GeneaChat: Newspapers – Reporting on the Past 2

I love using newspapers in my genealogy research! There are so many things you can learn about your family. We usually think of obituaries, but there is so much more!

Marriage notices, birth announcements, lists of who participated in community events, who ran for offices and lists of widows who received pensions are just some of the things found in the local paper.

It doesn’t make a difference whether your ancestor was rich or poor. Newspapers had to fill their pages. It’s not uncommon to discover who was visiting your family, who was at a party, or who was sick or injured.

What was happening in the community, state, nation and world had impacts on your ancestors. Learning about historical events, advertisements, and reading the want adds can help to understand put their lives into perspective.

I have written a few blog posts about the articles and information on my ancestors that I have discovered. I have learned about family mysteries, what they may have been eating for the holidays, where they went to school and what their activities were. When coming across the names of the enslaved I have been able to release their names.

Here are a few:

Oldest Subscriber. Good Old Friend. Aged Servant of God.

Death by Suspicious Circumstances

Those Places Thursdays~ St. Joseph’s Academy

Friends of Friends Friday-Finding Their Names

Family Recipe Friday

Thanksgivings Past

Now it’s your turn! What have you discovered about your ancestors in the newspapers?

You can participate in this month’s GeneaChat by writing a blog post telling us about your newspaper discoveries. Have you learned anything about what life was like for them or found a great story? Create e or share a previous blog post about your newspaper findings and add the link to your post in the comment section below. No blog? No problem! Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Remember that links to your posts and the comments you leave will be part of the February GeneaChat: Newspapers - Reporting on the Past Recap on February 27, 2018. Can’t wait to hear what y’all have to say!

Thanks for GeneaChatting!

Cheri Hudson Passey

About Cheri Hudson Passey

Cheri Hudson Passey is a Professional Genealogist, Instructor, Writer and Speaker. She is the owner of Carolina Girl Genealogy, LLC which provides research services as well as instruction and coaching though her Genealogy 1-on-1 classes. Born in South Carolina, Cheri has roots in the state for many generations. Her blog Carolina Girl Genealogy has helped tell the story of these ancestors and her research process. You can contact Cheri by email or by visiting her blog Carolina Girl Genealogy. Cheri Hudson Passey writes the Modus Operandi column for Going In-Depth Magazine.

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2 thoughts on “GeneaChat: Newspapers – Reporting on the Past

  • Terri O'Connell

    I have found so many things in the West Virginia Newspapers that cover the life of my grandparents (and their young children). An aunt had been burned by scalding hot water on the porch of her maternal grandmother. When I found the article I called my grandma to ask her about it. She told me that she did not know this had made the paper. Great Grandma Edith had been washing her front porch with the water and her granddaughter somehow got to the water. The burns were so bad that the granddaughter was taken to the hospital. Grandma said the smell of the burns were so bad she could not even go into the room to comfort her daughter (grandma was pregnant again and obviously she had a very sensitive nose).

    I also found an article where my Grandfather went to the local police station to get his drivers license.

    My favorite story is of Uncle Clem who was accused of being a horse thief (a few times). Clem was Grandma’s uncle. The horse owner, I believe is my Grandfathers Uncle (still trying to prove it). I have not blogged about this story because I use it in one of my lectures.

    I also found information on 2x great grandmother Nettie’s activities in the Order of the Eastern Star, I blogged about that here:

    To me, newspapers are like watching a soap opera. Instead you get to read them.

    • Cheri Hudson Passey
      Cheri Hudson Passey Post author

      What great stories! There is so much we can learn about our ancestors in the newspapers.
      I agree they can be much like watching a soap opera!
      Thanks for sharing, Terri!