Researching in Newspapers


Stamford Advocate, Stamford, Connecticut, 5 Sep 1944

I'll be heading north this week on vacation to visit my three daughters and granddaughter in Maine. It will be the first time the family has been together since Christmas of 2019 and I'm very excited! Our weekly Sunday Zoom calls only go so far! Over the next few weeks, I will reprise some of my older blogs (with updates) rather than write a lot of new material. I can tell how many people have read (or at least clicked on) my blogs, so I'll try to pick ones that may not have been read by new readers. Even those who have been reading for a while might find some reminders of records to go back and re-check. So have a great summer and enjoy.


Newspapers are always a wonderful source of family information. My biggest problem is stopping to read all the interesting articles! I remember, back in the 1990s visiting Fayette County, Pennsylvania and spending a full day at the Carnegie Library, reading the local paper on one of the oldest microfilm machines I’ve ever seen! This was before anything was digitized, so I would look at newspapers where I had information about a death, or accident, and then read the society notes or other interesting articles. Today, much of that information is online so it can be found much more easily. Remember to search not only for your immigrant ancestor, but also for their family, associates and neighbors. Sometimes an article or obituary might mention a location in Ireland, or point you to family members who had migrated to other cities so you can continue your research. One of my favorite blogs was Squeezing all of the information from a source, an obituary I found because a group of Moughtys had attended the funeral. The obituary of Peter Daly (above) was the first hint I had about a location of the my husband's Daly family in Ireland. Before I found the obituary, all I knew was that the family was from Irishtown (of which there are many in Ireland). This obituary of a half brother, told me that the Irishtown I was looking for was from County Mayo.

Funeral Notice Westmeath Examiner 30 Nov 1935 p. 5

Of course, there are also newspaper databases in Ireland. For a number of years, I’ve used the Irish Newspaper Archives at the National Library when visiting Dublin. If you have a subscription to AmericanAncestors it is also available for members through their website. One of my big finds was the death notice of my husband’s great grandmother. I’d been looking for her death date for years. Although she died in 1935, her death was not recorded in the civil registration records. Initially, I used the FamilySearch Irish Civil Registration Index, but I also checked at the General Register Office in Dublin and had even written to the local registrar in Westmeath. When IrishGenealogy.ie, came online I checked there, but no luck. When I found the above obituary, I was definitely doing the happy dance! Back when I wrote about this database is 2012, an annual subscription was €350 ($430), a bit too pricey for me. This database is now available at the regular price of $169 a year, or $36.50 a month. From now until July 11th, there is a special of up to 40% off. Make sure you put in the appropriate promo code in the upper right.

FindMyPast also has a large number of Irish newspapers dating back to the 1700s which you get with either your Ireland only subscription or a World subscription. Their site simply claims "millions of pages." FMP's parent company also owns the British Newspaper Archive so they frequently add Irish newspapers to their coverage. Check out Findmypast Fridays

to see new and updated collections that have been added each week. This past Friday, additional pages and dates were added for the Evening Irish Times, the Larne Reporter and Northern Counties Advertiser and the Gorey Correspondent.

Newspaper Archive, primarily a US newspaper database, also Ireland newspapers listed, but only for Dublin. They have a monthly subscription for $19.95 and a six month subscription for $74.95 or an annual subscription for $139.00. Both the six month and annual subscriptions are eligible for a 7-day free trial. They seem to have a large collection of Dublin papers covering 1700-1951, but it's difficult to tell what years are covered for each publication. They also have US newspapers and other countries as well.


GenealogyBank has been around for a long time. In addition to US newspapers, they have a collection of ethnic newspapers, including Irish American papers. Papers in Ireland will frequently ask US newspapers to copy or republish notices where relatives live and you might find a mention with a locality in Ireland.

Finally, for US newspapers, don’t forget to check Chronicling America, a free site at the Library of Congress.

The digitization of additional newspapers is going on constantly, so it's always good to check back and see what's new. But remember, not all newspapers are digitized, especially those from the small towns where your ancestors might have lived. You should always check for microfilm of local papers both here and abroad. Although microfilm is not as easy to use since you can’t search, knowing an event date can lead you to an article on the event. If you can’t find a newspaper online and are not local to where an event such as a death took place, Google the local library and use the “Ask a Librarian” feature. If you have a date, they will typically look up the obituary and send you a copy. For more recent obituaries, there may not be a newspaper article at all. Most newspapers now charge for obituary placements, but you may be able to find the obituary online. Google the person’s name and date of death. You may find it on the funeral home site, or in a local online newspaper. I've written many times about Jack Moughty, my husband's 3rd cousin in Ballymahon, Longford. While I was at Jamboree in Burbank in 2019, I got a message from an individual in Ireland letting me know that Jack had died. I was able to quickly find the information at RIP.ie.

RIP.ie

So don’t forget to check newspaper databases as well as local newspaper microfilms and Internet sites in your research.


Happy Hunting and Stay Safe!

As I mentioned last week, the Ireland Research Trips have been put off until 2022, but next year I plan to do two trips...one in May and one in October. I've had some additional people sign up this week, but there are still spaces available. If you mail your registration, I won't see it until I get back in early August, so let me know by email, so I can save you a space.






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