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Valuable New Stories 

Newspapers give us insight into life as it was during our ancestor’s time. While still driven by advertising, the newspapers of old often held more personal information than we find in today’s equivalent.  


In addition to vital statistic type data you will find that historical newspapers also contain other genealogical relevant information including:  

  • Local News - Depending on the size of the newspaper or the number of towns it covered, you may find that there are separate sections for townships or unincorporated towns near the larger city in which the newspaper is published.  
  • Biographical Sketches and Historical Items - May times you will find biographical sketches of those who have been in a community for a long time. In some instances, the sketch comes as a result of the death of the individual, and as such it is important to remember that such information is sometimes flawed or not completely accurate.  
  • Legal Notices - The courts have long used the newspaper to disperse information. Even today the newspaper is used to publish information from courts about pending cases, unpaid taxed, or attempts to notify heirs in a probate case.  
  • Public Announcements - You will see announcements from individuals who are in essence declaring bankruptcy, by applying to the court for the “benefit of the Insolvent laws.” 
  • Shipping and Business News - The newspapers in port towns would mention arrivals and other shipping news. This may prove useful in your research as you learn which ships arrived at the town or what they brought with them. 

With our "US: Newspaper Records" course, you will learn more about all of the information you can include in your research.

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