmond Times Dispatch               43        2433

10/27/1935

1/31/1954

 

 

Thousands of Old Newspaper Back Issues Added Online Every Day!

It is exciting to see the fast pace of more back issues being digitized and added to GenealogyBank’s online historical newspaper archives. Checking in with our production team I found that just this week they were adding another 3,000 back issues from the Boston Herald (Boston, Massachusetts), 477 issues from the Greensboro Daily News (Greensboro, North Carolina), and 81 back issues from the Richmond Times Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia).

In fact GenealogyBank adds content from over 3,000 newspapers every day. That’s amazing growth, providing you some of the most comprehensive U.S. newspaper coverage available anywhere to research your family history.

Here is a list of just a handful of the old newspaper back issues added online today:

State City Newspaper

Issues

Pages

Start

End

District of Columbia Washington (DC) Evening Star

       488

     13,634

1/27/1906

11/19/1907

Illinois Rockford Register Star

          3

           18

11/17/1991

7/20/1996

Massachusetts Boston Boston Daily Record

     1,313

     24,255

5/16/1959

9/30/1961

Massachusetts Boston Boston Herald

     3,050

     40,578

5/16/1962

11/30/1989

Massachusetts Boston Boston Traveler

       494

     20,313

1/4/1954

5/27/1963

North Carolina Greensboro Greensboro Daily News

       477

     10,922

3/8/1923

3/31/1947

North Carolina Greensboro Greensboro News and Record

         36

       4,283

8/2/1985

9/17/1987

Virginia Richmond Richmond Times Dispatch

         81

       4,009

9/27/1970

7/31/1986

Dating Old Family Photographs with Civil War Revenue Stamps

Introduction: Mary Harrell-Sesniak is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background. In this guest blog post, Mary shows how to determine the date of undated, Civil War-era family photographs using revenue stamps affixed to the back of the picture.

Do you have Civil War-era photographs of your ancestors that are undated? As this genealogy article explains, tax stamp legislation passed by the Union in 1864 might provide a valuable clue to help you finally assign a date to those old family photos, allowing for deeper Civil War family history research.

Stamp Duties, New York Herald-Tribune newspaper article 13 April 1865

New York Herald-Tribune (New York, New York), 13 April 1865, page 6

In order to fund the rising costs of the Civil War, the federal government passed an act on 30 June 1864 requiring that tax stamps be affixed to various goods, including:

  • Proprietary Medicines and Preparations
  • Perfumery and Cosmetics
  • Friction Matches
  • Cigar Lights and Wax Tapers
  • Photographs, Ambrotypes and Daguerreotypes
  • Playing Cards

Although this legislation achieved the intended goal of raising revenue, it was an extremely unpopular tax—especially for those desiring photographs of family members soon to be separated by war.

explanation of stamp fees for photographs, New York Herald-Tribune newspaper article, 13 April 1865

New York Herald-Tribune (New York, New York), 13 April 1865, page 6

Fees were assessed upon the selling price of photographs, ambrotypes and daguerreotypes, with different-colored stamps for the various fees.

  • 2¢ stamps were blue or orange and assessed on images 25 cents or less
  • 3¢ stamps were green and assessed on images between 26 and 50 cents
  • 5¢ stamps were red and assessed on images 51 cents to one dollar
  • For images exceeding one dollar, in addition to the 5¢ stamp an extra 5 cents was assessed “for every additional dollar or fractional part thereof”

As with most laws, there were exceptions and specifications that had to be followed.

exceptions to the stamp tax on photographs, New York Herald-Tribune newspaper article 13 April 1865

New York Herald-Tribune (New York, New York), 13 April 1865, page 6

“Photographs and other sun pictures, which are copies of engravings or works of art, or which are used for the illustration of books, or which are so small that stamps cannot be affixed, are exempt from stamp duty. In lieu thereof, they are subject to duty of 5 per cent ad valorem.

“The price of a photograph by which the stamp duty is determined is held to be the price which is received for such photograph, including the case or frame, as well as any labor which may have been expended upon the picture.

“Imported articles, when sold in the original and unbroken package in which they were imported, are not subject to stamp duty, but they become so as soon as the packages are opened.”

The process was for a photographer to affix a stamp to the back of an image, and cancel it by adding initials and a date.

Civil War-era photograph with a revenue stamp affixed to the back

Civil War-era photograph with a revenue stamp affixed to the back

In the old photograph example above of a Carte de Visite (CDV), which shows the back and front of the image side-by-side, the picture was taken at Delong’s Gallery on Locust street in Fairbury, Illinois. The 5 cent stamp indicates that the photographer charged from 51 cents to $1 for his services.

Photographers often designed their own system of stamp cancellation. The hand-written date appears to be 11/11, but more likely was 11/4 (Nov. 1864), with the information under the numbers indicating either his initials or an internal reference. It was not 1861, as revenue stamps are only found on images 1864-1866, with the final repeal of the Stamp Act on Aug. 1, 1866.

For more information on Tax Stamps, see eBay’s Guide to Tax Stamps on Antique Photography.

More Newspapers, from California to Washington, D.C., Coming Soon!

GenealogyBank adds more records to several thousand newspapers every day to provide you with enhanced coverage for your family research. Our next batch of current newspaper additions will span across the U.S., from California to Washington, D.C., including some recent newspapers from the heartland in Iowa and South Dakota.

illustration of men pointing to a map showing Washington, D.C., Patriot newspaper 29 July 1919

Patriot (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), 29 July 1919, page 2

This round of expansion, we’ll be adding many more recent obituaries and death notices to help you discover more about your ancestors. Here are just a few of the new newspapers that we are adding to our archives from 11 states:

Mohave Valley Daily News (Bullhead City, AZ)

  • Death Notices:  06/30/2009 – Current

California Newswire (CA)

  • Obituaries:  07/09/2009 – Current

Ridgefield Press (Ridgefield, CT)

  • Obituaries: 6/12/2003 – 1/27/2010

Washington Times (Washington, DC)

  • Death Notices:  1/27/2004 – Current

Beacon News (Aurora, IL)

  • Obituaries:  9/24/2006 – Current

Wednesday Journal of Oak Park & River Forest (Oak Park, IL)

  • Obituaries:  12/21/2004 – Current

Decorah Newspapers (Decorah, IA)

  • Obituaries:  9/06/2001 – Current

Daily Hampshire Gazette (Northampton, MA)

  • Obituaries:  4/25/2012 to Current

Edgefield Advertiser (Edgefield, SC)

  • Obituaries:  2/27/2012 – Current

Black Hills Pioneer (Spearfish, SD)

  • Obituaries:  12/20/1999 – Current

Mexia News (Mexia, TX)

  • Obituaries:  9/13/2012 – Current plus selected coverage from 6/30/2008 – 9/2/2008

More 20th Century Newspapers Going Online!

GenealogyBank is expanding its online archives to include more 20th Century newspapers for genealogy research. We’re adding the Boston Daily Record (Boston, Massachusetts) as well as expanding twentieth century newspaper coverage in Illinois, Kansas, North Carolina, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

front page of an issue of the Boston Daily Record, a newspaper newly added to GenealogyBank's online archives

Front page of an issue of the Boston Daily Record, a newspaper newly added to GenealogyBank’s online archives

GenealogyBank keeps growing and growing, adding more newspaper articles to our historical newspaper archives every day to help trace your ancestry. Dig in and see what you’ll find about your family history.

State City Newspaper Start End

Issues

Pages

District of Columbia Washington (DC) Evening Star 2/11/1902 6/19/1903

425

8,453

Illinois Rockford Register Star 8/25/1995 9/30/2007

46

2,725

Kansas Wichita Wichita Eagle 2/6/1968 8/8/1968

7

304

Massachusetts Boston Boston Daily Record 12/4/1951 2/15/1952

189

3,022

Massachusetts Boston Boston Herald 10/16/1961 4/30/1985

5,146

126,616

North Carolina Greensboro Greensboro Daily News 9/1/1934 11/30/1937

42

950

North Carolina Greensboro Greensboro News and Record 12/25/1984 12/17/1987

25

1,934

North Carolina Greensboro Greensboro Record 11/1/1948 11/11/1948

6

182

Virginia Richmond Richmond Times Dispatch 7/17/1954 7/31/1970

431

22,658

Millions More Historical Newspaper Articles Going Online Soon!

Did you realize GenealogyBank adds millions of digitized newspaper articles every week?

This month we’ve added over 21 million records to GenealogyBank, including the following ten newspaper titles from seven states and the District of Columbia, spanning a date range of 1898 to 1988.

Here are just a few of the newspapers we are adding in the next few weeks to our online newspaper archives.

State City Newspaper

Issues

Pages

Start End
Illinois Rockford Morning Star

1

20

3/23/1957

3/23/1957

Louisiana Baton Rouge State Times Advocate

77

7,730

7/11/1971

5/10/1977

Massachusetts Boston Boston Herald

3,442

79,106

8/13/1967

12/21/1983

North Carolina Greensboro Greensboro Daily News

389

9,017

4/1/1924

6/30/1938

North Carolina Greensboro Greensboro News and Record

14

2,036

8/20/1984

4/28/1988

North Carolina Greensboro Greensboro Record

5

143

7/24/1953

2/28/1964

South Carolina Charleston Evening Post

3

44

11/9/1918

1/9/1920

Tennessee Memphis Commercial Appeal

5

846

12/8/1968

9/14/1969

Virginia Richmond Richmond Times Dispatch

513

26,216

9/21/1953

12/31/1969

Washington, DC Washington (DC) Evening Star

865

14,184

12/24/1898

2/10/1902

You will want to return and search GenealogyBank every week to find and document your family. Visit our New Content Page where you can find a list of our most recent newspaper additions.

Recent Obituaries Coming Online for 25 Newspapers!

GenealogyBank is constantly expanding, putting more newspaper records online to help with your family history research.

screenshot of GenealogyBank home page showing link to obituaries search form

Screenshot of GenealogyBank home page showing link to obituaries search form

Over the next week we will be adding more coverage from 11 states, with 25 titles ranging from Alaska to Florida, adding these newspapers to our Recent Obituaries collection. Michigan will expand by a whopping 8 new newspaper titles and Pennsylvania by 6 titles, significantly increasing our obituary coverage for genealogy researchers exploring their ancestry in the U.S. Midwest and Northeast. Here are the details of our recent obituaries additions:

Cordova Times (Cordova, AK)

  • Obituaries:  04/27/2011 – Current

Juneau Empire (Juneau, AK)

  • Death Notices:  03/03/2011 – Current

St. Augustine Record (St. Augustine, FL)

  • Death Notices:  02/16/2002 – Current

Chicago Journal (Chicago, IL)

  • Obituaries:  09/30/2009 – Current

South Bend Tribune (South Bend, IN)

  • Obituaries: 1/1/1994 – 1/1/2006

AnnArbor.com (Ann Arbor, MI)

  • Death Notices:  08/05/2012 – Current

Bay City Times (Bay City, MI)

  • Death Notices:  7/17/2007 – 1/31/2012; 8/10/2012 – Current

Flint Journal (Flint, MI)

  • Death Notices:  9/5/2007 – 1/31/2012; 8/5/2012 – Current

Grand Rapids Press (Grand Rapids, MI)

  • Death Notices:  5/12/2010 – 2/1/2012; 8/2/2012 – Current

Jackson Citizen Patriot (Jackson, MI)

  • Death Notices:  9/11/2007 – 2/1/2012; 8/5/2012 – Current

Kalamazoo Gazette (Kalamazoo, MI)

  • Death Notices:  08/05/2012 – Current

Muskegon Chronicle (Muskegon, MI)

  • Death Notices:  08/07/2012 – Current

Saginaw News (Saginaw, MI)

  • Death Notices:  7/30/2007 – 1/31/2012; 8/8/2012 – Current

Columbus Packet (Columbus, MS)

  • Obituaries:  12/12/2010 – Current

Citizen (Auburn, NY)

  • Obituaries:  07/09/2002 – Current

Daily Reporter (Columbus, OH)

  • Obituaries:  01/09/2002 – Current

Bridgeville Area News (Monroeville, PA)

  • Obituaries:  09/06/2012 – Current

Murrysville Star (Monroeville, PA)

  • Obituaries:  09/20/2012 – Current

Norwin Star (Monroeville, PA)

  • Obituaries:  09/20/2012 – Current

Penn Trafford Star (Monroeville, PA)

  • Obituaries:  09/13/2012 – Current

Sewickley Herald (Sewickley, PA)

  • Obituaries:  09/13/2012 – Current

Signal Item (Carnegie, PA)

  • Obituaries:  09/19/2012 – Current

Valley Voice (Hellertown, PA)

  • Obituaries:  07/13/2012 – Current

Uintah Basin Standard (Roosevelt, UT)

  • Death Notices:  04/03/2009 – Current

Bainbridge Islander (Bainbridge Island, WA)

  • Obituaries:  11/11/2006 – Current

More Additions to GenealogyBank’s Online Newspaper Archives

GenealogyBank continues to add more content to its online historical newspaper archives every day, a continuous effort to provide more information to help with your family history research.

collage of newspapers available in GenealogyBank's online historical newspaper archives

Collage of newspapers available in GenealogyBank’s online historical newspaper archives

Here is a list of more than 3,000 back issues of seven newspapers from the District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia that we will be adding to our online newspaper archives soon. We work every day to expand and deepen our newspaper archives.

State City Newspaper Issues Pages Start End
District of Columbia Washington Evening Star 58 1,018 4/16/1896 8/8/1896
Illinois Evanston Northwestern 221 3,907 9/13/1894 5/28/1903
Massachusetts Boston Boston Herald 1,724 101,493 8/1/1957 10/15/1965
North Carolina Greensboro Greensboro Daily News 54 1,291 4/8/1923 5/31/1926
North Carolina Greensboro Greensboro News and Record 704 50,011 3/19/1984 9/11/1987
Ohio Cincinnati Cincinnati Post 52 904 5/2/1921 6/30/1921
Virginia Richmond Richmond Times Dispatch 286 13,597 12/16/1950 5/15/1954
3,099 172,221