Searching Newspapers Online and your Genealogy

2012 is the year for online resources–resources that we hoped for and usually had to write letter after letter to locate.  Newspapers were a principle one of these challenges.  And now we have several projects that microfilm, preserve, index, and provide online access to newspapers:

US Newspaper Project, USNP (since 1982).    This site describes the projects in all 50 US states as well as selected national libraries.  Each participating library is listed with email and website addresses.

National Digital Newspaper Program, NDNP (since 2004).   US newspapers published between 1836 and 1922.  Not all states are represented yet;  Florida is.

Abstracts of newspapers,  mostly American state and county papers.  The abstracts are submitted by volunteers researching their own family backgrounds.  Click on your state or county.

Access Newspaper Archive   Called the” world’s best resource for newspaper articles” by FamilySearch.  Click on your specific state of interest for a list of newspapers searched for each state, including Alaska and Hawaii.  Newspapers are also available for Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Ireland,  Jamaica, Japan, South Africa, United Kingdom, France, US Virgin Islands.  You can also search a specific year, surnames, specific newspapers.

ProQuest Obituaries.  Search obituaries for:

  1. Atlanta Constitution (1868-1922)
  2. Boston Globe (1872-1922)
  3. Chicago Defender (1921-1975)
  4. Chicago Tribune (1852-1984)
  5. Los Angeles Times (1881-1984)
  6. New York Times (1851-1994)
  7. Washington Post (1877-1950)  Access through your local public library databases.

Obituary Archive   Includes both obituaries and death notices in newspapers across the country.  2775 titles are searched.  You can also click on US regions to narrow your search.

Live Roots Search Engine.   Over 241,000 resources are located by website address and sometimes indexed on this genealogy search engine.  Check out this step-by-step tutorial  “Finding Resources with,” by Nancy Hendrickson.  The article is a PDF download for $1.99 from

Most of these newspaper databases are free.  A few include free index searches and a charge for copies of the articles and entries.  And this is just the first installment of online newspapers and their access.  Stay tuned.  Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS  I found my Mom and her entrepreneurial ad selling all kinds of stuff and my Dad’s work with the Boy Scouts and my uncle’s church service and my cousin’s attendance at a bridal shower as well.  Don’t miss these often unknown glimpses into the lives of your family members and ancestors–search the online newspaper databases.

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