NewsPapers, Genealogical Periodicals, Publications and Manuscripts
While records of birth, marriage, and death are definitely the most sought and the most frequently beneficial records, simply the genealogist’s imagination and ingenuity limit newspapers’ usefulness in providing clues about historical events, local history, probate court and legal notices, land dealings, political biographies, announcements, notices of recent and terminated partnerships, business advertising, and notices for settling debts.
Newspapers can offer at the very least a partial substitute for nonexistent civil documents. For example, an individual’s obituary might have appeared inside of a newspaper even if civil death records for the individual can’t be found. And newspapers are an essential source of marriage records, especially in those states where civil documenting of marriages was basically nonexistent prior to the 20th century.
Compared with official records, newspapers aren’t limited to a specific geographic area. They frequently include occurrences of the weddings of local residents (even those that occurred in a nearby county or some other state), plus they sometimes report visits of geographically distant family members or even the visits of previous local residents. They often times published death notices of people who had left the area some time before but who still had nearby loved ones as well. In each circumstance the newspaper account can identify the date and place of an event, thus opening up the chance of turning up even more records in other sources.
The initial part of researching a newspaper is always to identify those which served the area of interest and which may have survived. The 3 most necessary tools are bibliographies (The thing that was published?), inventories of library and depository holdings (Exactly where is it?), and indexes (How do I find what I want in it?).
Probably the most powerful problems facing genealogists is discovering all the information for a particular ancestor along with a specific geographical area of interest-the challenge of extensive researching. A great deal of the success one enjoys-or the disappointment one endures-is directly associated with finding and taking advantage of the widest array of sources. Various types of magazines and periodicals published by people and organizations inside the field in many cases are overlooked sources of genealogical evidence.
Using the many thousands of periodicals increasingly being published or previously been published, the job of finding exact geographic and surname information may initially appear overwhelming. But there are many methods for both discovering the right periodical and finding the meaningful articles for research. These ways are available in the form of directories and lists in addition to a wide range to indexes providing accessibility to the world of genealogical periodical materials.
Some National Societies and Archives
- Genealogy Tool Kit: Getting Started on Your Family History at the National Archives (archives.gov)
- American Historical Society of Germans from Russia,631 D Street, Lincoln NE 68502-1199
- Negro Historical Association of Colorado Springs, (NHACS), 5180 Mountain Villa Grove, Colorado Springs, CO 80917; 719-574-8332
- Black Genealogy Search Group, P.O. Box 40674, Denver, CO 80204-0674
- Czech and Slovak Search Group, 209 S. Ogden, Denver, CO 80209-2321
- Genealogical Society of Hispanic America, P.O. Box 9606, Denver, CO 80209-0606
- Jewish Genealogical Society
- PreservationNation Homepage – National Trust for Historic Preservation
- Palatines to America
- Slovenian Genealogy Society
- WISE Search Group (Wales, Ireland, Scotland,England), P.O. Box 48226, Denver CO 80204-8226
- Daughters of the British Empire
- International Society of Sons and Daughters of Slave Ancestry, P.O. BOX 436937, CHICAGO, IL 60643-6937; Phone: (773) 238-2686
- National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution, 1776 D Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20006; Phone: (202) 628-1776
- National Society of Sons of the American Revolution, 1000 South Fourth Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40203; (502) 589-1776