January Update: GenealogyBank Just Added 27 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 27 million more U.S. genealogy records, vastly increasing our content coverage from coast to coast!

screenshot of GenealogyBank's home page showing the Monthly Update for January of 27 million new records

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

  • A total of 13 newspaper titles from 5 U.S. states
  • 9 of these titles are newspapers added to GenealogyBank for the first time
  • 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 Coverage Added Collection
California Riverside Riverside Daily Press 01/01/1941 – 01/28/1941 Newspaper Archives
Louisiana New Orleans Louisiana Advertiser 08/18/1826 – 08/18/1826 Newspaper Archives
Louisiana New Orleans Times-Picayune 11/02/1850 – 03/28/1922 Newspaper Archives
Minnesota Faribault Faribault Daily News New! 07/10/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
New York Brooklyn Bay News & Brooklyn Graphic New! 05/02/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
New York Brooklyn Bay Ridge Courier New! 08/11/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
New York Brooklyn Brooklyn Courier New! 05/02/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
New York New York East Villager New! 12/16/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
New York Brooklyn Kings Courier New! 09/30/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
New York Brooklyn Mill-Marine Courier New! 05/02/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Wisconsin Milwaukee Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 06/09/1964 – 07/15/1964 Newspaper Archives
Wisconsin Minocqua Lakeland Times New! 03/13/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Wisconsin Rhinelander Northwoods River News New! 11/15/2000 – Current Recent Obituaries

Genealogy Tip: One of the ways to take advantage of the fact that Genealogy is constantly adding new content is to use a feature on the newspapers’ search box that lets you search just on the content added since a certain time:

screenshot of GenealogyBank's search box showing ability to search only on newest added content

GenealogyBank adds millions of new records monthly, so keep searching. And good luck with your family history research!

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr: A Brief Genealogy & Family Tree

Introduction: Scott Phillips is a genealogical historian and owner of Onward To Our Past® genealogy services. In this blog post – in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – Scott searches old newspapers to find out more about Dr. King’s family history.

The year was 1968. If you lived it, you know it was a year quite like no other in U.S. history. Certain words and images are indelibly seared into our memories from 1968: Vietnam, Tet Offensive, anti-war riots, Robert F. Kennedy, Apollo, Nixon, “Prague Spring,” and Martin Luther King, Jr. to name a few.

It was on 4 April 1968 that our world lost the legendary civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to an assassin’s bullet, as reported in this 1968 Louisiana newspaper.

article about the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Times-Picayune newspaper article 5 April 1968

Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana), 5 April 1968, page 1

The world was in shock and sadness over the assassination of MLK, and our entire nation was on edge. As a country, we tried to come to grips with the murder of one of our most stalwart proponents of peaceful humanitarian change.

Since today is the national celebration of Dr. King’s life, as well as the 48th anniversary of his untimely death, I thought I would search GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives to see what I could learn about the genealogy and family history of this truly great American.

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Father, the Reverend King, Sr.

The first thing we need to recall is that while newspapers often referred to him as Dr. King, his full name was Martin Luther King, Jr. His father was Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr.

Rev. King, Sr. outlived his son, dying in Atlanta of heart disease in 1984, as reported in this Texas newspaper. This obituary gives us more information about the family of Rev. King, Sr., commenting that “his life was stained by repeated tragedy.” He not only lost his son, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1968 assassination, but his only other son, Rev. A. D. King, accidentally drowned in 1969, and his wife, Alberta Williams King, was killed by gunfire while playing the organ during a church service in 1974.

obituary for Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., Dallas Morning News newspaper article 12 November 1984

Dallas Morning News (Dallas, Texas), 12 November 1984, page 1A

Rev. King, Sr.’s faith and commitment is shown in the last two paragraphs of this obituary:

But in his last years, King refused to speak with bitterness about his family’s losses. Nor did he swerve from his commitment to non-violence and his faith in the ultimate designs of a loving God.

“I do not hate the man who took the life of my dead son,” he said at a bicentennial ceremony in Dallas in 1976. “I am not going to hate the young man who came and killed my wife. I am every man’s brother. I’m going on with my job.”

The murder of Alberta King, wife of Rev. King, Sr. and mother of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was reported in this 1974 Massachusetts newspaper.

article about the murder of Alberta King, wife of Rev. King, Sr. and mother of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Boston Herald newspaper article 1 July 1974

Boston Herald (Boston, Massachusetts), 1 July 1974, page 1

MLK’s Personal “Preacher’s Kid” Story & Family Photo

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was part of a group called “preacher’s kids,” as shown in this 2006 Illinois newspaper article. This old newspaper article not only provides a view of what it is like to grow up as a “PK” or preacher’s kid, but also provides us with a photo of the King family in 1963, as well as a very nice biography of Dr. King which lists his wife, Coretta Scott, and his four children, Yolanda, Martin Luther III, Dexter, and Bernice.

article about the family of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Register Star newspaper article 14 January 2006

Register Star (Rockford, Illinois), 14 January 2006, page 9

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Daughter, the Reverend Bernice King

I then discovered an intriguing article from a 1991 South Dakota newspaper about Dr. King’s daughter Bernice. She is the only one of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s four children to become a minister. The old newspaper article proclaims: “Bernice King is seeking her own mission and her own identity.” As with so many of our own families, it seems the passion for a profession followed through the branches and roots of the King family with Rev. Bernice King, who is currently the chief executive officer of The King Center.

article about Rev. Bernice King, Aberdeen Daily News newspaper article 20 January 1991

Aberdeen Daily News (Aberdeen, South Dakota), 20 January 1991, page 35

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Grandfather, the Reverend A. D. Williams

It was also interesting for me to note, when I looked up Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s grave on Findagrave.com, that his maternal grandfather, A. D. Williams, was also a Reverend.

Honoring the Memory of MLK

Dr. King’s legacy was recognized and respected by the signing of the bill establishing a national holiday in his honor by then-President Ronald Reagan, as reported in this 1983 Washington newspaper article.

article about President Reagan signing the bill to create Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Seattle Daily Times newspaper article 2 November 1983

Seattle Daily Times (Seattle, Washington), 2 November 1983, page 1

His legacy was further elevated by the establishment of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C., on 28 August 2011.

Photo: Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial

Photo: Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial. Credit: U.S. National Park Service.

It was an article I found in a 1971 Alabama newspaper that really made me nostalgic. This article is all about songwriter Dick Holler and it reports: “Holler considers ‘Abraham, Martin and John’ his best song to date.” It goes on to say: “He said it only took about 10 minutes to write the song and that he had no idea it would be such a tremendous success.”

article about songwriter Dick Holler, Mobile Register newspaper article 30 December 1971

Mobile Register (Mobile, Alabama), 30 December 1971, page 30

While all of the memorials and tributes to Dr. King are wonderful, it is Dick Holler’s that I always carry close in my heart!

Anybody here seen my old friend Martin?
Can you tell me where he’s gone?
He freed a lot of people,
But it seems the good they die young.
I just looked around and he’s gone.
—Dick Holler

Take some time during today’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day commemoration to reflect upon this great civil rights leader and his legacy of faith, love, hope, and non-violence.

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Family Tree

Here is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s family tree that contains the names, DOB, and DOD (if applicable) of his parents, grandparents and great grandparents.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. family tree

MLK Genealogy Challenge

See if you can find out more about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ancestry dating back into the 1800s, and fill in some of the unknowns in his family tree. Our African American newspaper archives is a great place to start. Please be sure to share your MLK family history finds with us in the comments!

Related Articles:

Michigan Archives: 159 Newspapers for Genealogy Research

Michigan became the nation’s 26th state when it joined the Union on 26 January 1837. Known as the “Great Lakes State” because of its unique position of being bounded by four of the five Great Lakes, Michigan is the 11th largest state in the country and the 10th most populous.

Photo: Michigan state capitol, Lansing, Michigan

Photo: Michigan state capitol, Lansing, Michigan. Credit: Criticalthinker; Wikimedia Commons.

If you are researching your ancestry from Michigan, you will want to use GenealogyBank’s online MI newspaper archives: 159 titles to help you search your family history in the “Wolverine State,” providing coverage from 1817 to Today. There are more than 32 million articles and records in our online Michigan newspaper archives!

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

Search Michigan Newspaper Archives (1817 – 1995)

Search Michigan Recent Obituaries (1995 – Current)

Illustration: Michigan state flag

Illustration: Michigan state flag. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Here is a list of online Michigan newspapers in the historical 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 MI newspaper titles are listed alphabetically by city.

City Title Date Range* Collection
Adrian Daily Telegram 01/03/1893 – 12/28/1922 Newspaper Archives
Adrian Daily Telegram 12/09/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Adrian Tri=weekly Telegram 09/25/1900 – 01/01/1903 Newspaper Archives
Ann Arbor Ann Arbor News 04/03/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ann Arbor Ann Arbor News: Web Edition Articles 07/24/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ann Arbor Ann Arbor Daily Argus 11/16/1898 – 06/24/1907 Newspaper Archives
Ann Arbor Ann Arbor Daily Times 09/01/1903 – 05/02/1908 Newspaper Archives
Ann Arbor Ann Arbor News 01/02/1909 – 12/30/1922 Newspaper Archives
Ann Arbor Ann Arbor News Argus 06/25/1907 – 05/02/1908 Newspaper Archives
Ann Arbor Michigan Argus 10/17/1879 – 12/27/1907 Newspaper Archives
Ann Arbor True Democrat 12/19/1845 – 03/08/1849 Newspaper Archives
Bad Axe Huron Daily Tribune 12/17/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Baldwin Lake County Star 01/01/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bay City Bay City Times 01/01/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bay City Bay City Times, The: Web Edition Articles 10/22/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bay City Bay City Times 01/02/1889 – 12/30/1922 Newspaper Archives
Big Rapids Pioneer 04/02/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bronson Bronson Journal 03/03/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Caro Tuscola County Advertiser 09/26/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cassopolis Cassopolis Vigilant 07/23/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Charlevoix Charlevoix Courier 01/02/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cheboygan Cheboygan Daily Tribune 10/30/2000 – Current Recent Obituaries
Clare Clare County Review 09/03/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Coldwater Coldwater Daily Reporter 11/09/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Coldwater Coldwater Sentinel 04/16/1841 – 05/26/1854 Newspaper Archives
Coldwater Coldwater Sentinel 04/20/1866 – 11/11/1870 Newspaper Archives
Dearborn Arab American News 10/27/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Detroit Associated Newspapers of Michigan 07/20/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Detroit Detroit Independent 01/13/1923 – 01/13/1923 Newspaper Archives
Detroit Detroit Informer 01/13/1900 – 01/13/1900 Newspaper Archives
Detroit Detroiter Abend-Post 08/18/1929 – 08/18/1929 Newspaper Archives
Detroit Detroit News 01/01/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Detroit Detroit News, The: Web Edition Articles 10/28/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Detroit Herold 01/06/1911 – 12/29/1911 Newspaper Archives
Detroit Plaindealer 09/20/1889 – 05/19/1893 Newspaper Archives
Detroit Metro Times 08/04/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Detroit Michigan Chronicle 08/02/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Detroit Weekly Detroit Free Press 01/02/1886 – 06/04/1887 Newspaper Archives
Detroit South End, The: Wayne State University 05/05/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Detroit Detroit Gazette 07/25/1817 – 04/22/1830 Newspaper Archives
Detroit Michigan Herald 09/13/1826 – 04/30/1829 Newspaper Archives
Dowagiac Dowagiac Daily News 07/23/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Edwardsburg Edwardsburg Argus 07/20/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fenton Tri-County Times 03/23/2000 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ferndale, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Pleasant Ridge Woodward Talk 05/19/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Flint Burton News 08/14/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Flint Clio Messenger 04/20/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Flint Davison Flagstaff 06/13/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Flint Flint Journal 01/03/1898 – 12/31/1922 Newspaper Archives
Flint Fenton Press 07/24/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Flint Flint Journal 04/03/1995 – Current Recent Obituaries
Flint Flint Journal, The: Web Edition Articles 10/15/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Flint Flint Township News 03/21/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Flint Flushing Observer 10/12/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Flint Grand Blanc News 06/12/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Flint Swartz Creek News 04/20/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Frankfort Benzie County Record Patriot 06/24/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fraser Fraser-Clinton Township Chronicle 02/23/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Gaylord Gaylord Herald Times 01/01/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Gladwin Record & Clarion 10/06/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Grand Haven Grand Haven Tribune 01/02/2014 – Current Recent Obituaries
Grand Rapids Afro-American Gazette 01/01/1991 – 08/07/1995 Newspaper Archives
Grand Rapids Cadence Advance 10/10/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Grand Rapids Grand Rapids Herald 01/01/1898 – 12/31/1900 Newspaper Archives
Grand Rapids Grand Rapids Press 01/11/1893 – 12/30/1922 Newspaper Archives
Grand Rapids Grand Rapids Press 07/25/2000 – Current Recent Obituaries
Grand Rapids Grand Rapids Press, The: Web Edition Articles 10/18/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Grosse Pointe Grosse Pointe Times 01/30/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hart Oceana’s Herald-Journal 01/14/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hastings Hastings Banner 07/07/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hillsdale Hillsdale Daily News 05/25/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Holland Holland Sentinel 07/25/1997 – Current Recent Obituaries
Holland myZeeland 11/03/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Homer Homer Index 05/02/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hudsonville Grand Valley Advance 11/19/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ionia Sentinel-Standard 12/17/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Jackson Jackson Citizen 08/15/1849 – 10/16/1903 Newspaper Archives
Jackson Jackson Citizen Patriot 03/27/1865 – 12/31/1922 Newspaper Archives
Jackson Jackson Citizen Patriot 01/01/2000 – Current Recent Obituaries
Jackson Jackson Citizen Patriot: Web Edition Articles 10/22/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Jenison On-the-Town 12/01/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Jonesville Jonesville Independent 04/08/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Kalamazoo Kalamazoo Evening Telegraph 11/02/1900 – 11/02/1900 Newspaper Archives
Kalamazoo Kalamazoo Gazette 03/26/1872 – 12/31/1922 Newspaper Archives
Kalamazoo Kalamazoo Gazette 01/23/1837 – 12/31/1897 Newspaper Archives
Kalamazoo Hometown Gazette 03/26/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Kalamazoo Kalamazoo Gazette 01/01/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Kalamazoo Kalamazoo Gazette: Web Edition Articles 10/19/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Kalamazoo Western Herald 09/14/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Kentwood Southeast Advance 09/30/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lake Odessa Lakewood News 07/09/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lansing Lansing City Pulse 03/03/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lansing New Citizens Press 07/09/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lowell Lowell Ledger 07/06/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ludington Ludington Daily News 02/05/1998 – Current Recent Obituaries
Macomb Macomb Township Chronicle 03/24/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Madison Madison-Park News 03/09/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Manistee Manistee News Advocate 03/01/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Marion Marion Press 03/19/2014 – Current Recent Obituaries
Marlette Marlette Leader 03/02/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Middleville, Caledonia Sun & News 07/16/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Midland Midland Daily News 06/20/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
Monroe Monroe News 10/31/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Mount Pleasant Morning Sun 07/01/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Muskegon Muskegon Chronicle 07/03/1879 – 12/30/1922 Newspaper Archives
Muskegon Muskegon Chronicle 01/03/1997 – Current Recent Obituaries
Muskegon Muskegon Chronicle, The: Web Edition Articles 10/17/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Muskegon Muskegon Chronicle 01/30/1869 – 05/04/1905 Newspaper Archives
New Buffalo Harbor Country News 04/08/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Niles Niles Daily Star 07/23/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ontonagon Lake Superior Miner 10/06/1855 – 09/10/1870 Newspaper Archives
Owosso Argus-Press 02/09/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Petoskey Petoskey News-Review 04/16/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Pontiac Oakland Press 08/08/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Portage Portage Gazette 02/12/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Reed City Herald Review 04/04/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Reed City Pioneer – Osceola Edition 06/06/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Rochester Rochester Post 06/21/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Rockford Northeast Advance 10/15/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Royal Oak Royal Oak Review 10/08/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Saginaw Saginaw News 05/02/1881 – 12/31/1922 Newspaper Archives
Saginaw Saginaw News 11/16/1998 – Current Recent Obituaries
Saginaw Saginaw News: Web Edition Articles 10/22/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sault Ste. Marie Evening News 01/26/1901 – 02/02/1924 Newspaper Archives
Sault Ste. Marie Evening News 10/05/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sault Ste. Marie Lake Superior News and Mining Journal 06/12/1847 – 11/11/1848 Newspaper Archives
Sault Ste. Marie Sault St. Marie News 01/07/1888 – 12/29/1900 Newspaper Archives
Sault Ste. Marie Sault Ste. Marie Democrat 05/12/1887 – 12/29/1887 Newspaper Archives
Shelby, Utica Shelby-Utica News 02/17/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Southfield Detroit Jewish News 02/23/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Southfield Southfield Sun 08/04/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sparta, Kent City Northwest Advance 08/18/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
St. Clair Shores St. Clair Shores Sentinel 01/23/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
St. James Daily Northern Islander 05/01/1856 – 06/20/1856 Newspaper Archives
St. James Northern Islander 12/12/1850 – 06/19/1856 Newspaper Archives
St. Joseph Herald-Palladium 04/01/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
State-Wide County mlive.com: Blogs 08/05/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sterling Heights Sterling Heights Sentry 02/05/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sturgis Sturgis Journal 10/05/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Temperance Bedford Now 08/03/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Traverse City Grand Traverse Herald 02/19/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Traverse City Traverse City Record-Eagle 10/18/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Troy Troy Times 06/04/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Vassar Vassar Pioneer Times 03/09/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Vermontville, Nashville Maple Valley News 07/09/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Vicksburg Commercial-Express 01/22/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Warren Advertiser Times 08/04/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Warren Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle 02/09/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Warren C&G Newspapers Web Exclusive Articles 01/13/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Warren Farmington Press 06/25/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Warren Mount Clemens-Clinton-Harrison Journal 03/02/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Warren Roseville-Eastpointe Eastsider 09/04/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
Warren Warren Weekly 05/15/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
Wayland Penasee Globe 12/17/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
West Bloomfield West Bloomfield Beacon 02/22/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Whitehall White Lake Beacon 02/28/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Wyoming Southwest Advance 12/16/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ypsilanti Eastern Echo: Eastern Michigan University 11/07/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ypsilanti Ypsilanti Commerical 03/11/1864 – 08/25/1898 Newspaper Archives

*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 Michigan newspaper links will be live.

Related Resource:

Finding Bion Whitehouse: How Initials Can Help Your Ancestry Search

I have been looking at my Whitehouse cousins of Keene, New Hampshire, this week and was wrapping up the details of Bion Huntley Whitehouse (1858-1929) and his wife Mabel Medora (Wilder) Whitehouse (1871-1938).

In looking at GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives, I searched using his first and last name: Bion Whitehouse. I found a handful of newspaper articles, including this one that stated he was elected secretary of the Masonic lodge: Eureka Lodge No. 9, Order of the Golden Lion in 1891.

article about the Masonic lodge, Eureka Lodge No. 9, Order of the Golden Lion, New Hampshire Sentinel newspaper article 4 February 1891

New Hampshire Sentinel (Keene, New Hampshire), 4 February 1891, page 4

Another article reported that he “is taking a ten days’ trip about Sunapee Lake.”

article about Bion Whitehouse, New Hampshire Sentinel newspaper article 5 August 1891

New Hampshire Sentinel (Keene, New Hampshire), 5 August 1891, page 4

And this one stated that he “has bought the Amos Ross place near Wilson pond, West Keene.”

article about Bion Whitehouse, New Hampshire Sentinel newspaper article 18 December 1889

New Hampshire Sentinel (Keene, New Hampshire), 18 December 1889, page 4

On a hunch, I searched for Bion again in GenealogyBank – but this time I searched using his initials with his last name instead of using his first name.

screenshot of GenealogyBank's search box showing a search for B. H. Whitehouse

Source: GenealogyBank.com

I am glad that I did.

By searching on this variation of his name I found the obituary of his first wife – information that I didn’t have.

obituary for Lena Whitehouse, New Hampshire Sentinel newspaper article 9 April 1890

New Hampshire Sentinel (Keene, New Hampshire), 9 April 1890, page 8

Genealogy Tip: Be sure you discover all of the articles about your relatives. An extra search, such as using only their initials, can sometimes yield critical information for documenting your family tree.

Related Name Search Articles:

Arkansas Archives: 86 Newspapers for Genealogy Research

Arkansas became the nation’s 25th state when it joined the Union on 15 June 1836. Arkansas (whose pronunciation with the final “s” being silent was made official by the state legislature in 1881) is the 29th largest state in the country and the 33rd most populous.

Photo: Cedar Falls at the end of the Cedar Falls Trail, located in Petit Jean State Park near Morrilton, Arkansas

Photo: Cedar Falls at the end of the Cedar Falls Trail, located in Petit Jean State Park near Morrilton, Arkansas. Credit: Brandonrush; Wikimedia Commons.

If you are researching your ancestry from Arkansas, you will want to use GenealogyBank’s online AR newspaper archives: 86 titles to help you search your family history in the “Natural State,” providing coverage from 1819 to Today. There are more than 3.7 million articles and records in our online Arkansas newspaper archives!

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

Search Arkansas Newspaper Archives (1819 – 1999)

Search Arkansas Recent Obituaries (1999 – Current)

Illustration: Arkansas state flag

Illustration: Arkansas state flag. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Here is a list of online Arkansas newspapers in the historical 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 AR newspaper titles are listed alphabetically by city.

City Title Date Range * Collection
Arkadelphia Daily Siftings Herald 03/15/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bella Vista Weekly Vista 11/23/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Benton Saline Courier 05/08/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bentonville Benton County Daily Record 01/01/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Booneville Booneville Democrat 10/23/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cabot Cabot Star-Herald 08/22/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Camden Camden News 12/02/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Camden Ouachita Herald 05/22/1856 – 03/30/1861 Newspaper Archives
Carlisle Carlisle Independent 06/06/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Charleston Charleston Express 06/03/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Clinton Van Buren County Democrat 01/26/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Denson Denson Tribune 03/02/1943 – 06/06/1944 Newspaper Archives
El Dorado El Dorado News-Times 01/04/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
Farmington Washington County Enterprise-Leader 11/04/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fayetteville Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 01/01/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fayetteville Northwest Arkansas Times 01/02/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fayetteville NWAOnline: Web Edition Articles 07/28/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fayetteville Whole Hog Sports 04/14/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Forrest City Homeland 10/01/1991 – 07/01/1999 Newspaper Archives
Fort Chaffee Helping Hand 05/02/1975 – 12/19/1975 Newspaper Archives
Fort Smith Times Record 10/13/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fort Smith Fort Smith New Era 01/20/1869 – 05/12/1880 Newspaper Archives
Gravette Westside Eagle Observer 08/04/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Greenwood Greenwood Democrat 06/03/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Heber Springs Jacksonian 11/27/1890 – 05/31/1894 Newspaper Archives
Heber Springs Sun Times 11/13/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Helena Western Clarion 04/01/1865 – 12/16/1865 Newspaper Archives
Helena, West Helena Daily World 02/09/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hope Hope Star 10/20/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hot Springs Hot Springs Village Voice 09/03/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hot Springs Sentinel-Record 03/01/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hot Springs Sentinel=Record 01/01/1962 – 12/31/1964 Newspaper Archives
Jacksonville Jacksonville Patriot 04/18/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Jonesboro Jonesboro Daily News 10/19/1908 – 05/31/1910 Newspaper Archives
Jonesboro Jonesboro Daily Times-Enterprise 09/03/1904 – 10/16/1908 Newspaper Archives
Jonesboro Jonesboro Daily Tribune 01/01/1910 – 12/30/1922 Newspaper Archives
Jonesboro Jonesboro Evening Sun 12/08/1904 – 12/27/1922 Newspaper Archives
Jonesboro Jonesboro Weekly Sun 03/03/1904 – 02/21/1923 Newspaper Archives
Jonesboro Jonesboro Weekly Times-Enterprise 05/18/1905 – 01/16/1908 Newspaper Archives
Jonesboro Jonesboro Weekly Tribune 06/01/1905 – 02/17/1921 Newspaper Archives
Jonesboro Jonesboro Sun 08/25/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Little Rock Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 10/30/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Little Rock Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: Web Edition Articles 03/30/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Little Rock Arkansas Times 07/07/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Little Rock Arkansas Times: Blogs 04/12/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Little Rock ARPreps 05/28/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Little Rock American Guide 01/27/1900 – 01/27/1900 Newspaper Archives
Little Rock Arkansas Freeman 10/05/1869 – 10/05/1869 Newspaper Archives
Little Rock Arkansas Gazette 12/23/1820 – 11/01/1908 Newspaper Archives
Little Rock Arkansas Weekly Mansion 06/23/1883 – 04/19/1884 Newspaper Archives
Little Rock Arkansas Star 09/07/1839 – 02/01/1841 Newspaper Archives
Little Rock Arkansas State Press 05/09/1941 – 10/30/1959 Newspaper Archives
Little Rock Weekly Arkansas Gazette 11/20/1819 – 05/25/1876 Newspaper Archives
Little Rock Arkansas Whig 05/22/1851 – 05/24/1855 Newspaper Archives
Little Rock Morning Republican 11/25/1867 – 06/03/1874 Newspaper Archives
Little Rock Southern Mediator Journal 06/22/1962 – 02/25/1966 Newspaper Archives
Little Rock Arkansas Advocate 07/28/1830 – 03/27/1833 Newspaper Archives
Little Rock Arkansas Times and Advocate 05/01/1837 – 03/11/1844 Newspaper Archives
Lonoke Lonoke Democrat 03/21/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Magnolia Banner-News 11/19/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Malvern Malvern Daily Record 08/01/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Maumelle Maumelle Monitor 10/17/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
McGehee Rohwer Outpost 10/24/1942 – 07/21/1945 Newspaper Archives
McGehee Rohwer Relocator 08/01/1945 – 11/09/1945 Newspaper Archives
Newport Newport Independent 01/25/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
North Little Rock Times 10/12/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Paragould Paragould Daily Press 07/11/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
Paris Paris Express 06/03/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Pea Ridge Times of Northeast Benton County 10/05/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Pine Bluff Pine Bluff Weekly Herald 01/27/1900 – 01/27/1900 Newspaper Archives
Pine Bluff Pine Bluff Commercial 10/11/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Prescott Gurdon Times 12/17/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Prescott Nevada County Picayune 10/05/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Rogers Rogers Morning News 10/26/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Russellville Courier 08/20/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Searcy Daily Citizen 08/26/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sherwood Sherwood Voice 06/05/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Siloam Springs Siloam Springs Herald-Leader 12/28/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Springdale Springdale Morning News 10/26/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Springdale, Rogers Morning News of Northwest Arkansas 10/23/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Stuttgart Stuttgart Daily Leader 03/15/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Van Buren Alma Journal 06/25/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Van Buren Arkansas Intelligencer 02/15/1845 – 10/01/1858 Newspaper Archives
Van Buren Press Argus Courier 10/22/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
White Hall White Hall Journal 09/30/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
White Hall White Hall Progress 11/08/2007 – 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 Arkansas newspaper links will be live.

Related Resource:

Bunker Hill Drummer Boy

Every Christmas we hear the familiar lyrics of “The Little Drummer Boy” Christmas classic popularized in the 1950s and still popular today.

Pa rum pum pum pum,
Rum pum pum pum,
Rum pum pum pum

Drummer boys have resonated with Americans for centuries.

painting: “Yankee Doodle,” aka “The Spirit of ’76,” by Archibald Willard

Painting: “Yankee Doodle,” aka “The Spirit of ’76,” by Archibald Willard. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Rufus Kingsley (1763-1846) was one of three drummer boys at the Battle of Bunker Hill. The town of Kingsley, Pennsylvania, was named for this Connecticut-born Revolutionary War veteran.

obituary for Rufus Kingsley, Centinel of Freedom newspaper article 23 June 1846

Centinel of Freedom (Newark, New Jersey), 23 June 1846, page 4

Kingsley’s obituary recalled his popularity:

Many of our readers will recollect the enthusiasm with which the old veteran, with his ancient drum, was hailed when presented to the audience.

He gave us a touch of the music which awakened the American combatants on the morning of that memorable battle…The stirring note of his old drum will be heard no more.

Tragically his wife of 60 years, Lucinda Cutler, died three days later.

Don’t let their stories be lost.

GenealogyBank’s over 1 billion records are your best source to find their stories.

Document every drummer boy in your family tree and pass down their stories.

Note: FamilySearch International (FamilySearch.org) and GenealogyBank are partnering to make over a billion records from recent and historical obituaries searchable online. The tremendous undertaking will make a billion records from over 100 million U.S. newspaper obituaries readily searchable online. The newspapers are from all 50 states and cover the period 1730 to the present.  Find out more at: http://www.genealogybank.com/family-search/

Related Revolutionary War Articles:

Idaho Archives: 35 Newspapers for Genealogy Research

Idaho became the nation’s 43rd state when it joined the Union on 3 July 1890. A mountainous state with large areas of wilderness, Idaho is the 14th largest state in the country and the 39th most populous.

Photo of Yellow Bells at City of Rocks National Reserve, Idaho

Photo: Yellow Bells at City of Rocks National Reserve, Idaho. Credit: Wallace Keck, Park Superintendent, City of Rocks National Reserve; Wikimedia Commons.

If you are researching your ancestry from Idaho, you will want to use GenealogyBank’s online ID newspaper archives: 35 titles to help you search your family history in the “Gem State,” providing coverage from 1864 to Today. There are more than 13.7 million articles and records in our online Idaho newspaper archives!

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

Search Idaho Newspaper Archives (1864 – 1976)

Search Idaho Recent Obituaries (1989 – Current)

Illustration of the Idaho state flag

Illustration: Idaho state flag. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Here is a list of online Idaho newspapers in the historical 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 ID newspaper titles are listed alphabetically by city.

City Title Date Range* Collection
Blackfoot Blackfoot Register 07/10/1880 – 03/22/1884 Newspaper Archives
Blackfoot Morning News 08/02/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Boise Evening Bulletin 02/21/1903 – 02/21/1903 Newspaper Archives
Boise Idaho Statesman 07/26/1864 – 01/01/1953 Newspaper Archives
Boise Idaho Statesman 01/26/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Boise Idaho Democrat 01/28/1871 – 06/28/1871 Newspaper Archives
Bonners Ferry Bonners Ferry Herald 10/05/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Challis Challis Messenger 03/17/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Coeur d’Alene Coeur d’Alene Press 10/01/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Coeur d’Alene Idaho Spokesman-Review 07/03/1994 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hunt Minidoka Irrigator 09/10/1942 – 07/28/1945 Newspaper Archives
Idaho Falls Citizen 03/11/1907 – 04/01/1907 Newspaper Archives
Idaho Falls Idaho Falls Times 07/09/1891 – 09/16/1920 Newspaper Archives
Idaho Falls Idaho Register 04/04/1885 – 10/31/1916 Newspaper Archives
Idaho Falls Post Register 01/02/1992 – Current Recent Obituaries
Kellogg Shoshone News-Press 04/06/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lewiston Lewiston Morning Tribune 12/01/1989 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lewiston Lewiston Tribune 08/01/1964 – 05/31/1976 Newspaper Archives
Moscow Moscow-Pullman Daily News 01/01/1998 – Current Recent Obituaries
Nampa Idaho Press-Tribune 07/01/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Payette Independent Enterprise 05/16/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Pocatello Idaho State Journal 06/27/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Priest River Priest River Times 06/05/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Rathdrum Kootenai Courier 06/29/1889 – 06/21/1890 Newspaper Archives
Rigby Jefferson Star 07/25/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ruby City Owyhee Avalanche 08/19/1865 – 08/11/1866 Newspaper Archives
Salmon City Idaho Recorder 12/12/1889 – 05/04/1892 Newspaper Archives
Salmon City Semi-weekly Mining News 08/11/1867 – 08/11/1867 Newspaper Archives
Sandpoint Bonner County Daily Bee 03/02/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Shelley Shelley Pioneer 08/29/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Silver City Owyhee Avalanche 08/18/1866 – 12/28/1900 Newspaper Archives
Silver City Owyhee Daily Avalanche 10/17/1874 – 04/26/1876 Newspaper Archives
Silver City Owyhee Semi-Weekly Tidal Wave 12/15/1868 – 02/10/1870 Newspaper Archives
Twin Falls Twin Falls Daily News 04/08/1918 – 12/31/1922 Newspaper Archives
Twin Falls Times-News 08/19/1999 – 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 Idaho newspaper links will be live.

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She Had the Best Laugh!

What a great tribute.

This obituary for Effie Mae Sanders says:

She had the best laugh – loud and hearty and she was always cheerful. No one could walk past the house without a ‘hello’ from Effie.

obituary for Effie Mae Sanders, Gettysburg Times newspaper article 6 March 2014

Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania), 6 March 2014

Yes, her obituary gives the facts: when and where she was born; whom she married; the groups she belonged to; the details of her death and who the survivors were.

But…it is her story that sticks with us.
The way this obituary characterized her life – capturing her persona and making us wish that we had known her too.

She “loved to cook…to try new recipes and share them with her friends. And she had a lot of friends.”

She was always worrying about those who were sick. She would call them and pray for them. Effie said ‘no matter how many health problems I have, there are always those worse off than me.’ She was a friend to everyone she met and loved by many more.

Find the stories of every one of your relatives.

What a terrific person.
Effie Mae Sanders (1930-2015) would have been 85 years old this month.

She was “a joyful woman.”

Use GenealogyBank to find and document your family’s stories so that they are told and remembered, just like Effie Mae’s.

Note: FamilySearch International (FamilySearch.org) and GenealogyBank are partnering to make over a billion records from recent and historical obituaries searchable online. The tremendous undertaking will make a billion records from over 100 million U.S. newspaper obituaries readily searchable online. The newspapers are from all 50 states and cover the period 1730 to the present.  Find out more at: http://www.genealogybank.com/family-search/

Related Obituary Articles:

For the 12 Days of Christmas: 12 Types of Newspaper Articles for Genealogy Research, Part I

Introduction: Gena Philibert-Ortega is a genealogist and author of the book “From the Family Kitchen.” In this blog article, Gena gives examples of six types of newspaper articles that can help with your family history research.

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…Well if you’re like most of us your family history gift would be finding more mentions (or perhaps just one mention) of your ancestry. Instead of geese a-laying or the partridge in a pear tree, you want to go straight to the genealogy happy dance where you celebrate finding that newspaper article about your family.

The ways in which your ancestor could be listed in the newspaper are endless – but there are some go-to articles you should be regularly looking for. It’s important to be knowledgeable about what newspaper articles can assist in your search so that you know what is available and what you should expect. Will your ancestor be mentioned in each type of newspaper article listed below? No, many factors determine whether a person is mentioned in any one type of article, but you should still keep your eye out for the following article types.

In honor of the 12 Days of Christmas, this article will take a look at 12 genealogically rich newspaper article examples – starting with these first 6 that provide the basic facts about a person: their birth, marriage, and death. Tomorrow, in Part II, we’ll look at 6 more types of newspaper articles that can help with your family history research. All of these examples were found in the pages of GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives.

1) Birth Notices

A person is born and the newspaper publishes an announcement, right? Well, sometimes.

birth notices, Republic newspaper article 5 January 1909

Republic (Rockford, Illinois), 5 January 1909, page 4

In some cases a birth notice at the time of the birth might be found in the newspaper. However, even though newspapers report current events, in some cases a birth notice may not appear until sometime much later than the actual birth. At first read that doesn’t appear to make much sense, so let me explain.

One example is the case of delayed birth certificates, when a notice appeared in the newspaper notifying the public that a person had filed for one – and that notice included their birth date. What is a delayed birth certificate? These are a type of birth certificate issued to those who were born before the mandatory use of birth certificates, or for those whose birth was not registered at the time of the event. Obtaining a delayed birth certificate was especially important after the implementation of Social Security and during World War II.

Look at some of the samples in this article. In the first one, the person was born in 1898 – yet was requesting a birth certificate in 1944!

article about delayed birth certificates, Macon Telegraph newspaper article 29 December 1944

Macon Telegraph (Macon, Georgia), 29 December 1944, page 12

Genealogy Tip: Birth announcements are likely not to include the name of the child, so search instead for the parents’ names or just the last name.

2) Engagement Notices

An upcoming nuptial may lead to numerous mentions in the newspaper, starting with an engagement notice. These notices may or may not include photos and will likely provide a little bit of information about the prospective bride and groom.

This 1922 Alabama newspaper column of engagement notices includes an example showing how much family information these notices sometimes provide: the Hertz-Friedman announcement reports the place of residence for the bride’s father, the groom, and the groom’s mother – both her current and former locations.

Engagement Announcements, Montgomery Advertiser newspaper article 4 June 1922

Montgomery Advertiser (Montgomery, Alabama), 4 June 1922, Society Section, page 16

Genealogy Tip: An engagement notice might be in several newspapers, including the newspaper where the bride or groom live and the newspapers where their parents live. So make sure to not limit your search to a single city.

You never know what kind of information you will find in the newspaper. I particularly like this appraisal of the bride and groom found in the above notice for the Knowles-Johns engagement:

Miss Knowles is a popular member of the younger set and endeared herself to her friends by her charming personality. Mr. Johns is well known in Montgomery and holds a responsible position with the A. C. L. railroad.

Remember that an engagement notice – like the issuance of a marriage license – does not mean that a wedding actually took place. It’s important to continue your search and seek out proof that the wedding occurred.

3) Wedding Announcements

We sometimes get so used to the way a newspaper is laid out that we may miss newspaper articles that appear to be something else entirely. For example, this 1919 Nebraska newspaper article is entitled “Festive Bridal Array Again Here.” At first glance this appears to be an article about wedding fashion – but it is really a wedding announcement for two couples that begins with a comment about the return of festive wedding attire since the end of World War I. The announcement goes on to tell us about the two couples and where they currently reside.

wedding announcements, Omaha World-Herald newspaper article 2 February 1919

Omaha World-Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 2 February 1919, page 29

4) Anniversary Announcements

Celebrations for couples that have been married for 25, 50 and even more years are often documented in the newspaper. The great thing about these articles is they may include the wife’s maiden name as well as the names of the couple’s children and grandchildren. Frequently, photos of the happy couple accompany the article as in this example from a 1955 North Carolina newspaper which includes the couple’s street address, the number of children they had (though unfortunately not their names), and the bride’s father’s name.

article about the Elkins' 50th wedding anniversary, Greensboro Record newspaper article 25 October 1955

Greensboro Record (Greensboro, North Carolina), 25 October 1955, page 13

5) Divorce Notices

Birth and marriage are a fact of life – and so too is divorce. All types of court actions can be found in the newspaper, including notices about divorce cases. Think divorce is a modern-day issue? Nothing could be further from the truth. In the United States, the first divorce occurred in colonial America. If you think people didn’t do that back in the “good old days” – yet your research shows a spouse that suddenly “disappeared” – consider the possibility of a divorce.

The name of the divorcing couple might be found in a newspaper article listing court cases to be heard, or in a legal notice seeking a hard-to-find defendant. While only the most notorious or infamous of divorce cases warranted a longer newspaper article, these smaller mentions are important because they can lead you to further research in court records.

divorce notices, Columbus Daily Enquirer newspaper article 29 October 1922

Columbus Daily Enquirer (Columbus, Georgia), 29 October 1922, page 8

6) Obituaries

Obituaries are a staple in genealogy research. One of the first sources many family history researchers check, obituaries can be a hit or miss proposition. When you can find them they can range in length from a single line to multiple paragraphs with a photo.

obituary for F. Lenwood Scott, Augusta Chronicle newspaper article 28 January 2001

Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, Georgia), 28 January 2001, section B, page 7

A few tips are in order when looking for obituaries. Remember that in some cases the obituary may have been preceded by notices involving the illness of the deceased or reports of an accident. These types of mentions would be more common in small communities. If the death was due to an accident or crime, search for articles detailing that event and then the coroner’s inquest or court trial that presumably followed. Like engagement notices mentioned above, obituaries may be found in multiple newspapers including where the deceased lived and the city they were from originally. Also take into consideration that a close relative may have also decided to place the obituary in their local newspaper as well.

So were you familiar with these six types of newspaper articles? These are just some of the newspaper articles where your ancestor might appear. In tomorrow’s article we will explore six other types of newspaper articles that fill in the details of your ancestor’s life.

Related Articles:

A Tale of 4 Early Obituaries: Are You Missing Their Clues?

Introduction: Mary Harrell-Sesniak is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background. In this blog article, Mary shows how small references and brief mentions in obituaries can provide clues to help your family history research.

Obituaries are the stalwart basis for genealogy research – but many family historians miss clues that are crying out for follow-up searches. Let’s look at some early obituaries from GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives and see what lessons we can learn from them.

Genealogy Tip: When you find an obituary, read it differently to uncover its clues.

Instead of just focusing on names and dates, look for associations – such as locations and organizations. Take what you observe and use it in follow-up queries.

Take for example this 19th century obituary – really just a trio of early American death notices. It’s fairly typical for the time period, when a person’s entire existence seemed to be summarized in 1-3 lines.

This obituary briefly mentions:

  • the Shepards (Julia Ann and T. W.)
  • Abel Chapin
  • the Taylors (James and his wife)

But there’s more to uncover for each one of the deceased listed here.

death notices, Hampshire Gazette newspaper article 19 October 1831

Hampshire Gazette (Northampton, Massachusetts), 19 October 1831, page 3

#1 Julia Ann Shepard

Julia Ann Shepard’s young passing was at one year old. We learn the location where she died and her father’s name, albeit abbreviated.

Starting with Findagrave, a search located her at memorial #89027833.

Her Findagrave page had a small date error reporting that she passed in December rather than on October 15. So I did what many colleagues do, and sent the correction with a reason why the information was incorrect. It is now noted on the record.

#2 T. W. Shepard

I thought Julia Ann’s father might be Thomas W. Shepard. A search for Thomas or Thomas W. Shepard located little in GenealogyBank, so I resorted to the biggest clue of all: how he was named in the daughter’s death notice.

Turns out T. W. really did go by just his initials. This search found him.

screenshot of GenealogyBank's search box showing a search for T. W. Shepard

Source: GenealogyBank

He turned out to be an interesting fellow.

Among his many accomplishments was the inspiration for the New England Farmer and Horticultural Journal, published from 1822-1846.

article about T. W. Shepard founding the "New England Farmer" journal, Hampshire Gazette newspaper article 22 May 1822

Hampshire Gazette (Northampton, Massachusetts), 22 May 1822, page 2

This journal is mentioned repeatedly in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives. As one of the earliest agricultural journals, it provides researchers with unparalleled insight into 19th century New England agriculture.

Another tidbit I unearthed about T. W. in the newspaper archives pertains to his religion. In 1821, he assisted in the publication of a sermon called “The Guilt and Danger of Religious Error.”

article about a sermon delivered by Rev. Joseph Lyman, Hampden Patriot newspaper article 12 December 1821

Hampden Patriot (Springfield, Massachusetts), 12 December 1821, page 4

What I wasn’t able to locate was T. W. Shepard’s obituary. Perhaps one of our readers will be able to find it.

#3 Col. Abel Chapin

The most intriguing information about Col. Abel Chapin is his rank. Can GenealogyBank confirm his military rank and let us know more about him?

A 1954 report from the Daughters of the American Revolution in GenealogyBank’s Historical Documents section reports that he served in Charles Chapin’s regiment in Ticonderoga, New York, during the American Revolutionary War.

a report of Revolutionary War soldiers' graves in Massachusetts produced by the Daughters of the American Revolution

Source: GenealogyBank

His Findagrave memorial notes that he was also in the War of 1812 and Shay’s Rebellion.

Old Massachusetts newspapers are sprinkled with various tidbits about Col. Abel Chapin. One fact I found amusing concerned his oxen. His largest ox weighed 3,028 pounds!

article about Col. Abel Chapin and his oxen, Boston Commercial Gazette newspaper article 24 September 1821

Boston Commercial Gazette (Boston, Massachusetts), 24 September 1821, page 2

According to a Google search quoting Tiller’s International: “Depending on the breed, an ox can weigh anywhere from about 500 to 3,000 pounds,” so Chapin’s ox was a mighty large animal – even by today’s standards.

#4 Rev. James Taylor and wife

According to the death notice, the Rev. James Taylor and his unnamed wife died within five days of each other, on 11October and 16 October, 1831.

However, curiosity makes one wonder if the close proximity of their deaths was a coincidence? Did she die of a broken heart or was there another cause?

Their online Findagrave memorials at Riverside Cemetery report her name was Elizabeth Terry and they both died of typhoid fever. A quick check of similar obituaries shows that typhus was prevalent in the area during this time period.

Findagrave memorial for Rev. James Taylor

Source: Findagrave

I noticed that their Findagrave memorial does not show the exact date of death, so I submitted a correction which will hopefully be addressed.

Searching in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives produced a few more items about this family, such as this report of a church service in which Rev. Taylor gave the sermon.

article about the installation of Rev. Joel Wright, Weekly Messenger newspaper article 25 October 1821

Weekly Messenger (Boston, Massachusetts), 25 October 1821, page 4

In some newspaper articles he was referred to as James Taylor, but others simply referred to him by his initials. Several newspaper notices report that he officiated at other ordinations.

I even found an 1807 newspaper article about his own ordination. How cool is that!

article about the ordination of Rev. James Taylor, Vermont Precursor newspaper article 7 August 1807

Vermont Precursor (Montpelier, Vermont), 7 August 1807, page 3

So there you have it: a virtual tale of four obituary discoveries, starting with the briefest of mentions in a death notice that led to follow-up searches uncovering more of their stories. Please share in the comments section how obituary clues have led you to other genealogical discoveries.

Note: FamilySearch International (FamilySearch.org) and GenealogyBank are partnering to make over a billion records from recent and historical obituaries searchable online. The tremendous undertaking will make a billion records from over 100 million U.S. newspaper obituaries readily searchable online. The newspapers are from all 50 states and cover the period 1730 to the present.  Find out more at: http://www.genealogybank.com/family-search/

Related Obituary Articles: