Tennessee Archives: 78 Newspapers for Genealogy Research

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

photo of the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville

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

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

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

Search Tennessee Newspaper Archives (1793 – 1982)

Search Tennessee Recent Obituaries (1990 – Current)

illustration of the state flag of Tennessee

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

Here is a list of online Tennessee newspapers in the archives. Each newspaper title in this list is an active link that will take you directly to that paper’s search page, where you can begin searching for your ancestors by surnames, dates, keywords and more. The TN newspaper titles are listed alphabetically by city.

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

*Date Ranges may have selected coverage unavailable.

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 Tennessee newspaper links will be live.

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Truly Personal Obituaries from the Recent Obituary Archives

Introduction: Duncan Kuehn is a professional genealogist with over nine years of client experience. She has worked on several well-known projects, such as “Who Do You Think You Are?” In this blog post, Duncan searches GenealogyBank’s recent obituaries collection and discoveries some truly interesting – and sometimes funny – passages in some of these obituaries.

Writing an obituary can be a painful and unexpected event. It can also be a healing one. More and more families are rejecting a dry, formulated writing style for their loved one’s obituary, taking instead a more personalized approach. It is challenging to compact a person’s life into a few lines. It is even more difficult to try to convey that person’s unique sense of being onto the printed page. Here are some marvelous examples of more personalized obituaries; I found these while browsing in GenealogyBank’s Recent Obituary Archives.

passage from Donna Smith's obituary urging people to be kind to one another

Humorous Life Philosophy

Sometimes an obituary shares a person’s philosophy.

Donna Smith’s obituary passed on this humorous life philosophy:

Do what’s right and do what’s good. Be kind and help others. The world can always use one more kind person. And if you can take it one step further, please do it for people grandpa’s age.

Donna Smith

obituary for Donna Smith, Salt Lake Tribune newspaper article 18 December 2014

Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, Utah), 18 December 2014

Jokes Help

The family, or even the person themselves, may try to lighten up the situation by making a joke.

In his obituary, Aaron Joseph Purmorts’s family stated that he:

died peacefully at home on November 25 after complications from a radioactive spider bite that led to years of crime-fighting and a years long battle with a nefarious criminal named Cancer, who has plagued our society for far too long. Civilians will recognize him best as Spider-Man, and thank him for his many years of service protecting our city. His family knew him only as a kind and mild-mannered Art Director, a designer of websites and t-shirts, and concert posters who always had the right cardigan and the right thing to say (even if it was wildly inappropriate).

Aaron Joseph Purmort

obituary for Aaron Joseph Purmort, Star Tribune newspaper article 30 November 2014

Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota), 30 November 2014

Unusual Final Requests

Others leave behind unusual requests in their obituaries.

B. H. Spratt’s family suggested:

In lieu of flowers, tune-up your car and check the air pressure in your tires – he would have wanted that.

B. H. Spratt

obituary for B. H. Spratt, Florida Times-Union newspaper article 23 October 2011

Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, Florida), 23 October 2011

Lisa Schomburger Steven’s family asked:

that you spend time with your children, take a walk on the beach with your loved ones and make a toast to enduring friendships lifelong and beyond. That is what Lisa would wish for you.

Lisa Schomburger Stevens

obituary for Lisa Schomburger Stevens, Charlotte Observer newspaper article 19 December 2005

Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, North Carolina), 19 December 2005

Tom Taylor Jr.’s family stated:

One of his last requests to his good friend Scott, was to contact the Cremation Society to ask for a refund because he knew he weighed at least 20 percent less than when he paid for his arrangements.

Thomas J. Taylor Jr.

obituary for Thomas J. Taylor Jr., Sun News newspaper article 27 August 2008

Sun News (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina), 27 August 2008

Tom Brady Fan

To make an obituary more personal, family members sometimes add a line about a person’s passions or strongly held beliefs.

Enter Last Name

Patricia M. Shong was a fervent New England Patriots fan. Her family stated this wish in her obituary:

She would also like us to set the record straight for her; Brady is innocent!

Patricia M. Shong

obituary for Patricia M. Shong, Worcester Telegram & Gazette newspaper article 24 May 2015

Worcester Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Massachusetts), 24 May 2015

Patricia’s defense of Tom Brady put a smile on everyone’s face, as reported at the end of her obituary.

obituary for Patricia M. Shong, Worcester Telegram & Gazette newspaper article 24 May 2015

Worcester Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Massachusetts), 24 May 2015

Another Football Fan

Michael Sven Vedvik’s family did their best to lighten things up by saying in his obituary:

We blame the Seahawks lousy play call for Mike’s untimely demise. Mike was greatly loved and will be dearly missed.

Michael Sven Vedvik

obituary for Michael Sven Vedvik, Spokesman-Review newspaper article 5 February 2015

Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Washington), 5 February 2015

The Dog Ate It

Norma Brewer’s obituary contained this humorous remark:

Norma Rae Flicker Brewer, a resident of Fairfield, passed away while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. She never realized her life goal of reaching the summit, but made it to the base camp. Her daughter, Donna, her dog, Mia, and her cats, came along at the last minute. There is suspicion that Mrs. Brewer died from hypothermia, after Mia ate Mrs. Brewer’s warm winter boots and socks.

Norma Brewer

obituary for Norma Brewer, Connecticut Post newspaper article 31 January 2015

Connecticut Post (Bridgeport, Connecticut), 31 January 2015

Losing a loved one is never easy. Helping others to see that person the way you did can help ease your sorrow at their passing. You may even consider helping your family out by writing your own obituary!

Do you have a touching or funny obituary you’ve come across in your genealogy research? If so please share your obituary finds with us in the comments.

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Genealogy Tip: Search a Wide Date Range in GenealogyBank

Newspapers often published commemorative articles celebrating milestones. Take for example the 50th wedding anniversary of Elizabeth Kern and Valentine Humburg. They were both born in Germany, married 3 April 1854 in New York, and settled in San Jose, California, six years later.

article about the Humburgs celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, San Jose Mercury News newspaper article 3 April 1904

San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, California), 3 April 1904, page 2

This detailed newspaper article names their five children and their nine grandchildren – and, as a bonus, includes photographs of the couple.

If you were searching just on the marriage date of the Humburgs in the 1854 newspapers in New York City, you would not find this great article about their marriage printed 50 years later in a newspaper across the country.

Enter Last Name

Genealogy Tip: After you’ve tried a search on a specific date in GenealogyBank’s archives for an important event in your ancestors’ lives, search on a wide date range to see if a commemorative article was published many years later about that same important event.

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July 2015 Update: GenealogyBank Just Added 8 Million More Records!

Every day, GenealogyBank is working hard to digitize more newspapers and obituaries, expanding our collection to give you the largest newspaper archives for family history research available online. We just completed adding 8 million more U.S. genealogy records, vastly increasing our content coverage from coast to coast!

screenshot of GenealogyBank's home page showing the announcement that 8 million genealogy records were added in July

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

  • A total of 22 newspaper titles from 13 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia
  • 9 of these titles are newspapers added to GenealogyBank for the first time
  • Newspaper titles marked with an asterisk (*) are new to our online archives
  • We’ve shown the newspaper issue date ranges so that you can determine if the newly added content is relevant to your personal genealogy research

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

State City Title Date Range Collection
Arizona Phoenix Phoenix New Times* 01/29/2007–Current Recent Obituaries
California Hollister BenitoLink* 04/01/2013–Current Recent Obituaries
California La Jolla La Jolla Village News* 04/18/2014–Current Recent Obituaries
California Lakeport Lake County News* 12/21/2006–Current Recent Obituaries
California Mission Beach, Pacific Beach Beach & Bay Press* 04/17/2014–Current Recent Obituaries
California Redding Searchlight 1/1/1910–12/30/1917 Newspaper Archives
California Redding Weekly Searchlight 10/3/1899–12/27/1923 Newspaper Archives
District of Columbia Washington (DC) Washington Times 6/4/1982–11/27/1989 Newspaper Archives
Florida Ormond Beach Ormond Beach Observer* 04/11/2013–Current Recent Obituaries
Idaho Boise Idaho Statesman 7/14/1957–2/15/1971 Newspaper Archives
Idaho Idaho Falls Idaho Falls Times 11/16/1970–11/30/1970 Newspaper Archives
Indiana Elkhart Elkhart Truth 5/18/1905–5/18/1905 Newspaper Archives
Indiana Evansville Evansville Courier and Press 7/1/1933–12/31/1937 Newspaper Archives
Kentucky Lexington Lexington Herald 10/1/1957–10/31/1957 Newspaper Archives
Kentucky Lexington Lexington Leader 3/3/1912–11/30/1977 Newspaper Archives
Michigan Grand Haven Grand Haven Tribune* 01/02/2014–Current Recent Obituaries
Minnesota Virginia Hometown Focus* 01/08/2010–Current Recent Obituaries
Mississippi Biloxi Daily Herald 1/2/1947–7/20/1955 Newspaper Archives
Missouri Kansas City Kansas City Star 5/26/1945–7/13/1945 Newspaper Archives
North Carolina Bryson City Smoky Mountain Times* 02/06/2004–Current Recent Obituaries
Pennsylvania State College Centre Daily Times 3/8/1983–9/30/1994 Newspaper Archives
Washington Bellingham Bellingham Herald 10/1/1947–10/1/1947 Newspaper Archives

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 newspaper links will be live.

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Our Ancestors’ Age-Old Sayings from 100 Years Ago, Part I

Introduction: Mary Harrell-Sesniak is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background. In this blog article, Mary presents some of the enlightening and entertaining sayings she found from 100 years ago while browsing through newspapers from the year 1915.

The allure of genealogy makes genealogists curious – or perhaps it is the desire to return to simpler days that keeps us avidly researching our family trees!

Whatever the reason, family historians love to read historical news accounts of the past – and one of the most enjoyable discoveries is reading the old sayings and quotes of our ancestors.

"Laughter is merely a smile set to music."

What were our ancestors reading about and saying 100 years ago? To find out, I explored the year 1915 in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives. What I found were hundreds of wonderful old sayings and good time-tested advice in the newspapers read by our ancestors.

Some of these old sayings were offered in jest. Some are inappropriate by today’s standards, but others we truly should revive. The following are all from 1915, a mere 100 years ago!

Enter Last Name

Good Advice

  • Blessed is he who keeps his troubles to himself. –Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, New Jersey), 10 March 1915, page 6
  • Do not fail to exercise your influence if you would keep it good and strong. –Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Florida), 20 March 1915, page 6
  • Don’t expect two favors in return for one. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 18 March 1915, page 14
  • Don’t force your advice upon people whose friendship you care to retain. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 28 March 1915, page 27
  • Folly, as she flies, should be swatted. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 25 July 1915, page 67
  • Hot pokers and heated arguments should be quickly dropped. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 1 January 1915, page 14
  • If your friends annoy you, sick ’em on your enemies. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 25 July 1915, page 67

Keen Observations

  • A cozy corner is a handy place in which to sweep the dirt. –Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 18 March 1915, page 10
  • A few short weeks and the house cleaning microbe will get busy again. –Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 11 March 1915, page 12
  • Art is long, but spot cash is what the artist longs for. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 1 January 1915, page 14
  • By covering up their tracks some men get credit for walking in the straight and narrow path. –Rockford Republic (Rockford, Illinois), 11 February 1915, page 2
  • By the time the average man reaches the age of fifty he knows a lot of things he would like to get rid of at 99 percent less than cost. –Cleburne Morning Review (Cleburne, Texas), 5 January 1915, page 2
  • Concealed knowledge is as useful as buried treasure. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 5 January 1915, page 12
  • For our part, we would rather get up in the world than go down in history. –Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Florida), 10 April 1915, page 8
  • Haste makes some people waste a lot of other people’s time. –Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 23 March 1915, page 11

"Haste makes some people waste a lot of other people's time."

  • Good luck is but another name for common sense. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 25 July 1915, page 67
  • If religions were good for the complexion men would seldom get their share of beauty. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 7 January 1915, page 16
  • If you are looking for trouble, probably you began by finding fault. –Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Florida), 29 May 1915, page 6
  • It’s a poor mirror that will not enable a man to see his best friend. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 3 January 1915, page 28
  • Maybe you also have met men who favor a safe and sane Fourth of July because it promises not to cost them anything. –Bridgeton Evening New (Bridgeton, New Jersey), 17 September 1915, page 5
  • Most of us are overloaded with good intentions. –Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Florida), 4 August 1915, page 6
  • People who are always saying “Listen!” never have anything of importance to say. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 27 November 1915, page 6

Genealogical Musings

  • Goodness is only a relative term – and one that is always on the tongue of relatives. –Bridgeton Evening News (Bridgeton, New Jersey), 17 September 1915, page 5
  • If you fuss about the weather it may be a sign that you are getting old. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 7 January 1915, page 16
  • Many a man charges his misdeeds up to his ancestors. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 22 April 1915, page 17

Gossiping Hurts

  • Gossip is a deadly gas that is often fatal to friendships. –Cleburne Morning Review (Cleburne, Texas), 12 February 1915, page 2
  • Eliminate politics, religion and the weather and there wouldn’t be much to talk about. –Cleburne Morning Review (Cleburne, Texas), 5 January 1915, page 2

Hankering for Happiness

  • Be satisfied with the best you can get. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 27 November 1915, page 6
  • Few people are wise enough to know that ignorance is bliss. –Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 11 March 1915, page 9
  • Bright people look upon the bright side of life. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 27 February 1915, page 8

"Bright people look upon the bright side of life."

  • Happy is the girl who thinks her father is the best man on earth. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 9 August 1915, page 4
  • Laughter is merely a smile set to music. –Cleburne Morning Review (Cleburne, Texas), 5 January 1915, page 2
  • Many a man is unhappy only because he believes himself so. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 9 August 1915, page 4

On Love, Courtship & Marriage

  • A man can get his wife’s attention by talking in his sleep. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 14 October 1915, page 23
  • A woman is seldom as fussy with her children as she is with her husband. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 28 March 1915, page 27
  • A woman’s accounts on how she spent the “house money” are only equaled in inventive genius by a man’s accounts of how he spent his time. –Bridgeton Evening New (Bridgeton, New Jersey), 17 September 1915, page 5
  • Diamonds are trumps in the game of love. –Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 11 March 1915, page 12
  • A woman may not accept a proposal of marriage, but she always admires the good judgment of the man who made it. –Cleburne Morning Review (Cleburne, Texas), 12 February 1915, page 2

"A woman may not accept a proposal of marriage, but she always admires the good judgment of the man who made it."

  • Falling in love is easy, but falling out again – aye, that’s what hurts. –Greensboro Record (Greensboro, North Carolina), 6 August 1915, page 4
  • It is easier to fall in love or into a river than it is to climb out. –Cleburne Morning Review (Cleburne, Texas), 5 January 1915, page 2
  • True domestic happiness is founded on the rock of the cradle. –Cleburne Morning Review (Cleburne, Texas), 5 January 1915, page 2
  • True love is always able to dispense with the valuable advice of outsiders. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 27 November 1915, page 6
  • What most married men would rejoice to see is a war tax on old bachelors. –Cleburne Morning Review (Cleburne, Texas), 5 January 1915, page 2

Money Matters

  • A close friend is one who won’t lend you money. –Grand Forks Daily Herald (Grand Forks, North Dakota), 5 May 1915, page 3
  • A man would rather have fortune smile on him than give him the laugh. –Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, New Jersey), 2 January 1915, page 6
  • And it’s surprising how many bargains we see in the shop windows when we are broke. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 1 January 1915, page 14
  • Fortune is said to knock at every man’s door, but it’s difficult to make a man believe it. –Cleburne Morning Review (Cleburne, Texas), 21 September 1915, page 4
  • He is a fortunate man who can catch up with his ambitions and his debts. –Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, New Jersey), 28 January 1915, page 6
  • It’s a strong friendship that can stand a loan. –Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 11 March 1915, page 9

Parental Insight

  • A crying shame – the neighbor’s baby. –Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 6 March 1915, page 10
cartoon about parenting, Times-Picayune newspaper cartoon 18 November 1915

Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana), 18 November 1915, page 16

  • Before asking children questions in public, be sure of their answers. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 15 February 1915, page 4
  • Children need fewer critics and more good models. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 9 August 1915, page 4

If you want to search for more of these old sayings spoken by our wise ancestors in historical newspapers, try some of these keywords – and don’t forget to tell us in the comments section about some of the gems you find.

  • Gathered Jests
  • Good Advice
  • Pellets of Thoughts
  • Pointed Paragraphs
  • Tips from Texas
  • Waifs of Wisdom
  • Week’s Wit

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How to Find the Black Sheep of Your Family in Old Newspapers

Introduction: Gena Philibert-Ortega is a genealogist and author of the book “From the Family Kitchen.” In this blog article, Gena writes about one of the more interesting aspects of genealogy: uncovering the stories of your “black sheep” ancestors.

It’s no secret that I love researching black sheep ancestors when tracing my family tree. Why? They leave behind the best paper trails! And if there’s one place to learn more about your black sheep ancestor, it’s in old newspapers – like those in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives. I could literally spend days finding examples of articles memorializing those ancestors who didn’t walk the straight and narrow. To get you started on your own family black sheep research quest, here are a few examples of articles I’ve discovered in the old newspaper archives.

Police Blotters

Police blotter articles are short listings documenting arrests and police activities. They can provide a lot of information, including the name of the party arrested, their crime, the address where the crime occurred, and even the name of the victim – as in these examples from May 1900.

police blotter, Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper article 10 May 1900

Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 10 May 1900, page 9

A few days later the same Philadelphia police blotter gives additional information about one criminal, as it reports:

Henry Haig, alias Kendig, who has only been out of jail two weeks, was sent to prison pending trail [sic] on the charge of having stolen bicycles belonging to Thomas Magee, of 2247 Dickinson street, and William H. Urner, of 22 South Nineteenth street.

What a great find for someone unaware that their kin used more than one surname.

police blotter, Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper article 12 May 1900

Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 12 May 1900, page 9

From the Jail to the Courthouse

The nice thing about reading your ancestor’s court case in the newspaper is that you can follow it up with the actual official court records. In this list from the Lexington Herald of police court cases, some are violent crimes like murder and assault – but many are less serious, such as drunkenness, loitering, and disorderly conduct. My favorite in this list is the last entry for Mrs. A. B. Lancaster, charged with reckless driving – in 1913!

Twenty-Seven Cases Up in Police Court, Lexington Herald newspaper article 6 July 1913

Lexington Herald (Lexington, Kentucky), 6 July 1913, page 6

Affairs of the Heart

Your black sheep ancestor might not have committed what we would define as a crime today – but they may have acted in a manner that was criminal at the time (and most people would continue to disapprove of). In today’s world we get our fill of the private lives of celebrities, but don’t forget that the unwise choices of normal, everyday people can also be found in the newspaper.

Enter Last Name

Consider the California case back in 1921 of Wallace Van Winkle Alexander, his wife Mary, and his alleged mistress Edith Prudhomme (sometimes misspelled as Prudhammer). Mrs. Alexander first became suspicious of the relationship between her husband and family friend Mrs. Prudhomme after finding a classified ad about a lost canary. Coupled with her husband’s absence, Mrs. Alexander suspected that her husband was with Mrs. Prudhomme in her apartment. Mary Alexander contacted the police and they raided Mrs. Prudhomme’s apartment, finding Mr. Alexander hiding in a closet wearing pajamas.

article about the Alexander scandal, Evening News newspaper article 18 July 1921

Evening News (San Jose, California), 18 July 1921, page 1

Probably even better than the initial story of catching her husband red-handed is a follow-up news story that shows a photo of Mary Alexander swearing out a complaint against her husband. It just goes to show that you never know what kind of photos you’ll find in the newspaper.

In this follow-up article, the journalist seems surprised by Mr. Alexander’s choice in a mistress. He writes:

The heart of Wallace Van Winkle Alexander, wealthy Los Gatos broker, was won not by a blue-eyed baby doll or a dashing young widow, but one who would least be suspected – a family friend of years of standing, a woman 50 years old and ten years the senior of his wife.

(It appears from census records that the age difference between the two women is slightly exaggerated in this account.) While Mrs. Alexander had already sworn a formal complaint on the lovebirds, Mr. Alexander tried to file one on his wife for cruelty. Mrs. Alexander’s brother chalked up the tryst to the greed of both husband and mistress – he is quoted as saying:

She thought he had money and he thought she had it, is the way I sum the matter up…

Broker Vamped by Woman of 50, Says Wife [Mary Alexander], San Francisco Chronicle newspaper article 19 July 1921

San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, California), 19 July 1921, page 3

A newspaper article that appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune reports the flimsiest excuse from an accused husband that was ever uttered:

Alexander explained his presence in Mrs. Prudhammer’s apartment in his pajamas by saying that the hot water at his own apartment was seldom very hot. He said he went to the apartment of Mrs. Prudhammer, an old family friend, and told her that he wanted to use her tub. He had just undressed, he said, when the door bell rang, and he hastily rushed into a closet and donned a pair of pajamas.

The story goes on to say that Mrs. Prudhammer verified Mr. Alexander’s story but added that she protested when he said he wanted to use her tub.

Broker's Wife Sends Police after Hubby, Salt Lake Telegram newspaper article 19 July 1921

Salt Lake Telegram (Salt Lake City, Utah), 19 July 1921, page 1

Don’t Forget Those Images

We’ve talked about the richness of images in the newspaper in previous blog articles. One of my favorite sections of early 20th century newspapers is the photographs page where images are accompanied with a sentence or two about their significance. This feature acted as an image wrap-up of current news stories from around the globe. This 1922 example from Trenton, New Jersey, has several examples of nefarious dealings – including two photos dealing with a husband’s abandonment, and another about a wife’s inclination to steal furs.

Page of Photographs, Trenton Evening Times newspaper article 27 March 1922

Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, New Jersey), 27 March 1922, page 8

The Times They Are a-Changing

As time went by, activities that once earned the black sheep label seemed sedate to later generations. Old newspapers allow us to get to know the sensibilities and moirés of an earlier time.

Black sheep ancestors include those who pushed the boundaries of current convention. Consider your 1920s grandmother who dared to bare just a little too much leg and received a monetary fine for doing so.

While the example in the next newspaper article is from Germany, I’m sure evidence of such practices can be found for the United States. These two police officers have the most dreadful task of measuring young women’s skirts and issuing fines for their lack of length. I have to admit that I would absolutely love to find one of my female ancestors in a police record for wearing a short skirt!

Berlin Police and Short Skirts, Cobb County Times newspaper article 16 August 1921

Cobb County Times (Marietta, Georgia), 16 August 1921, page 8

It’s possible that, if your grandmother was wearing her skirts too short when she was young, she was also going to dances, smoking cigarettes, and drinking. The more I read old newspapers the more I realize that teenagers haven’t changed much in 100 years.

Watch Dancers, Not the Dances, Plain Dealer newspaper article 7 October 1921

Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), 7 October 1921, page 13

GenealogyTip: Black sheep ancestors may have left other records. Follow up what you find in newspaper articles with other documents like court records.

Who’s the Black Sheep in Your Family?

Your ancestor may have been the black sheep of the family for any number of reasons, ranging from committing crimes to engaging in adultery, or perhaps an activity that is commonplace now but considered scandalous back in the day. Embrace your black sheep ancestors and look for their stories in the newspaper – and if you know of any black sheep in your family tree and are willing to share the stories, tell us in the comments section.

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Ohio Archives: 194 Newspapers for Genealogy Research

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

photo of an Ohio welcome sign on Highway 52

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

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

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

Search Ohio Newspaper Archives (1795 – 1991)

Search Ohio Recent Obituaries (1985 – Current)

illustration of the state flag of Ohio

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

Here is a list of online Ohio newspapers in the archives. Each newspaper title in this list is an active link that will take you directly to that paper’s search page, where you can begin searching for your ancestors by surnames, dates, keywords and more. The OH newspaper titles are listed alphabetically by city.

Ohio Population Fact

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

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

*Date Ranges may have selected coverage unavailable.

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!

Enter Last Name

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.

Enter Last Name

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

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