An assortment of newspapers is still one of the best methods to uncover new information on ancestors. Just about everyone had their name in the local newspaper sometime in their life.
Birth, marriage and death announcements are the most frequent, but also just everyday happenings. The purchase of property, a new business opened up, the illness of an individual, the arrival of a family friend or relative for a visit, social clubs and organization activities, membership, military service, etc. are just a few examples.
The following are three very good newspaper sites with free access to their articles in the states along the Pacific coast of the United States: Washington, Oregon and California. Each off an easy search box beside others methods, such as just by counties or dates, to locate a specific place or person. Don’t just use a surname, try the name of any clubs the person may have belonged to, a mother’s maiden name, an occupation, a street name, etc. There can be a full range of possibilities.
I discovered the name of my great great grandfather’s only sister when an article mentioned the visit of his sister coming from another state. True she had her married name with her husband given name, but once knowing there was a sister, living in a certain location and having that married name opened many new doors of information.
These three Pacific coastal states are good to start with if you had any relatives, even if they lived there for a short time. If you are looking for additional states, go to a Google search, placing the state name plus ‘archive newspapers’.
It does take time to search especially if you have ancestors with more common names, but you can also hit the jackpot by finding just one article that will lead to many more discoveries.
Related FamilyTree.com genealogy blog:
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