Thursday, January 26, 2017

Dear Randy: What Newspaper Search Engine Do You Use?

Reader and Facebook friend Lisa asked me this today on Facebook, and I thought my readers might be interested in my response.

I use a number of online resources to find newspaper articles about my ancestors.

1)  I have a paid GenealogyBank ($$) annual subscription.  GenealogyBank has the San Diego newspapers from 1868 to the present on their site and it has been very helpful for the five generations of my San Diego ancestral families.  I use it frequently to find newspaper articles for ancestral families across the country.  It does not have everything, but it has a lot.

2)  I can access NewspaperARCHIVE ($$) newspapers using my ($$) subscription.  This site has different papers than GenealogyBank.  The newspapers are also from NewspaperARCHIVE, I think, but I don't know how complete the collection is.

3)  I use Chronicling America (FREE!) on the Library of Congress site.  This has a number of digitized newspapers from about 1800 to 1923, but is not very comprehensive.  It seems to have different newspapers than the other two above.

4)  I have a ($$) paid subscription, and it has a limited number of digitized historical newspapers before 1923, including the Atlanta Constitution, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and Washington Post.

5)  I do not have a ($$) subscription and have not used the site yet.  I probably should!

6)  Kenneth Marks has a blog called The Ancestor Hunt and in recent years he has specialized in digitized newspapers, both free and subscription.  His Newspapers Research Links page has links to online historical newspapers for each U.S. state.  He updates them occasionally.  This is a really big task!

When I want to know what is available, I've found that Ken's articles are the most up-to-date for online digitized newspapers.

Here is the Indiana Online Historical Newspapers page:

I need to find the obituary for my 2nd great-grandfather, David Auble (1817-1894) who died in Terre Haute, Indiana on 22 March 1894. I have a newspaper clipping in my family scrapbook, but it is damaged and may be incomplete.

 I checked the list of online newspapers for Terre Haute, and did not see any for 1894.  Perhaps I missed it?  Therefore, I need to write, or visit, a Terre Haute repository (perhaps a historical society?), or contact a Terre Haute genealogical society to see if they can find the obituary for me.

Thank you to Lisa for asking the question, and I hope my answer has been helpful.


Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

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Nancy said...

And don't forget about Google's newspapers. They're not adding newspapers but there are many newspapers there. They're not easily searchable but if you know the date and location of an event, you can "read" the pages. The link is

Jo Henn said...

Ancestry's newspapers are from not

Tim Dingman said...

Randy - to address your specific example of a person you were looking for, the State of Indiana has a digital newspaper collection called Hoosier State Chronicles at
In it I was able to search for your ancestor and a short notice was in the Saturday Evening Mail, Volume 24, Number 39,Terre Haute, Vigo County, 24 March 1894.

Unknown said...

Here is another freebi

Diane Gould Hall said...

Randy. I have paid subscriptions to Genealogy Bank and I have tried using Chronicling America many times and never found a thing, plus I think their search page is frustrating. Genealogy Bank has been great for San Diego papers and several others. But, the site that has provided me with the most bang for my buck is Absolutely the best search page over any of the others. You can tweek dates, down to the day and I find it very easy to use. Genealogy Bank could expand their search criteria and it would make the site better and easier. But, all of this depends on which newspapers are offered on which sites that pertain to each of our families.
Newspapers are one of my favorite genealogical items. Love them!

Unknown said...

I just checked for you, and does not have an obituary on your David Auble for his life dates.

Randy Seaver said...

Tim, thank you for looking and finding. The clipping I have is fairly long - lots of names and details. It sounds like it is not the same article.

Cindy, thank you for looking and not finding. I appreciate the help!

Joyce, I forgot about Elephind, but most of it is Chronicling America.

MyHeritage has a search engine for Chronicling America also.

Google News Archive entries are listed in Kenneth Marks articles on The Ancestor Hunt blog.

Jo, the newspapers were always advertised as being from NewspaperARCHIVE, but they were not as complete as what's on the NA website. This was long before came into existence.

Cormac said...

Randy, thank you! I saw your mention of via and thought I would try it since I also have a account (although my account is through Although I don't think what I found was because none of my finds had the logo on its page. It was a success! I found 12 articles involving my ancestors. Thanks again!

Debby's Family Genealogy Blog said...

Thank-you Randy. Great information!