However, their military service was almost always mentioned in their obituary notice—as in this example, published in the Barre Gazette (Barre, Massachusetts), 31 July 1840, page 2, of the late Isaac Van Wart (1751-1840) of Tarrytown (Westchester County) and Pittstown (Rensselaer County), New York. Obituaries, birth announcements and marriage notices are some of the excellent resources newspapers provide family historians. During times of war, draft, slacker, and casualty lists are another helpful genealogical resource. In addition to information about your individual ancestors, newspapers provide the stories about what the entire United States was going through, to help you put your ancestors’ experiences in context and thereby come to understand them a little more. Digital newspaper archives online have become the core tool for modern genealogy, helping genealogists and family history researchers discover more about their family’s military past than ever before possible.
Researching Genealogy with Military Records and Lists in Newspapers From the Revolutionary War to Pearl Harbor to Iraq, newspapers are a valuable resource for researching your military ancestry and learning about the history of war in the United States. Newspapers have been a dependable source of information that Americans have relied upon throughout this nation’s history.
U.S. War History in Newspapers This was vividly demonstrated after Dec. 7, 1941, when Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor launched the U.S. into World War II. The next day Congress declared war on Japan—and Americans were riveted by the bold headlines and news stories splashed across the front pages of the nation’s newspapers.
Omaha World Journal (Omaha, Nebraska), 8 December 1941, page 1. Newspapers tell us what happened every day of our ancestors’ lives. From the Revolutionary War to the wars in the Middle East, newspapers let us read about our ancestors’ participation in the nation’s conflicts—and what the country as a whole went through. We volunteered, we were enlisted in the U.S. military through the draft—and when we didn’t register for the draft, the government issued “slacker lists” to encourage full participation in the war.
U.S. Military Draft Lists Military draft lists were published in newspapers, like this one printed in the 26 July 1917 issue of the Perry Republican (Perry, Oklahoma), page 1. It is a census of the men living in Noble County, Oklahoma, in 1917—a valuable genealogical resource to help with your family history research. Similar lists were the “slacker lists” or “draft dodger lists”: listings of those persons that tried to evade the draft. After World War I the United States War Department issued lists of those men that did not register with the military draft. These lists were widely published in newspapers across the country, like this example from the Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, New Jersey), 25 May 1921, page 1. From the declaration of war through obituaries published decades after the conflict ended, newspapers have been a dependable source of information about our ancestors and their participation in the United States Armed Forces. Newspapers reported on the battles and covered the stories of the war every step along the way. Family historians can gather facts for their family trees and put them in the context of the war as it happened. U.S. Military Casualty Lists Another valuable resource for family historians are the war casualty lists many newspapers published. In this example, published in the Macon Telegraph (Macon, Georgia), 6 August 1918, page 1, the newspaper published the full casualty list and spiked out the Georgia men that died in a prominent boxed note that appeared on page one. Most U.S. citizens do not remain in the military as a lifelong career. However, their military service was almost always mentioned in their obituary notice—as in this example, published in the Barre Gazette (Barre, Massachusetts), 31 July 1840, page 2, of the late Isaac Van Wart (1751-1840) of Tarrytown (Westchester County) and Pittstown (Rensselaer County), New York. Obituaries, birth announcements and marriage notices are some of the excellent resources newspapers provide family historians. During times of war, draft, slacker, and casualty lists are another helpful genealogical resource. In addition to information about your individual ancestors, newspapers provide the stories about what the entire United States was going through, to help you put your ancestors’ experiences in context and thereby come to understand them a little more. Digital newspaper archives online have become the core tool for modern genealogy, helping genealogists and family history researchers discover more about their family’s military past than ever before possible. Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, Maryland), 7 April 1917, page 1.
Newspapers tell the story of the everyday lives of our ancestors. GenealogyBank is the best genealogy resource for online newspapers available anywhere, with a massive collection of content spanning nearly 400 years of American history.
The historical newspaper article in the upper right is an obituary of Peregrine White, “the First Englishman born in New England”—he was born on board the Mayflower in Cape Cod Harbor in November 1620! Peregrine White’s obituary appeared in the Boston News-Letter (Boston, Massachusetts), 24 July-31 July 1704, page 2. The newspaper article below it is about a family reunion including four generations of Peregrine White’s descendants who gathered in McMinnville, Oregon. This family reunion newspaper article was published in the Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), 30 May 1915, Section 3, page 9.
Peregrine White’s descendants were understandably proud to have such a famous ancestor, a Mayflower ship passenger, in their family tree. This past summer, when Mary Alice (Haskell) Morey (1928-2011) died, her obituary prominently mentioned that she was a direct descendant of Peregrine White.Her obituary was printed by the Natick Bulletin & TAB (Natick, Massachusetts), 22 July 2011, page 18. Read her complete obituary in GenealogyBank.
With over 250,000 newspaper articles at GenealogyBank related to the Mayflower you can learn so much more about Peregrine White and his descendants, as well as discover who the other Pilgrims were that arrived in America as passengers on the famous ship. Research Mayflower ship passenger lists and explore our Pilgrim ancestors’ lives with newspaper articles about Plymouth Colony. Maybe you have ancestors who arrived on the Mayflower too?
Happy Thanksgiving Day to all genealogists around the world!
Georgia Family History Expo – Duluth, Georgia 2011
Over 400 genealogists gathered in Duluth, Georgia, for the annual Family History Expo held at the Gwinnett Center on Nov. 11-12, 2011.
Now in its second year, this conference has the size and feel of a national conference. There were over 60 informative family history sessions taught by two dozen experienced national speakers. Topics covered at this premier event for genealogists ranged from “Searching Your Scottish Ancestors” to “Special Sources for Confederate Research in the National Archives.” Thanks to the conference’s solid organization and the Gwinnett Center’s well-managed layout, it was easy for genealogists to mingle with nationally-recognized speakers and take the time to ask meaningful, detailed questions.
For example, the Family History Expo made it easy for working genealogists to attend by having sessions scheduled well into the evening. Working genealogists that couldn’t make the day-time sessions could attend sessions at night as well as all day on Saturday.
The speakers and vendors each shared their latest genealogy insights and tips. One nifty new application I learned about at this conference is a free family tree software program from TreeSeek.com. This application creates a nine-generation family tree fan chart that is easy to share with relatives and other researchers, as shown below. TreeSeek pulls family data from Geni or FamilySearch.Genealogists will find this free family tree software program a terrific way to easily share some of their family discoveries with relatives over the Holidays.
In addition to traditional family tree charts this program can also create a “Name Cloud” familiar to those of us working with 21st Century genealogy computing.Tom Kemp, GenealogyBank’s Director of Genealogy Products, gave three lectures at the Expo, all focused on the value of newspapers for genealogists.
Friday, Nov. 11: “African American Newspapers”
(Beginner Level) Tom talked about the more than 270
African American newspapers in GenealogyBank’s collection, published from 1827-1999—the largest collection of African American newspapers online. He provided practical advice for genealogists, such as: methods for efficient searching; and how to clip and save newspaper articles about your family. The lecture gave practical examples of the type of information family historians can find in these old newspapers, such as this obituary of Mary Stamps that appeared in the Atlanta Age (Georgia) 13 January 1900, page 2.
Saturday, Nov. 12: “21st Century Genealogy” (All Levels) For this lecture, Tom concentrated on the ten essential online resources that you need to research your family online, save time, and improve the accuracy of your family history. He showed his audience how to cut through the clutter on the Internet and focus on the ten core resources with the reliable, essential content that genealogists use to document and preserve their family trees.
Genealogy sites Tom discussed included: · Ancestry · FamilySearch · GenealogyBank · Google Books · Internet Archive · Scribd
As Tom told his audience: “It’s a great day for genealogy! Researchers need to know about these terrific online genealogy resources.”
Saturday, Nov. 12: “Newspapers: Finding the Details about Your Family” It was standing room only for this 2011 Family History Expo session, in which Tom explained how to use the more than 5,700 newspapers in GenealogyBank’s online newspaper archives, published from 1690-Today. He taught how to search efficiently, and clip and save newspaper articles about your family—providing practical tips for searching these online newspapers published over the past three centuries.
GenealogyBank adds another 13 million records – obituaries, news articles and more. More than 1,800 newspapers were updated and new titles added. That’s too many titles to list here – but here are some of them: Alabama, Mobile Mobile Register. 1980-10-16 to 1983-05-30 Arkansas, Little Rock Arkansas Gazette 1838-01-02 to 1871-11-25 Arkansas, White Hall White Hall Journal* 10/2/2009 to Present
Cambrian, The (Cambria, CA) Obituaries: 12/20/2001 – Current Death Notices: 05/10/2001 – Current
Manteca Bulletin, The (Manteca, CA) Obituaries: 11/19/2009 – Current Death Notices: 10/02/2009 – Current Galva News (Galva, IL) Obituaries: 12/30/2009 – Current Death Notices: 10/03/2009 – Current Ogle County Newspapers (Oregon, IL) Obituaries: 12/17/2009 – Current Death Notices: 10/02/2009 – Current Spokesman, The (Herrin, IL) Death Notices: 10/02/2009 – Current Teutopolis Press (Teutopolis, IL) Death Notices: 10/24/2009 – Current Kiowa County Signal (Pratt, KS) Obituaries: 02/01/2010 – Current Death Notices: 10/05/2009 – Current Avoyelles Journal, Marksville Weekly News, Bunkie Record (Marksville, LA) Obituaries: 11/04/2009 – Current Death Notices: 10/02/2009 – Current Bastrop Daily Enterprise (Bastrop, LA) Obituaries: 07/12/2008 – Current Gueydan Journal (Gueydan, LA) Obituaries: 10/27/2009 – Current Death Notices: 10/02/2009 – Current Kaplan Herald (Kaplan, LA) Obituaries: 02/22/2010 – Current Death Notices: 10/06/2009 – Current Ville Platte Gazette (Ville Platte, LA) Obituaries: 11/25/2009 – Current Death Notices: 10/02/2009 – Current Whitman Express (Hanson, MA) Death Notices: 03/29/2010 – Current
Blue Springs Journal (Blue Springs, MO) Obituaries: 10/29/2009 – Current Death Notices: 03/27/2010 – Current Warren Reporter, The (Warren, NJ) Obituaries: 06/28/1997 – Current Death Notices: 06/28/1997 – Current Westfield Record-Press, The (Westfield, NJ) Obituaries: 06/17/2005 – 08/22/2008 Death Notices: 06/10/2005 – 09/26/2008 Brunswick Beacon, The (Shallotte, NC) Death Notices: 04/21/2010 – Current Daily Southerner, The (Tarboro, NC) Death Notices: 03/18/2010 – Current Independent Tribune (Concord, Kannapolis, NC) Death Notices: 02/20/2010 – Current
Claremore Daily Progress, The (Claremore, OK) Obituaries: 03/12/2010 – Current Death Notices: 10/03/2009 – Current News Eagle, The (Hawley, PA) Obituaries: 10/05/2010 – Current Death Notices: 10/02/2010 – Current Easley Progress, The (Easley, SC) Obituaries: 03/04/2009 – Current Death Notices: 03/30/2010 – Current
Over the last few days we announced that 53 newspapers were added to GenealogyBank. Today we are announcing 73 additional newspapers. Wow. That’s 126 newspapers added so far this month – and it’s not over yet!!! You can expect even more newspapers to be added in the days ahead!!! It’s a great day for genealogy!
Kern Valley Sun (Lake Isabella, CA): 10/02/2009 – Current Ag Journal (La Junta, CO): 10/10/2009 – Current Akron News-Reporter (Akron, CO): 10/02/2009 – Current Burlington Record (Burlington, CO): 10/02/2009 – Current Daily Record, The (Cañon City, CO): 10/02/2009 – Current Estes Park Trail-Gazette (Estes Park, CO): 10/02/2009 – Current Fowler Tribune (Fowler, CO): 10/21/2009 – Current Julesburg Advocate (Julesburg, CO): 10/05/2009 – Current Cheshire Herald, The (Cheshire, CT): 10/08/2009 – Current Newtown Bee, The (Newtown, CT): 10/02/2009 – Current Weston Forum, The (Weston, CT): 10/02/2009 – Current Wilton Bulletin, The (Wilton, CT): 10/02/2009 – Current Chatsworth Times (Chatsworth, GA): 11/18/2009 – Current Bureau County Republican (Princeton, IL): 10/02/2009 – Current Carmi Times (Carmi, IL): 10/02/2009 – Current Chillicothe Times-Bulletin (Chillicothe, IL): 10/29/2009 – Current Daily Ledger (Canton, IL): 10/02/2009 – Current Daily Review Atlas (Monmouth, IL): 10/02/2009 – Current Du Quoin Evening Call (Du Quoin, IL): 10/02/2009 – Current East Peoria Times-Courier (Peoria, IL): 10/03/2009 – Current Geneseo Republic (Geneseo, IL): 10/02/2009 – Current Morton Times-News (Morton, IL): 10/06/2009 – Current Murphysboro American (Murphysboro, IL): 10/02/2009 – Current Newton Press Mentor (Newton, IL): 10/02/2009 – Current Ogle County Newspapers (Oregon, IL): 10/04/2009 – Current Olney Daily Mail (Olney, IL): 10/02/2009 – Current Orion Gazette (Orion, IL): 10/20/2009 – Current Pekin Daily Times (Pekin, IL): 10/02/2009 – Current Star-Courier (Kewanee, IL): 10/02/2009 – Current Washington Times-Reporter (Washington, IL): 10/02/2009 – Current Kokomo Tribune (Kokomo, IN): 10/02/2009 – Current La Porte County Herald-Argus, The (La Porte, IN): 10/02/2009 – Current Rushville Republican (Rushville, IN): 10/02/2009 – Current Tribune-Star, The (Terre Haute, IN): 10/02/2009 – Current McCreary County Record (Whitley City, KY): 10/03/2009 – Current Messenger, The (Madisonville, KY): 10/02/2009 – Current Traverse City Record-Eagle (Traverse City, MI: 10/04/2009 – Current White Lake Beacon (Whitehall, MI): 10/13/2009 – Current Chanhassen Villager (Chanhassen, MN): 10/02/2009 – Current Chaska Herald (Chaska, MN): 10/02/2009 – Current Eden Prairie News (Eden Prairie, MN): 10/02/2009 – Current Hutchinson Leader (Hutchinson, MN): 10/02/2009 – Current Litchfield Independent Review (Litchfield, MN): 10/02/2009 – Current Savage Pacer (Savage, MN): 10/02/2009 – Current Aurora Advertiser (Aurora, MO): 10/02/2009 – Current Carthage Press, The (Carthage, MO): 10/02/2009 – Current Examiner, The (Independence – Blues Springs – Grain Valley, MO): 10/02/2009 – Current Lake Sun Leader (Camdenton, MO): 10/02/2009 – Current Linn County Leader (Brookfield, MO): 10/02/2009 – Current Maryville Daily Forum, The (Maryville, MO): 10/02/2009 – Current Mexico Ledger (Mexico, MO): 10/02/2009 – Current Moberly Monitor-Index and Democrat (Moberly, MO): 10/02/2009 – Current Neosho Daily News (Neosho, MO): 10/02/2009 – Current People’s Tribune, The (Bowling Green, MO): 10/06/2009 – Current Rolla Daily News (Rolla, MO): 10/02/2009 – Current Bolivar Commercial, The (Cleveland, MS): 10/02/2009 – Current Choctaw Plaindealer (Ackerman, MS): 10/02/2009 – Current Enterprise-Journal (McComb, MS): 10/25/2009 – Current Star Herald, The (Kosciusko, MS): 10/03/2009 – Current Webster Progress-Times (Eupora, MS): 10/02/2009 – Current Billings Gazette, The (Billings, MT): 10/02/2009 – Current Missoulian (Missoula, MT): 10/02/2009 – Current Sidney Herald (Sidney, MT): 10/02/2009 – Current Apex Herald, The (Apex, NC): 10/02/2009 – Current Bladen Journal (Elizabethtown, NC): 10/02/2009 – Current Blowing Rocket, The (Blowing Rock, NC): 10/02/2009 – Current Daily Herald (Roanoke Rapids, NC): 10/02/2009 – Current Goochland Gazette, The (Goochland, VA): 10/06/2009 – Current Mechanicsville Local (Mechanicsville, VA): 10/02/2009 – Current News-Gazette, The (Lexington, VA): 10/02/2009 – Current Virginia Lawyers Weekly (, VA): 10/05/2009 – Current Winchester Star, The (Winchester, VA): 10/02/2009 – Current Kitsap Sun (Bremerton, WA): 10/03/2009 – Current