How newspapers can help your family research - MyGeneTree

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How newspapers can help your family research

Searching local historical newspapers may offer some significantly valuable information about your ancestor. With so many historical newspapers now becoming digitized, it is now easier than ever to access the trove of newspapers available.


Historical newspapers can help to give you insight into how your ancestor lived and what life may have been like for them. Newspapers often give you a glimpse of what was happening in the local area and community your ancestors lived from the regular day-to-day accounts they provide, not just of the famous but also the every day civilian.  


Newspaper Events


Listings like store adverts and jobs advertised can also help give you a feel for the local area and the types of stores your ancestors may have visited.


The most commonly found information for ancestors can be found in the personal listings like birth, death, marriage, obituaries and anniversaries.  You may also find information about events your ancestors may have attended in their community, club and sports news, immigration and military news, including casualties, legal notices, arrests and criminal activity, even scandals and gossip! (You may even be lucky enough to find photographs of interest.)


newspaper obituary


If you had an ancestor that did something newsworthy, they were even more likely to appear in the local newspaper; it's definitely worth searching; you never know what you might find!


Old Newspaper



There are many websites with digitized newspapers available in various countries. I have listed a few websites below, but a search on google in the area your ancestor lived may provide you with many more options.

Also, note that some newspapers are yet to be digitized; another place to check for physical, historical newspapers is at local libraries or universities.


New Zealand:




Britain, Ireland, Scotland:








To help you record your documents, including your newspaper records for each ancestor, here's a FREE ancestor profile scribble sheet.

Happy searching!