Thursday, February 25, 2016

Why Newspapers?

If you haven't started using newspapers in your research, you may be missing out on a lot of interesting information. Newspapers may complement information in the official documents you've already found but they can also help you break down your brick walls.

Here are few reasons why you should search in newspapers:

  • Newspapers can verify or supplement vital records. They may not be official documents like birth, marriage, and death certificates but they can  help you discover the date those records were created. Look for obituaries, birth, engagement, wedding, anniversary and probate notices. The dates you find in these newspaper articles may help you find the official certificates.
  • Stories give context to your ancestor's life. Newspapers give details that official records often lack. Discover what your grandmother wore on her wedding day or learn the specifics of your grandfather's occupation. You will never find these kinds of details in marriage certificates or census records. 
  • Learn about your ancestor's community or time period. Don't just read your ancestor's obituary--read the entire newspaper! Read about the community your family lived in and the major news events that would have affected their lives. You'll gain a better understanding of your ancestors and their life stories. 

Genealogy can be about more than just collecting names and BMD dates. Use newspapers to give life to ancestor's stories. 

Find online newspaper resources here

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