How to Find Old Newspaper Articles

Newspapers have been the bedrock of communication for centuries. With no Internet or telephones, the only way communities knew about the outside world – other than travelers’ tales – was to look in their local newspapers.

The importance of newspapers makes them such a great resource for finding out about your ancestors. Learning how to find old newspaper articles can help you add some color to the names and faces in your family tree.

With GenealogyBank, we’ll help you find old newspaper articles and trace your family history.

Uncovering History with Old Newspaper Stories

Newspapers have been the main conduit between communities and within communities. Everything from births, marriages, deaths, and incidents of interest appear in old newspaper stories.

In the absence of official records, which are a relatively new invention, newspapers are often the only marks your ancestors might have left behind in public life. Knowing how to find old news articles on Google and the GenealogyBank search platform can open up a whole new world for genealogists.

Even if you’ve already got some basic details of your ancestors, find newspaper articles and you’ll be able to discover more about their lives. In some cases, these historical publications may even possess the only known photographs or drawings of your ancestors.

Go beyond the conventional and find out who your family members were as people. Learning how to look up old newspaper articles opens up a window to the past.

How to Find Old Newspaper Articles for Free

Wondering “How do I find old newspaper archives?”

Just like today, every community had its own newspaper. It was the primary form of communication. Many of these publications have been well-preserved. The digital world has made it possible for you to find an old newspaper story from the comfort of your own home.

Previously, you had to visit the archives in the locality you wanted to learn more about, which often meant physically traveling across the country.

The Google News Archive is your single most obvious port of call. Unfortunately, it mainly has papers from 1970 onwards, so it’s only beneficial for looking up your more recent family members.

On the other hand, you can call the newspaper yourself. It’s usually free, and many papers will have no trouble tracking down specific issues on specific dates. Alternatively, you might want to visit your local library. They’re responsible for maintaining archives of local newspapers.

The problem with many online resources is they’re no longer updated. As a result, considerable gaps in their databases can be incredibly frustrating for the genealogist.

The most convenient option is to create an account with GenealogyBank. Our database of entirely digitized newspapers covers more than 300 years of U.S. history. It’s the single largest depository of newspapers in the country.

Using our innovative search features, you can look up your ancestors at the click of a button and filter by newspaper results. If there’s information on your ancestor, you’ll find it in our search results.

But what about looking up foreign newspapers?

This can be tricky because every country typically has its own system for preserving newspaper archives. If your search into the past takes you overseas, you’ll need to seek out resources exclusive to that country.

For example, Trove focuses on maintaining access to the newspapers of Australia. If your family came from Down Under, this is where to continue your search.

Find Old Newspaper Articles and Family History with GenealogyBank

In the past, family researchers usually had to travel across the country in person to gather scraps of information to build up a picture of their ancestors. The issue with most online databases and offline search methods is that there’s no consolidated method to track down your ancestors.

Now, it’s easier than ever to work out how to find old news articles because you can do it all with GenealogyBank. Some of the reasons why genealogists consider GenealogyBank the gold standard of old newspaper stories include:

  • Covers more than 300 years of U.S. history
  • Has newspapers from all 50 states
  • Includes major national and local community newspapers

Moreover, you can combine your newspaper research with other resources, such as U.S. censuses, military records, and immigration files.

All you need is some basic information about your ancestor, such as where they lived and which period they lived in. From there, you can use our accurate advanced search form to track them down.

To get started with how to find old newspaper articles, create your free introductory account and discover where you came from.


Now you know how to find old newspaper articles, it’s time to get started. GenealogyBank can help you to overcome those brick walls common to family research. Take advantage of resources you never knew existed with the U.S.’s leading online newspaper archive.

Learn how to get old newspaper articles and start looking up those who came before with your free introductory account.

Create your free introductory account online now.

Alternatively, you can call GenealogyBank today. Our Customer Support staff is available Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. MST: 1-866-641-3297.

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