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GenealogyBank added and expanded 32 newspapers from 23 states.
16 new titles.

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California
Benecia.
California Gazette*. 1 issue. 1851-07-12

Colorado
Denver. Denver Mirror* 33 issues. 1874-06-28 to 1875-05-30

Connecticut
Bristol.
Bristol Press*. 2007-12-28 to Present
Manchester.
Journal Inquirer*. 2004-03-08 to Present
Middletown.
Constitution. 20 issues. 1856-12-31 to 1857-12-02
New London.
New London Daily Star. 120 issues. 1837-01-05 to 1858-09-02

DC
Washington.
Reconstructionist* 2 issues. 1866-02-10 to 1866-03-24

Idaho
Blackfoot.
Morning News*. 2008-08-02 to Present

Illinois
Chicago.
Chicago Times. 77 issues. 1855-01-16 to 1856-07-03

Indiana
Terre Haute.
Wabash Courier. 18 issues. 1840-10-31 to 1841-12-25

Kansas
Kansas City.
Kansas City Kansan*. 2008-08–12 to Current

Louisiana
New Orleans.
New Orleans Argus*. 117 issues. 1828-01-19 to 1832-09-29

Maryland
Baltimore.
American and Commercial Daily Advertiser. 3,722 issues. 1801-07-15 to 1820-12-30
Baltimore.
Federal Republican. 66 issues. 1811-01-01 to 1811-03-18
Cumberland.
Weekly Civilian. 126 issues. 1859-03-17 to 1861-09-26

Montana
Great Falls.
Montana Herold. 260 issues. 1893-05-04 to 1899-05-25

Nevada
Carson City. Nevada Appeal*. 2000-07-04 to Present

New Hampshire
Concord.
New Hampshire Patriot*. 545 issues. 1878-10-10 to 1890-04-10

New Jersey
Trenton.
Trenton State Gazette. 602 issues. 1848-01-01 to 1850-12-31

New York
Albany.
Albany Evening Journal. 1 issue. 1854-08-19
New York.
Morning Telegraph*. 509 issues. 1870-01-02 to 1879-12-28
New York.
New York Herald. 50 issues. 1871-06-18 to 1871-08-09
New York.
New York Herald-Tribune*. 527 issues. 1858-01-01 to 1877-09-24

North Dakota
Valley City. Valley City Times-Record*. 2008-06-02 to Present

Ohio
Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Daily Enquirer. 2,065 issues. 1861-01-04 to 1876-09-30

Oklahoma
Poteau.
Poteau Daily News & Sun*. 2009-07-29 to Present

Pennsylvania
Philadelphia.
National Gazette. 1,558 issues. 1822-12-03 to 1841-04-08
Philadelphia.
Public Ledger. 1,103 issues. 1840-09-17 to 1868-05-30

Rhode Island
Providence.
Manufacturers’ and Farmers’ Journal. 52 issues. 1820-08-07 to 1870-01-03

South Carolina
Charleston.
City Gazette. 200 issues. 1826-01-02 to 1826-12-30

Vermont
Milton.
Milton Independent*. 2009-01-08 to Present

West Virginia
Keyser.
Mineral Daily*. 2009-04-05 to Present
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GenealogyBank adds and expands 25 newspapers in 17 states.

GenealogyBank adds and expands 25 newspapers in 17 states.

AK. Juneau.
Daily Record-Miner
1 issue. 10/8/1903

CO. Colorado Springs
Gazette-Telegraph. 12 issues. 5/24/1903 to 3/11/1920

CT. Middletown
Constitution. 37 issues. 1878-01-01 to 1878-12-03

CT. New London
New London Gazette. 146 issues. 1828-01-07 to 1835-12-30

KY. Louisville
Western Courier*. 148issues 1813-11-16 to 1816-09-26

LA. New Orleans
Times Picayune. 246 issues. 1861-05-15 to 1894-09-04

MD. Baltimore
Baltimore American. 12 issues. 6/27/1905 to 8/12/1911
MD. Baltimore
Federal Republican. 232 issues. 1811-03-19 to 1812-06-18

NC. Henderson
Daily Dispatch. 4/10/2002 to Present

NE. Nebraska City
Daily Nebraska Press. 2 issues. 1875-04-12 to 1875-08-23

NJ. Cranford
Chranford Chronicle. 6/9/2005 to Present

NJ. Somerville

Chronicle. 6/11/2005 to 3/3/2007
NJ. Somerville
Reporter. 6/9/2005 to Present

NJ. Summit
Independent Press. 8/2/2006 to Present
NJ. Trenton
Trenton State Gazette. 303 issues. 1849-01-01 to 1849-12-31

NY. New York
New York Herald. 206 issues. 1874-04-25 to 1883-12-17

OH. Cincinnati
Cincinnati Volksfreund*. 813 issues. 1863-02-18 to 12/28/1904

OH. Cleveland
Plain-Dealer. 307 issues. 1/15/1914 to 9/27/1922

OR. Portland
Oregonian. 1920 issues. 1867-04-22 to 3/10/1907

PA. Philadelphia
Aurora General Advertiser. 12 issues. 1797-03-01 to 1797-10-18

RI. Pawtucket
Pawtucket Times. 1 issue. 3/18/1920

SC. Charleston
City Gazette. 512 issues. 1823-01-01 to 1825-12-31

SD. Pierre
Capital Journal. 12/11/2007 to Present

UT. Salt Lake City
Salt Lake Telegram. 1 issue. 3/28/1919
UT. Salt Lake City
Salt Lake Tribune. 1 issue. 1893-03-02

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GenealogyBank adds more newspapers – 51 titles – 16 States

GenealogyBank announces that it has added newspaper backfiles for 51 newspapers from 16 States.

This major upgrade brings GenealogyBank to nearly 300 million articles, books and records from over 3,800 newspapers; 260,000 books/documents and other resources. An esitmated One Billion Names.

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California
Colton.
Chicano. 1 Issue. 5/10/1973
Los Angeles.
Dos Republicas. 1 Issue. 1892-06-07
Los Angeles.
Heraldo de Mexico. 27 Issues. 8/8/1918 to 11/1/1928
Oakland.
Mundo. 36 Issues. 8/2/1973 to 4/2/1975

Colorado
Trinidad.
Anunciador. 1 Issue. 9/9/1922

DC
Washington, DC.
Daily National Intelligencer. 1,624 Issues. 1822-01-01 to 1884-12-31

Florida
Ybor City.
Diario de Tampa. 6 Issues. 1/6/1909 to 1/30/1909

Georgia
Sparta.
Farmer’s Gazette*. 51 Issues. 1803-06-17 to 1807-08-08

Indiana
Indiana Harbour.
Amigo del Hogar. 2 Issues. 5/29/1927 to 5/27/1928

Louisiana
Donaldsville.
Donaldsonville Chief . 6/11/2008 to Today
New Orleans.
Times Picayune. 528 Issues. 1861-05-01 to 1897-04-10

Maine
Eastport. Eastport Sentinel*. 555 Issues. 1818-08-31 to 1832-08-15

Maryland
Baltimore. Federal Gazette. 1,989 Issues. 1796-02-05 to 1823-11-08 Uniontown. Engine of Liberty & Uniontown Advertiser*. 73 Issues. 1813-10-21 to 1815-04-27

Massachusetts
Gloucester.
Gloucester Telegraph. 1,597 Issues. 1827-01-01 to 1851-12-31
Springfield.
Federal Spy*. 170 Issues. 1794-05-13 to 1804-05-29

Nebraska
Nebraska City.
Nebraska City News-Press. 4/6/2009 to Today

New Mexico
Albuquerque.
Opinion Publica. 1 Issue. 1893-01-21
Las Cruces.
Eco del Valle. 5 Issues. 1/6/1906 to 2/13/1912
Las Cruces.
Estrella. 12 Issues. 6/19/1915 to 2/21/1925
Las Cruces.
Labrador. 12 Issues. 1897-11-21 to 9/1/1911
Las Cruces.
Las Cruces Democrat. 1 Issue. 1892-03-09
Las Cruces.
Mesilla Valley Bulletin. 1 Issue. 4/30/1937
Mountainair.
Independent. 2 Issues. 4/20/1918 to 12/7/1918
Santa Fe.
Daily New Mexican. 30 Issues. 1871-06-21 to 1875-01-30
Santa Fe.
Santa Fe Weekly New Mexican and Livestock Journal. 1 Issue. 1895-12-26
Socorro.
Defensor del Pueblo. 16 Issues. 1925-0-16 to 9/24/1937
Springer.
Colfax County Stockman. 1 Issue. 12/10/1910
Springer.
Estandarte de Springer. 124 Issues. 1890-07-03 to 1893-05-25

New York
Albany.
Albany Evening Journal. 69 Issues. 1854-04-22 to 1874-06-30
Brooklyn.
Espana Libre. 2 Issues. 2/7/1941 to 5/9/1941
New York.
Doctrina de Marti. 30 Issues. 1896-07-25 to 1898-02-15
New York.
Eco de Cuba. 3 Issues. 1855-06-22 to 1855-07-20
New York.
Prensa. 1832 Issues. 7/19/1919 to 12/30/1929
Poughkeepsie.
Dutchess Observer*. 60 Issues. 1816-07-24 to 1821-12-26
Sag Harbor.
Frothingham’s Long Island Herald*. 8 Issues. 1791-07-26 to 1798-03-12

Ohio
Chilliocothe.
Fredonian*. 27 Issues. 1807-02-19 to 1819-06-10

Tennessee
Athens.
Daily Post-Athenian. 3/28/2009 to Today
Newport.
Newport Plain Talk. 7/1/1998 to Today

Texas
Brownsville.
Cronista del Valle. 13 Issues. 2/21/1925 to 8/9/1927
Brownsville.
Heraldo de Brownsville. 18 Issues. 7/21/1937 to 2/20/1940
Brownsville.
Progreso. 1 Issue. 1876-05-07
Brownsville.
Puerto. 1 Issue. 9/27/1958
Corpus Christi.
Nueces County News. 1 Issue. 11/17/1938
El Paso.
Atalaya Bautista: Semanario Evangelico Bautista. 8 Issues. 11/3/1910 to 1/21/1929
El Paso.
Continental. 3 Issues. 10/17/1937 to 8/19/1938
El Paso.
Monitor. 1 Issue. 1897-07-03
Kingsville.
Notas de Kingsville. 2 Issues. 8/2/1951 to 11/11/1954
Laredo.
Correo de Laredo. 2 Issues. 1892-02-11 to 1892-05-26
San Antonio.
Bejareno. 2 Issues. 1855-08-18 to 1856-04-19
San Antonio.
Prensa. 662 Issues. 2/13/1913 to 9/15/1916

* New titles are marked with the *

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German Language Newspapers 1750-1898

GenealogyBank has over 3,800 newspapers – including titles in German.

(Lancaster, PA: Neue Unpartheyische Lancaster Zeitung – 6 Aug 1788).

GenealogyBank has 28 German-American newspapers that were published from 1750-1898 – in 6 States.

You may click on the links to begin searching each newspaper immediately.

Maryland
Frankfort. Bartgis’s Marylandische Zeitung. 1 issue. 1789-02-18 to 1789-02-18
Fredericktown. General Staatsbothe. 1 issue. 1811-12-27 to 1811-12-27

Montana
Helena. Montana Herold. 105 issues. 1899-06-01 to 7/11/1901

New Jersey
Egg Harbor City. Beobachter Am Egg Harbor River. 11 issues. 1858-10-02 to 1858-12-25
Egg Harbor City. Der Egg Harbor Pilot. 260 issues. 1860-03-22 to 1866-03-31
Egg Harbor City. Der Pilot. 13 issues. 1858-12-18 to 1859-03-19
Egg Harbor City. Der Wochentliche Unzeiger. 9 issues. 1859-06-04 to 1859-08-06
Egg Harbor City. Der Zeitgeist. 261 issues. 1867-04-06 to 1872-03-23
Egg Harbor City. Egg Harbor Aurora. 13 issues. 1860-08-18 to 1860-11-28
Egg Harbor City. Egg Harbor Beobachter. 13 issues. 1859-01-13 to 1859-04-28
Egg Harbor City. Egg Harbor Pilot. 312 issues. 1866-04-07 to 1872-03-23

New York
New York. New Yorker Volkszeitung. 2,561 issues. 1889-01-06 to 1898-12-31
New York. Sociale Republic. 109 issues. 1858-04-24 to 1860-05-26

Pennsylvania
Carlisle. Freyheits-Fahne. 122 issues. 1814-08-27 to 1817-03-25
Chestnut Hill. Chesnuthiller Wochenschrift. 109 issues. 1790-10-08 to 1793-08-20
Lancaster. Der Wahre Amerikaner. 369 issues. 1804-11-10 to 1811-12-28
Lancaster. Deutsche Porcupein. 98 issues. 1798-01-03 to 1799-12-25
Lancaster. Neue Unpartheyische Lancaster Zeitung. 126 issues. 1787-08-08 to 1789-12-30 Lebanon. Weltbothe. 30 issues. 1809-02-14 to 1809-09-05
Philadelphia. Amerikanischer Beobachter. 156 issues. 1808-09-09 to 1811-08-29
Philadelphia. Pelican. 39 issues. 1805-10-28 to 1807-02-21
Philadelphia. Pennsylvanische Fama. 2 issues. 1750-03-10 to 1750-03-17
Philadelphia. Wochentliche Philadelphische Staatsbote. 899 issues. 1762-01-18 to 1779-05-26
Reading. Reading Adler. 1,512 issues. 1796-01-03 to 1825-12-27
Reading. Welt Bothe. 73 issues. 1812-02-05 to 1820-12-06
Sunbury. Nordwestliche Post. 411 issues. 1812-08-12 to 1822-07-26
Sunbury. Northumberland Republicaner. 49 issues. 1817-01-15 to 1818-01-02

Wisconsin
Milwaukee. Milwaukee’r Socialist. 3 issues. 1876-09-22 to 1877-09-21

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Using the Congressional Serial Set for Genealogical Research

Using the Congressional Serial Set for Genealogical Research
By Jeffery Hartley


(This article appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of Prologue. It has been excerpted and reprinted here with the permission of the author.

The Historical Documents section in GenealogyBank includes over 243,000 reports from the US Serial Set and the American State Papers).


Click here to search the American State Papers and US Congressional Serial Set in GenealogyBank.com

Genealogists use whatever sources are available to them in pursuit of their family history: diaries, family Bibles, census records, passenger arrival records, and other federal records. One set of materials that is often overlooked, however, is the Congressional Serial Set.

This large multivolume resource contains various congressional reports and documents from the beginning of the federal government, and its coverage is wide and varied. Women, African Americans, Native Americans, students, soldiers and sailors, pensioners, landowners, and inventors are all represented in some fashion. While a beginning genealogist would not use the Serial Set to begin a family history, it nevertheless can serve as a valuable tool and resource for someone helping to flesh out an ancestors life, especially where it coincided with the interests of the U.S. federal government.

Since its inception, the U.S. government has gathered information, held hearings, compiled reports, and published those findings in literally millions of pages, the majority of which have been published by the Government Printing Office (GPO).

These publications include annual reports of the various executive branch agencies, congressional hearings and documents, registers of employees, and telephone directories. Their topics cover a wide range, from the Ku Klux Klan to child labor practices to immigration to western exploration.

In 1817, the Serial Set was begun with the intent of being the official, collective, definitive publication documenting the activities of the federal government. Following the destruction of the Capitol in 1814 by the British, Congress became interested in publishing their records to make them more accessible and less vulnerable to loss.

In the early Federal period, printing of congressional documents had been haphazard, and the Serial Set was an effort designed to rectify that situation. Although initially there were no regulations concerning what should be included, several laws and regulations were promulgated over the years. The contents, therefore, vary depending on the year in question.

In 1831, 14 years after the Serial Set was begun, the printers Gales & Seaton proposed that a compilation of the documents from the first Congresses be printed. The secretary of the Senate and the clerk of the House were to direct the selection of those documents, 6,278 of which were published in 38 volumes between 1832 and 1861. This collection was known as the American State Papers.

Because it was a retrospective effort, these 38 volumes were arranged chronologically within 10 subject areas: Foreign Relations, Indian Affairs, Finance, Commerce & Navigation, Military Affairs, Naval Affairs, Post Office, Public Lands, Claims, and Miscellaneous.

Although not technically a part of the Serial Set, the volumes were certainly related, and therefore the volumes were designated with a leading zero so that these volumes would be shelved properly, i.e. before the volumes of the Serial Set. (1)

The Congressional Serial Set itself includes six distinct series: House and Senate journals (until 1953), House and Senate reports, House and Senate documents, Senate treaty documents, Senate executive reports, and miscellaneous reports. The journals provide information about the daily activities of each chamber. The House and Senate reports relate to public and private legislation under consideration during each session.

Documents generally relate to other investigations or subjects that have come to the attention of Congress. Nominations for office and military promotion appear in the Senate Executive Reports. Miscellaneous reports are just that­widely varied in subject matter and content. With the possible exception of the treaty documents, any of these can have some relevance for genealogists.

The documents and reports in the Serial Set are numbered sequentially within each Congress, no matter what their subject or origin. The documents were then collected into volumes, which were then given a sequential number within the Serial Set. The set currently stands at over 15,000 volumes, accounting for more than 325,000 individual documents and 11 million pages.

The Serial Set amounts to an incredible amount of documentation for the 19th century. Agency annual reports, reports on surveys and military expeditions, statistics and other investigations all appear and thoroughly document the activities of the federal government.

In 1907, however, the Public Printing and Binding Act provided guidelines for what should be included, resulting in many of these types of reports no longer being included as they were also issued separately by the individual agencies. The number of copies was also trimmed. With that stroke, the value of the Serial Set was lessened, but it nevertheless stands as a valuable genealogical resource for the 19th century.

So what is available for genealogists? The following examples are just some of the types of reports and information that are available.

Land Records
The Serial Set contains much information concerning land claims. These claims relate to bounty for service to the government as well as to contested lands once under the jurisdiction of another nation.

In House Report 78 (21-2), there is a report entitled “Archibald Jackson.” This report, from the House Committee on Private Land Claims, in 1831, relates to Jackson’s claim for the land due to James Gammons. Gammons, a soldier in the 11th U.S. Infantry, died on February 19, 1813, “in service of the United States.” The act under which he enlisted provided for an extra three month’s pay and 160 acres of land to those who died while in service to the United States. However, Gammons was a slave, owned by Archibald Jackson, who apparently never overtly consented to the enlistment but allowed it to continue. That Gammons was eligible for the extra pay and bounty land was not in dispute, but the recipient of that bounty was. Jackson had already collected the back pay in 1823 and was petitioning for the land as well. The report provides a decision in favor of Jackson, as he was the legal representative of Gammons, and as such entitled to all of his property. (2)

Land as bounty was one issue, and another was claims for newly annexed land as the country spread west. In 1838, the House of Representatives published a report related to Senate Bill 89 concerning the lands acquired through the treaty with Spain in 1819 that ceded East and West Florida to the United States. Claims to land between the Mississippi and the Perdido Rivers, however, were not a part of that treaty and had been unresolved since the Louisiana Purchase, which had taken the Perdido River as one of its limits. The report provides a background on the claims as well as lists of the claimants, the names of original claimants, the date and nature of the claim, and the amount of the land involved. (3)

Other land claims are represented as well. In 1820, the Senate ordered a report to be printed from the General Land Office containing reports of the land commissioners at Jackson Court House. These lands are located in Louisiana and include information that would help a genealogist locate their ancestor in this area. Included in this report is a table entitled “A List of Actual Settlers, in the District East of Pearl River, in Louisiana, prior to the 3d March, 1819, who have no claims derived from either the French, British, or Spanish, Governments.” The information is varied, but a typical entry reads: No. 14, present claimant George B. Dameson, original claimant Mde. Neait Pacquet, originally settled 1779, located above White’s Point, Pascag. River, for about 6 years. (4)

Annual Reports
Among the reports in the Serial Set for the 19th century are the annual reports to Congress from the various executive branch agencies. Congress had funded the activities of these organizations and required that each provide a report concerning their annual activities. Many of these are printed in the Serial Set, often twice: the same content with both a House and a Senate document number. Annual reports in the 19th century were very different from the public relations pieces that they tend to be today.

Besides providing information about the organization and its activities, many included research reports and other (almost academic) papers. In the annual reports of the Bureau of Ethnology, for instance, one can find dictionaries of Native American languages, reports on artifacts, and in one case, even a genealogy for the descendants of a chief. (5)

These reports can often serendipitously include information of interest to the family historian. For instance, the annual report of the solicitor of the Treasury would not necessarily be a place to expect to find family information. The 1844 report, however, does have some information that could be useful. For instance, pages 36 and 37 of this report contains a “tabular list of suits now pending in the courts of the United States, in which the government is a part and interested.”

Many on the opposite side of the case were individuals. An example is the case of Roswell Lee, late a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, against whom there has been a judgment for over $5,000 in 1838. Lee was sued in a court in Massachusetts and in 1844 still owed over $4,000. In a letter dated May 5, 1840, the district attorney informed the office (6)
that Mr. Lee is not now a resident of the district of Massachusetts, and that whether he ever returns is quite uncertain; that nothing, however, will be lost by his absence, as the United States have now a judgment against him, which probably will forever remain unsatisfied.

Another set of annual reports that appear in the Serial Set are those for the Patent Office. The annual reports of the commissioner of patents often include an index to the patents that were granted that year, arranged by subject and containing the names of the invention and the patentee and the patent number. The report included a further description of the patent, and often a diagram of it as well. Each year’s report also included an index by patentee.

Unfortunately, the numbers of patents granted in later years, as well as their complexity, led to more limited information being included in later reports. The 1910 report, for instance, simply contains an alphabetical list of inventions, with the entries listing the patentee, number, date, and where additional information can be found in the Official Patent Office Gazette. (7)

The Civil War gave rise to a number of medical enhancements and innovations in battlefield medicine, and the annual report for 1865, published in 1867, contains a reminder of that in the patent awarded to G. B. Jewett, of Salem, Massachusetts, for “Legs, artificial.” Patent 51,593 was granted December 19, 1865, and the description of the patent on page 990 provides information on the several improvements that Jewett had developed. The patent diagram on page 760 illustrated the text. (8)

This annual report relates to a report from May 1866, also published in the Serial Set that same session of Congress, entitled “Artificial Limbs Furnished to Soldiers.” This report, dated May 1866, came from the secretary of war in response to a congressional inquiry concerning artificial limbs furnished to soldiers at the government’s expense. Within its 128 pages are a short list of the manufacturers of these limbs, including several owned by members of the Jewett family in Salem, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington, D.C., as well as an alphabetical list of soldiers, detailing their rank, regiment and state, residence, limb, cost, date, and manufacturer. Constantine Elsner, a private in B Company of the 20th Massachusetts living in Boston, received a leg made by G. B. Jewett at a cost of $75 on April 8, 1865. 9 This may have been an older version of the one that Jewett would have patented later in the year, or it may have been an early model of that one. Either way, a researcher would have some idea not only of what Elsner’s military career was like, but also some sense of what elements of life for him would be like after the war.

Congress also was interested in the activities of organizations that were granted congressional charters. Many of the charters included the requirement that an annual report be supplied to Congress, and these were then ordered to be printed in the Serial Set.

One such organization is the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). As one would expect, the DAR annual reports contain a great deal of genealogical and family history information. The 18th annual report is no exception. Among other things, it includes, in appendix A, a list of the graves of almost 3,000 Revolutionary War soldiers. The list includes not just a name and location, but other narrative information as well:
Abston, John. Born Jan. 2, 1757; died 1856. Son of Joshua Abston, captain of Virginia militia; served two years in War of the American Revolution. Enlisted from Pittsylvania County, Va.; was in Capt. John Ellis’ company under Col. Washington. The evening before the battle of Kings Mountain, Col. Washington, who was in command of the starving Americans at this point, sent soldiers out to forage for food. At a late hour a steer was driven into camp, killed, and made into a stew. The almost famished soldiers ate the stew, without bread, and slept the sleep of the just. Much strengthened by their repast and rest, the next morning they made the gallant charge that won the battle of Kings Mountain, one of the decisive battles of the American Revolution. Washington found one of the steer’s horns and gave it to Abston, a personal friend, who carried it as a powder horn the rest of the war. (10)

Another organization whose annual reports appear is the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, which later became Gallaudet University. These reports, found in the annual reports of the secretary of the interior, contain much of what one would expect: lists of faculty and students, enrollment statistics, and other narrative. While that information can help to provide information about one’s ancestor’s time there, there are other parts of the narrative that include information one would not expect to find.

For instance, the 10th annual report for 1867 has a section entitled “The Health of the Institution.” It concerns not the fiscal viability of the institution but rather the occurrences of illness and other calamities. One student from Maryland, John A. Unglebower, was seized with gastric fever and died: “He was a boy of exemplary character, whose early death is mourned by all who knew him.” Two other students drowned that year, and the circumstances of their deaths recounted, with the hope that “they were not unprepared to meet the sudden and unexpected summons.” (11) Both the faculty and the student body contributed their memorials to these two students in the report.

Other organizations represented in the Serial Set are the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America, Veterans of World War I of the United States, proceedings of the National Encampment, United Spanish War Veterans, the American Historical Association, and the National Convention of Disabled American Veterans.

Lists of Pensioners
The history of pensions provided by the federal government is beyond the scope of this article. However, the Serial Set is a source of information about who was on the rolls at various times. For instance, an 1818 letter from the secretary of war was published containing a list of the persons who had been added to the pension list since May 28, 1813. The list provides information on the likes of Susanna Coyle, certificate of pension no. 9, heiress of deceased soldier William Coyle, alias Coil, a private who received pay of four dollars per month. (12)

Sundry lists of pensions appeared in 1850, related to the regulation of Navy, privateer, and Navy hospital funds. The report included four lists: those placed in the invalid list who were injured while in the line of duty; those drawing pensions from wounds received while serving on private armed vessels; widows drawing pensions from their husbands who were engineers, firemen, and coal-heavers; and orphan children of officers, seamen, and marines pensioned under the act of August 11, 1848. (13)

One of the most widely consulted lists is that for 1883, “List of Pensioners on the Roll, January 1, 1883” (Senate Executive Document 84 [47-2]). This five-volume title, arranged by state and then county of residence, provides a list of each pensioner’s name, his post office, the monthly amount received, the date of the original allowance, the reason for the pension, and the certificate number.

An example is the case of Eli G. Biddle, who served in the 54th Massachusetts. Biddle can be found on page 439 of volume 5 of the “List,” and a researcher can learn several things without even having seen his pension file: his middle name is George, he was living in Boston in 1883, and he was receiving four dollars each month after having suffered a gunshot wound in the right shoulder. His pension certificate number is also provided 99,053­ and with that one could easily order the appropriate records from the National Archives.

Registers
The Serial Set serves as a source of military registers and other lists of government personnel as well. Both Army and Navy registers appear after 1896. The Army registers for 1848–1860 and the Navy registers for 1848–1863 are transcripts of the lists that appeared the preceding January and include pay and allowances, with corrections to that earlier edition for deaths and resignations.

The Official Register, or “Blue Book,” a biannual register of the employees of the federal government, appears for 10 years, from 1883 to 1893. If one’s ancestors were employees at this time, their current location and position, place from which they were appointed, date of appointment, and annual compensation can be gleaned from this source.

The Serial Set often provides unexpected finds, and the area of registers is no exception. There is a great deal of material on the Civil War, from the 130 volumes of the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion to other investigations and the aforementioned registers and lists of pensions. There are not, however, large amounts of compiled unit histories.

One exception, however, is the report from the adjutant general of Arkansas. Shortly after the Civil War, the adjutant general offices of the various Union states prepared reports detailing the activities of the men from their states. The same was done in Arkansas, but the state legislature there, “under disloyal control,” declined to publish the report. Senator Henry Wilson of Massachusetts, chairman of the Senate Committee on Military Affairs, brought it to the committee in 1867, and it was ordered to be printed in the Serial Set so that the loyal activities of these 10,000 men would be recognized. (14) The report includes brief histories of each unit as well as a roster of the unit and rank, enlistment date, and other notes on each soldier.

Accessing Information in the Serial Set
The indexing for the Serial Set has long been troublesome to researchers. Various attempts have been made to provide subject access, with varying degrees of success. Many of the indexes in the volumes themselves are primarily title indexes to the reports from that Congress and session. The Checklist of United States Public Documents, 1789–1909, does provide information about what reports listed therein do appear in the Serial Set, but the researcher has to know the name of the issuing agency in order to access that information. The Document Index provides some subject indexing by Congress, and other efforts such as those by John Ames and Benjamin Poore can also be used, but none index the tables and contents of many of the reports that have been discussed in this article. (15)

The best comprehensive print index is the Congressional Information Service’s (CIS) U.S. Serial Set Index, produced in conjunction with their microfilming of the volumes through 1969 beginning in the mid-1970s. In this index, a two-volume subject index covers groups of Congresses, with a third volume providing an index to individual names for relief actions, as well as a complete numerical list in each report/document category. The index, however, does not index the contents of the documents. For instance, although the title given for the Archibald Jackson land claim includes James Gammons’s name, the latter does not appear in the index to private relief actions. In addition, users must often be creative in the terms applied in order to be sure that they have exhausted all possibilities. In the mid-1990s CIS released these indexes on CD-ROM, which makes them somewhat easier to use, although the contents are essentially the same.

The indexing problems have been rectified by the digitization of the Serial Set. At least two private companies, LexisNexis and Readex, have digitized it and made it full-text searchable.

[The Serial Set and American State Papers are available in GenealogyBank. Click here to search them online]

This article can only hint at some of the genealogical possibilities that can be found in the Congressional Serial Set. It has not touched on the land survey, railroad, western exploration, or lighthouse keeper’s reports or many of the private relief petitions and claims. Nonetheless, the reports and documents in the Serial Set provide a tremendous and varied amount of information for researchers interested in family history.

Author
Jeffery Hartley is chief librarian for the Archives Library Information Center (ALIC). A graduate of Dickinson College and the University of Maryland’s College of Library and Information Services, he joined the National Archives and Records Administration in 1990.

Notes
1 For a more complete description of the American State Papers, and their genealogical relevance, see Chris Naylor, “Those Elusive Early Americans: Public Lands and Claims in the American State Papers, 1789–1837,” Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives and Records Administration 37 (Summer 2005): 54–61.
2 H. Rept. 78 (21-2), 1831, “Archibald Jackson” (Serial 210).
3 H. Rept. 818 (25-2), 1838, “Land Claims between Perdido and Mississippi” Serial 335.
4 S. Doc. 3 (16-2), 1820, “Reports of the Land Commissioners at Jackson Court House” (Serial 42).
5 H. Misc. Doc. 32 (48-2), 1882, “3rd Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology” (Serial 2317).
6 H. Doc. 35 (28-1), 1844, “Annual Report of Solicitor of the Treasury” (Serial 441), p. 37. 7 H. Doc. 1348 (61-3), 1911, “Annual Report of the Commissioner of Patents for the Year 1910″ (Serial 6020).
8 H. Exec. Doc. 62 (39-1), 1867, “Annual Report of the Commissioner of Patents for the Year 1865″ (Serial 1257-1259).
9 H. Exec. Doc. 108 (39-1), 1866, “Artificial Limbs Furnished to Soldiers” (Serial 1263).
10 S. Doc. 392 (64-1), 1916, “Eighteenth Report of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, October 11, 1914, to October 11, 1915″ (Serial 6924), p.155. 11 H. Exec. Doc. 1 (40-2), “Tenth Annual Report of the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb” (Serial 1326), pp. 429–430.
12 H. Doc. 35 (15-1), 1818 (Serial 6), p. 17.
13 See H. Ex. Doc. 10 (31-2), 1850, “Sundry Lists of Pensioners” (Serial 597).
14 See S. Misc. Doc 53 (39-2), 1867, “Report of the Adjutant General for the State of Arkansas, for the Period of the Late Rebellion, and to November 1, 1866″ (Serial 1278).
15 A good discussion of how some of these indexes work can be found in Mary Lardgaard, “Beginner’s Guide to Indexes to the Nineteenth Century U.S. Serial Set,” Government Publications Review 2 (1975): 303–311.

GenealogyBank.com has 1883 Pensioner List Online

GenealogyBank.com is pleased to announce that it has the five volume List of Pensioners – 1883 online. This basic reference set is actively used by genealogists.

List of Pensioners on the Roll January 1, 1883; giving the name of each pensioner, the cause for which pensioned, the post office address, the rate of pension per month, and the date of original allowance. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1883. Senate Document. Serial Set Vol. No. 2078, Session Vol. No.5; Report: S.Exec.Doc. 84 pt. 1-5.

The List of Pensioners – lists the pensioners by State/Town. Volume 5 includes the lists of pensioners that lived overseas.

Each entry gives:
Name of Pensioner
Pension Certificate Number
Date of the Original Pension
Reasons why the person received the pension
The monthly pension payment
Post Office where the pensioner receives their mail

Tip: This is a crucial source for identifying pensioners from all wars still living in 1883 and it pinpoints where they were living – anywhere in the US or around the world.

Connecticut; District of Columbia; Maine; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; New Jersey; Rhode Island; Vermont

New York; Pennsylvania;

Illinois; Iowa; Ohio

Alaska; Arizona; California; Colorado; Dakota; Idaho; Indiana; Kansas; Michigan; Minnesota; Montana; Nebraska; Indian Territory (Oklahoma); Nevada; New Mexico; Oregon; Utah; Washington; Wisconsin; Wyoming

Alabama; Arkansas; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maryland; Mississippi; Missouri; North Carolina; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; Virginia; West Virginia.

Countries of the World – including Hawaii which was listed as the “Sandwich Islands”.

Africa; Austria; Belgium; Brazil; Denmark; England; France; Germany; Ireland; Italy; Madeira Island (Portugal); Malta; Mauritius; Mexico; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Peru; Romania; Russia; Scotland; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Wales; West Indies; Foreign – Address Unknown.
.

GenealogyBank adds 67 newspapers from 22 states

GenealogyBank is expanding the back issues for 67 newspapers from 22 states.

27 of these newspapers are new to GenealogyBank.

Arkansas
Jonesboro. Jonesboro Evening Sun. 1907 to 1920. Historical Newspapers

California
Berkeley. Fuego de Aztlan* 1976. Historical Newspapers
Colton. Chicano. 1968 to 1974. Historical Newspapers
Los Angeles. Cinema* 1935. Historical Newspapers
Oakland. American Sentinel. 1823 to 1833. Historical Newspapers

Oakland. Mundo* 1971 to 1974. Historical Newspapers
San Francisco. Hispano America. 1918 to 1925. Historical Newspapers
San Francisco. Jalamate. 1971 to 1972. Historical Newspapers
Santa Barbara. Gaceta* 1879 to 1881. Historical Newspapers

Colorado
Colorado Springs. Gazette-Telegraph. 1918 to 1922. Historical Newspapers

Connecticut
Norwich. True Republican. 1804 to 1806. Historical Newspapers

Idaho
Idaho City. Idaho Register. 1907 to 1913. Historical Newspapers
Idaho Falls. Idaho Falls Times. 1913. Historical Newspapers
Twin Falls. Twin Falls News. 1920 to 1921. Historical Newspapers

Illinois
Chicago. Latin Times. 1971 to 1973. Historical Newspapers
Chicago. Vida Latina. 1962. Historical Newspapers
Quincy. Quincy Whig. 1872. Historical Newspapers

Louisiana
New Orleans. Times Picayune. 1861 to 1899; 1902 to 1921. Historical Newspapers

Massachusetts
Taunton. Taunton Call. 2007 to Today. America’s Obituaries

Maryland
Annapolis. Maryland Gazette. 1728 to 1734. Historical Newspapers
Baltimore. American and Commercial Daily Advertiser. 1805. Historical Newspapers
Baltimore. Baltimore American. 1907 to 1908. Historical Newspapers
Baltimore. Federal Gazette. 1803 to 1821. Historical Newspapers
Baltimore. Maryland Journal* 1797. Historical Newspapers
Easton. Maryland Herald* 1790 to 1797. Historical Newspapers
Frederick. Reservoir and Public Reflector* 1826 to 1828. Historical Newspapers

Michigan
Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids Press. 1893 to 1922. Historical Newspapers
Jackson. Jackson Citizen Patriot. 1849 to 1858. Historical Newspapers
Kalamazoo. Kalamazoo Gazette* 1872 to 1919. Historical Newspapers

Mississippi
Picayune. Picayune Items. 2008 to Today. America’s Obituaries

North Carolina
Morehead City. Carteret County News Times. 2008 to Today. America’s Obituaries
Sanford. Sanford Herald. 2007 to Today. America’s Obituaries
Swansboro. Tideland News. 2008 to Today. America’s Obituaries

New Jersey
Trenton. Trenton Evening Times. 1883 to 1922. Historical Newspapers
Trenton. Trenton Sunday Times-Advertiser. 1903 to 1918. Historical Newspapers

New Mexico
Albuquerque. Bandera Americana. 1903. Historical Newspapers
Albuquerque. Industrial Advertiser* 1899. Historical Newspapers
Las Cruces. Flor del Valle* 1894. Historical Newspapers
Las Cruces. Tiempo* 1902 to 1911. Historical Newspapers
Santa Fe. Daily New Mexican. 1871 to 1872. Historical Newspapers
Taos. Taos News. 2007 to Today. America’s Obituaries

New York
Albany. Albany Evening Journal. 1852 to 1872. Historical Newspapers
New York City. Grafico. 1928. Historical Newspapers
New York City. Iberica* 1953 to 1964. Historical Newspapers
New York City. Independiente* 1898. Historical Newspapers
New York City. Nueva Democracia* 1920 to 1936. Historical Newspapers
New York City. New York Herald. 1865. Historical Newspapers
Plattsburg. Northern Herald * 1812 to 1814. Historical Newspapers

Ohio
Cincinnati. Cincinnati Commercial Tribune. 1870 to 1879. Historical Newspapers
Cleveland. Plain-Dealer. 1920 to 1922. Historical Newspapers
Wooster. Wooster Republican. 1862 to 1872. Historical Newspapers

Oklahoma
Englewood. Enid News and Eagle. 2008 to Today. America’s Obituaries

Oregon
Portland. Oregonian. 1865 to 1907. Historical Newspapers

Pennsylvania
Philadelphia. Public Ledger. 1842 to 1872. Historical Newspapers

Texas
Beaumont. Beaumont Enterprise and Journal. 1910 to 1911. Historical Newspapers
Brownsville. Courier de Rio Grande* 1866′ Historical Newspapers
Brownsville. Heraldo de Brownsville. 1936. Historical Newspapers
Brownsville. Mundo* 1886. Historical Newspapers
Clarksville. Standard. 1852. Historical Newspapers
Del Rio. Del Rio News Herald. 2001 to Today. America’s Obituaries
El Paso. Clarin del Norte. 1906. Historical Newspapers
El Paso. Continental. 1958 to 1959. Historical Newspapers
San Antonio. Prensa. 1928 to 1957. Historical Newspapers
San Antonio. Regidor* 1910 to 1912. Historical Newspapers
Sweetwater. Sweetwater Reporter. 2008 to Today. America’s Obituaries

Utah
Salt Lake City. Salt Lake Telegram. 1904 to 1916. Historical Newspapers

Washington
Deer Park. Deer Park Tribune. 2008 to Today. America’s Obituaries

GenealogyBank adds 64 newspapers from 27 States

GenealogyBank has added more newspapers – 64 titles from 27 States.

GenealogyBank has also created separate search pages for each newspaper.
If you want to search a newspaper on this list – click on the title and start searching.

AK. Juneau. Daily Record-Miner. 1910

AZ. Tucson. Amigos. 1975 to 1975
AZ. Tucson. Tucsonense. 1923

CA. Colton. Chicano. 1971 to 1973
CA. Los Angeles. Heraldo de Mexico. 1921 to 1927

CO. Colorado Springs. Gazette-Telegraph. 1915 to 1922

DC. Washington. Daily National Intelligencer. 1823 to 1842

IL. O’Fallon. O’Fallon Progress. 2008 to Current
IL. Quincy. Quincy Whig. 1876
IL. Springfield. State Journal Register. 1985 to Current

IN. Elkhart. Elkhart Truth. 2007 to Current

LA. New Orleans. Abeja. 1830
LA. New Orleans. Times Picayune. 1861 to 1900
LA. New Orleans. Times Picayune. 1902 to 1920

MA. Boston. Boston Journal. 1870
MA. Carver. Carver Reporter. 2008 to Current
MA. Duxbury. Duxbury Reporter. 2008 to Current
MA. Gloucester. Gloucester Telegraph* 1850

MA. Halifax. Halifax-Plympton Reporter. 2008 to Current
MA. Lakeville. Lakeville Call. 2008 to Current
MA. Marion. Sentinel. 2007 to Current
MA. Salem. Salem Observer* 1823 to 1836
MA. West Roxbury. West Roxbury Transcript. 2006 to Current

MD. Annapolis. Annapolis Gazette. 1857 to 1866
MD. Annapolis. Maryland Gazette* 1788

MD. Baltimore. American and Commercial Daily Advertiser* 1812 to 1819
MD. Baltimore. Baltimore American. 1905 to 1911
MD. Baltimore. Federal Gazette*1807 to 1808

MI. Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids Press. 1901 to 1920
MI. Jackson. Jackson Citizen Patriot. 1850 to 1858
MI. Temperance. Bedford Now. 2007 to Current

MO. Kansas City. Cosmopolita. 1915

NC. Asheboro. Randolph Guide. 2008 to Current

NJ. Trenton. Trenton Evening Times. 1883 to 1922
NJ. Trenton. Trenton Sunday Times-Advertiser. 1903 to 1917

NM. Las Cruces. Estrella. 1929
NM. Santa Fe. Nuevo Mexicano. 1894
NM. Santa Fe. Santa Fe Weekly New Mexican and Livestock Journal. 1888 to 1893
NM. Wagon Mound. Combate. 1903 to 1915

NV. Las Vegas. Anthem View. 2006 to Current

NY. Albany. Albany Evening Journal. 1850 to 1872
NY. New York. Grafico. 1927 to 1928
NY. New York. New York Herald. 1865


OH. Cincinnati. Cincinnati Commercial Tribune. 1877 to 1885
OH. Cincinnati. Cincinnati Daily Enquirer. 1862 to 1876
OH. Cincinnati. Cincinnati Daily Gazette. 1880

OR. Portland. Oregonian. 1872 to 1907

PA. Glen Mills. Garnet Valley Press. 2007 to Current
PA. Philadelphia. Public Ledger. 1839 to 1868
PA. Pittsburgh. Tree of Liberty. 1801 to 1808

RI. Warren. Telescope. 1814 to 1817

TN. Oak Ridge. Oak Ridger. 1997 to Current

TX. Brownsville. Daily Metropolitan. 1893
TX. Brownsville. Heraldo de Brownsville. 1935 to 1936
TX. Corpus Christi. Verdad. 1955
TX. El Paso. Continental. 1836 to 1958
TX. Laredo. Cronica. 1910
TX. Paris. Paris News. 2000 to Current
TX. San Antonio. Epoca. 1918
TX. San Antonio. Prensa. 1929 to 1935
TX. San Antonio. Revista Mexicana. 1919

UT. Salt Lake City. Salt Lake Telegram. 1913 to 1922

VA. Richmond. Virginia Argus. 1805 to 1807

VT. St. Albins. American Repertory. 1828 to 1833

WI. Milwaukee. Guardia* 1971 to 1975

GenealogyBank adds more digital newspapers

GenealogyBank adds 5.9 million more articles and documents.

This includes more articles from 40 newspapers from 22 states
The 18 new newspapers we added this month are indicated with * an asterisk

GenealogyBank now has:
Over 115.6 million obituaries and death records – more than any other source
Over 3,700 newspapers – and growing – more than any other source
Over 1 billion names

Alaska. Juneau. Daily Record-Miner. Historical Newspapers
California. Antioch. East County Times* America’s Obituaries
California. Los Angeles. Prensa. Historical Newspapers
Connecticut. Middletown. American Sentinel* Historical Newspapers
Connecticut. Norwich. Norwich Republican* Historical Newspapers
DC. Washington. Daily National Intelligencer* Historical Newspapers
DC. Washington. Republic. Historical Newspapers
Georgia. Cartersville. Daily Tribune News* America’s Obituaries
Illinois. Geneva. Geneva Elburn Sun* America’s Obituaries
Illinois. Glen Ellyn. Sun* America’s Obituaries
Illinois. Quincy. Quincy Whig* Historical Newspapers
Kentucky. Frankfort. Palladium. Historical Newspapers
Louisiana. New Orleans. Times Picayune. Historical Newspapers
Massachusetts. Boston. Boston Journal. Historical Newspapers
Massachusetts. New Bedford. Morning Democrat* Historical Newspapers
Maryland. Annapolis. Annapolis Gazette* Historical Newspapers
Maryland. Baltimore. Baltimore American. Historical Newspapers
Maryland. Cumberland. Phoenix Civilian* Historical Newspapers
Maryland. Elkton. Cecil Democrat* Historical Newspapers
Michigan. Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids Press. Historical Newspapers
Michigan. Jackson. Jackson Citizen Patriot. Historical Newspapers
New Jersey. Trenton. Trenton Evening Times. Historical Newspapers
New Mexico. Las Vegas. Voz del Pueblo. Historical Newspapers
New Mexico. Santa Fe. Voz del Pueblo. Historical Newspapers
New York. Albany. Albany Evening Journal. Historical Newspapers
New York. New York. New York Herald. Historical Newspapers
North Carolina. Red Springs. Red Springs Citizen* America’s Obituaries

Ohio. Cincinnati. Cincinnati Commercial Tribune. Historical Newspapers
Ohio. Cincinnati. Cincinnati Daily Enquirer* Historical Newspapers
Ohio. Wooster. Wooster Republican. Historical Newspapers
Oregon. Portland. Oregonian* Historical Newspapers
Pennsylvania. Philadelphia. Public Ledger. Historical Newspapers
Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh. Tree of Liberty* Historical Newspapers
Rhode Island. Warren. Telescope* Historical Newspapers
Texas. Brownsville. Heraldo de Brownsville. Historical Newspapers
Texas. El Paso. Continental. Historical Newspapers
Texas. Kingsville. Tex. Mex. Reflector. Historical Newspapers
Texas. San Antonio. Prensa. Historical Newspapers
Utah. Salt Lake City. Salt Lake Telegram. Historical Newspapers
Vermont. St. Albans. American Repertory* Historical Newspapers