A truth --->• Newspapers can be extremely valuable infinding information about your family over aperiod of time and in a specific location. Andthey may well show movements, marriednames, and much other information.
• There are many newspaper that exist whichhave not been digitized and put online yet.• The Central Library in Rochester has largecabinets of the city newspapers onmicrofilm, but they are online only in bitsand pieces - think of sources such aswww.fultonhistory.com. That web site hasmany Democrat and Chronicles, and a fewUnion and Advertisers. It also has adownloadable Excel spreadsheet of all thepapers on that site.
Caveat…Taken directly from the D and C of 17 March 2012:“Our current business model — based primarily onprint distribution — is essentially the same as itwas in 1833…That does not make sense and it isnot sustainable. Non-subscribers will have accessto a limited number of free articles before they arerequired to subscribe.”As of May 3rd, that is the case.
Then there is this local info:• Newspapers published in the 1800’s• Rochester Telegraph 1818 – 1828• The Album November 1825 – 1828• Rochester Observer February 1827 – 1833– Name changes• Rochester Daily Advertiser April 1827 - 1996• Rochester Daily Union• Rochester Daily Union & Advertiser• Times Union• Rochester Republican December 1829 – December 1849• Anti Masonic Enquirer September – December 1833
Which continues– Name changes• Rochester Daily Democrat February 1834 - current• Rochester Daily Chronicle• Democrat & Chronicle• Daily Sun June 1839 – December 1839• Rochester Daily American 1844 - 1929• North Star December 1847 - April 1851• Frederick Douglass June 1851 – December 1853• Douglass Monthly January 1859 – August 1863– Name changes• Rochester Evening Express January 1859 - 1936• Rochester Evening & Post Express• Rochester Herald August 1879 – 1926• Daily Evening Times November 1888 - 1889
• But there are many more which are not yetin the Fulton web site.The D and C and theTU papers from Rochester are included in amassive newspaper clipping file at theCentral Library. That file has 7500 subjectsand 500,000 clips in it, covering ca 1936 tothe present. There is a hard copy guide tothe subjects, but that is not online. Nor isthat guide an index.
• The Batavia library is a Familysearch affiliate; and thereare online ways to search local newspapers such as:http://userdb.rootsweb.ancestry.com/news/
What papers were publishedwhere and when?• French’s Gazetteer of NY (1860) has a great series offootnotes that go in to detail about the papers and theirpublishers.• See:http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nymonroe/french.htm
• Where can you find them?• You can start by looking here, although it was unfundedby NY state in 2007, and papers have been moved fromthe locations listed in this web page:• http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/nysnp/
Our neighbors:• The Buffalo NY public library downtowndoes have a large 300,000 item card file,but that is not yet online, although there arepapers from Buffalo in Fultonhistory. Thereis also a large number of 3 x 5 cards of anewspaper index at the Buffalo and ErieCounty Historical Society in Delaware Parkin North Buffalo. Nope, not online.
• The Onondaga County library (Syracuse)also has a great genealogy collection, buttheir web site does not show directories ornewspaper indexes. There are links tovarious commercial newspaper databases.
“Hidden collections”• A few years ago, the LeRoy historian retired. Inhis attic he had a large number of clips on variousfamilies going back 100 years or more. He gaveme many copies on the families that I wasresearching on that area.• Which goes to show that any individual officemay have a great collection, but it must be used inperson. And you are dependent on it notgetting tossed out!
A comment on the local RRLC newspaper projectand some other sources -• For the rrlcnewspapers.org project, they have been usingthe New York State Newspaper Survey(http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/nysnp/) to identify pre-1923microfilm holdings in our service area.• RPL and some of its associated branches do have quite abit of microfilm listed on the survey that they areinterested in digitizing. The plan currently is to wait forfunds and to do it in a big batch if possible. The work ishired out to local contractors.• RPL’s Digitizing Dept. did scan digital versions of late-issues of the Gates Chili News. They are discussing howto make these available.
Finding your ancestors in old newspapersStrategies:1) Select a place and time of interest for one or more ancestors2) Determine what newspapers were published when and where3) Identify which ones, if any, are searchable online or locally4) Search for your ancestor’s information…a. via free/low-cost on-line or local sourcesb. with free/low-cost help from othersc. via more expensive high-probable-yield sources5) Visit remote newspaper archive, if necessary6) Call, write, or submit a query via their ask-a-librarian services.
MEDIAMETHODS on-line telephone microfilm paper1) News search engines x2) Request library help x x3) Browse newspapers x x xAlso, many times papers are loanable from a particular libraryor the state library for a modest fee, and you can look in themyourselves.
Finding old newspapers - more sourcesLibrary of Congress NewspapersChronicling America: Newspaper DirectoryDIRECTORYChronicling America: Historic American Newspapers FULL TEXTNewsBank Obituaries $ FULL TEXTNewsLibrary Newspapers (1977-2001) $FULL TEXTGenealogyBank Historical Newspapers (1690-2007) $FULL TEXT
And more -Selected Newspaper Archives:AJC Historic Archives (1868-1945)FULL TEXT(AJC is the Atlanta Journal Constitution.)NY Times Archives (1851-2011) FULLTEXTBrooklyn Daily Eagle (1841-1902) FULLTEXTFitchburg (MA) Sentinel & Enterprise (1998-2011)FULLTEXTIrish Newspaper Archive (1763-2011) FULLTEXT
Other sourcesAncestry.com Newspapers $ FULL TEXTFamily History Center Catalog free - CATALOGFreeNewspaperArchiveswww.FreeNewspaperArchives.usHighbeam $ www.highbeam.comLexis-Nexis $ www.lexisnexis.comWorldVitalRecords $www.WorldVitalRecords.com
A possibly useful link -• http://www.libraryweb.org/~digitized/
Help! Where can I findother papers?The United States Newspaper Programwww.neh.gov/projects/usnp.htmlA cooperative national effort among the states and the federalgovernment to locate, catalog, and preserve on microfilmnewspapers published in the United States from theeighteenth century to the present.
References:www.byub.org/ancestors/records/newspapers/intro.htmlHow to Find Your Ancestor in an Old NewspaperBrigham Young University Broadcastinghttp://genealogy.about.com/cs/newspapers/a/news_research.htmFamily History in the NewsHow to Find & Use Newspapers for GenealogicalResearchKimberly Powell, About.com Guide
See the bibliography for moresources!• When I think about how we didgenealogy 30-plus years ago, I cantimagine that many newspapers wereused regularly. We didnt use them notbecause they lacked importance butbecause we would have had limitedaccess to them in the pre-Internetyears.
To restate:• Be systematic & plan your search step-by-step• Search free and low-cost datasets first• Search online, call, or visit distant local & specialty libraries• Explore online lists & discussion groups for newspaper sources andhelp• Incorporate quotes, stories, poems, lyrics, pictures in your histories• Cite relevant sources in your work• Enjoy the hunt!!! You’re going to find something very interesting