Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Searching Archived Newspapers

“Front Page News (and Beyond): Finding Archived Newspapers” was the topic presented by Drew Smith at today’s Manatee Genealogical Society Meeting. 

Most genealogists are aware of the value provided by historical newspapers.  Obituaries come first to mind, but historical newspapers have so much more.  Birth and marriage announcements were in print long before vital records were mandated.

The “Facebook of their time” was how Mr. Smith described historical newspapers.  Social columns, business news, political, religious, school and organizational news, crimes, and lawsuits were written about. People learned what was happening in the community from their newspapers. During the 1800s some rural newspapers listed the names of people who had mail waiting at the post office.

Even ads can provide substance to your family history.  Take time to peruse them to learn about the latest fashion, merchandise, and how much items cost.

Be mindful of your ancestors’ geographic location. If they lived near a state or county line, their news might appear in a paper of the other county or state.

Drew Smith’s presentation was chock full of information. In a future post I will share more of what I learned today. 

I wish every speaker was as concise, knowledgeable and entertaining as Drew Smith.

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