Researchers always think of the vintage newspapers as a wonderful resource for locating information on one’s ancestors, however, don’t overlook more contemporary newspapers. With most print newspapers also available online you can view just about any current newspaper from your own home using a computer and the Internet.
What is better is that many newspapers also carry their back issues, going back several years in most cases. Using the online site Newspaper Map, you can find out if there is an online newspaper in your ancestral hometown still operating or at least one nearby which would include surrounding towns.
When you view theNewspaper Map site it is of the world. There are large ‘tear-drop’ icons at locations with major newspapers available. Then you will see smaller dots or circles which also have newspapers. Hover over a dot and if a pointing finger appears then there is a newspaper. If it is just a hand icon then you can zoom into that location to locate newspapers in nearby areas.
You can also narrow you search by typing in a location in the search box to the upper right corner. If you have looked for a small town you will need to use the ‘zoom out - a minus mark’ to the right to view the surrounding towns and cities. Any locations with a dot, hover on it very steadily and if the finger pointing is visible there is a newspaper. A box with the newspaper name will then appear. Click on that name.
I selected Gettysburg, PA and the Gettysburg Times of Adams County was called up. Most newspapers will have a search box on their site so you can type in a surname or business to see if there had been any articles done on the subject. Some have archives of their past articles going back 20 plus years. In the case of Gettysburg Times they have archived newspapers going back to the early 1800s and are available for a small fee.
Even just viewing an contemporary issue and putting in a search for a certain surname could turn up a person or business you were not aware of in your family lineage. It will take some searching, looking at all their links, taps and divisions, so be patient. Many community newspapers do historical pieces, timelines or ‘Do You Remember When?’ which just might have mention of an ancestor or two. I located about a memorial dedicated in a home town of a very distance ancestor who had served during the American Revolutionary War in the 18th century. The article not only covered about the memorial, but included additional details on this relative’s life. It was in the Frederick News-Post for May 22, 2006, “Dedication Ceremony Honors Revolutionary War Hero”.
So not only vintage newspapers, but more recent additions are well worth reviewing.