The search engine on the Internet is a valuable tool. One of the most well-known and innovated search engines is Google. It can be extremely useful for family history research. Their newspaper collections are outstanding. Since newspaper, big and small circulation are the window to a community, the use of newspaper articles for family research has been a wonderful source.
Using the Google Newspapers site opens up a massive variety of places, time periods and publications that you can read at home on your computer.
The opening online page has a general search box at the top, where you can place a keyword, surname, location, date to see what is available. If there is a phrase or a city and state place quote marks at the beginning and end. If you want a specific time frame, go to the lower left where dates are listed. To select a date not listed use the custom range. Then click ‘search’.
Scan down the selection provided. If you put in a certain city, remember that city could be mentioned in neighboring or even bigger city newspapers. However, look at the preview, there just might be something mentioned about the hometown and individuals that was carried in another newspapers in another state. Even when looking for articles about a location overseas, such as Manchester, England, there can be articles in the New York Times and other papers. Never overlook at article for what it might offer.
Now a few of the selections are ‘pay-for-view’ even some that are nearly 100 years old. Those if something is found of interest generally cost about $3 to $4 for a digital copy or you would have at least the date of the event, names and could search for it in another article which would be free. An example was finding the murder of Arthur E. English, a lawyer from New York, by his wife, Eloise Young English in March 1916 in their Frederick, MD home. It cost to get a copy from the Boston Globe, but was free and online with the Logansport, Indiana newspaper. If you were looking for the English or Young families of Maryland and New York, you just struck ‘gold’ with this information. Most of the articles, especially older ones are free to view.
Besides any family history research, these newspapers are good to search about any historical events. For example the Sept. 1901 shooting of President William McKinley. The full, as if happened, newspaper articles are right there.
Photo: Headline – Sept. 6, 1901 shooting of President McKinley in the Montana Daily Democrat-Messenger newspaper.< Return To Blog