2017 by Donald R. Snow
This page was last updated 2017-12-08.  Return to the  Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page  or  Don's Class Listings Page .
ABSTRACT: Newspapers began in the US in 1690 and are a great source of information about our ancestors and what happened. This class will discuss how to find the newspapers available for the time period and locality you are interested in, which ones are digitized and online, and how to search them. We will see examples of family history information in newspapers, including obituaries, stories, vital records, and history. The Library of Congress and other agencies are funding groups to digitize newspapers and post them online, especially small-town newspapers, and the FamilySearch Department of the LDS Church has a major program of indexing newspapers, including obituaries and other information in them.  They are a major source of information and are public and therefore a valuable asset. The notes for this class and related articles, all with active Internet links, are on my website .


  1. Instructor is Donald R. Snow ( of Provo and St. George, Utah.
  2. See  for these and other related notes. 
  3. Tips:  (1)  To put an icon on your desktop for the URL for these notes, or any webpage, just drag the icon from in front of the address in your browser onto your desktop.  (2)  To open a link while keeping your place in the original page, hold down the Control key while clicking the link, so it opens in a new tab.
  4. Humorous example -- Warren Ladd read his own obituary in the morning newspaper -- The Lowell Sun 30 Dec 1893 --
  5. The problem for today:  How to find and use information in online newspapers.

  7. Newspapers started in the U.S. in 1690 (see Library of Congress website) and are a rich source of genealogy data 
  8. Types of information
    1. Vital records, birth, marriage and divorce, death and obituaries -- some newspapers published lists of vital records at the end of the year
    2. News articles and photos -- school, military, current events, both local and worldwide  
    3. Social and society columns
    4. Legal notices and public announcements 
    5. Historical information in newspapers like The New York Times and The London Times
    6. Classified ads -- e.g. "Search for Missing Friends" Irish ads in The Boston Pilot -- 
    7. Stories about people


  9. Saving references and articles 
    1. Save the reference, link, and even the webpage itself, in a program like EVERNOTE (free) from
    2. For many articles it helps to save as files using a screen capture program
    3. Link the website to a person in your genealogy database and on FamilySearch Family Tree
  10. Screen captures -- FastStone Capture 5.3 (last freeware version) is a good screen capture program -- -- many features, even does scrolling windows; full current version 8.7 is shareware and available from  for a life-time license fee of $20-- has an option of join images side-by-side, e.g. newspaper columns
  11. My system for naming screenshots, document scans, and files so they sort into a timeline for the person's life -- see more details in other notes
    1. Example -- ManwaringDiane(Snow)(1934-2012)-1958-03-21-MARRIAGE-DOC-MarriageLicense-StateOfUtah-DonaldRaySnow&DianeManwaring--Negative.jpeg
    2. Including birth and death years shows time period and distinguishes people with same name, so no need for Jr., Sr, etc.
    3. Maiden name of women is at start so everything for her sorts together -- married name in parentheses helps in identification
    4. For events I use keywords BIRTH, MARRIAGE, DEATH, NEWS, LDS, SCHOOL, MILITARY, etc.
    5. Event dates are in International Date Format YYYY-MM-DD after the name so each person's files sort chronologically
    6. Freeware program EVERYTHING from finds and lists all files for the person chronologically wherever they are on your computer and by using event types you can show only certain types of events


  12. FamilySearch Wiki has more than 9,000 articles with "newspapers" in the title; good article on US Newspapers -- -- new project on FamilySearch called "Zoning" to see which articles ought to be indexed; FamilySearch Catalog -- -- do keyword search for things like "newspapers utah" (without the quotes)
  13. Linkpendium -- -- major listing of newspapers by country, state, county, and town
  14. Elephind -- -- searches digitized online newspapers world-wide
  15. BYU Library Newspaper Links -- > 
  16. BYU-I Library Newspaper Links --
  17. Utah newspapers
    1. Utah Digital Newspapers -- -- Unversity of Utah received grant from Library of Congress to digitize all Utah newspapers; see timeline pdf of newspapers they have digitized so far --  -- see pdf timeline of newspapers they have digitized so far -- 
    2. Pioneer Library website --
    3. Pioneer Library Research Guides --
    4. Deseret News Archives - 1850-1987 -- -- To search Deseret News Archives you can also go to their current website -- -- enter search terms (upper right corner), click on pick arrow and select Archives 1850-1987, then click on the Search button (magnifying glass) -- not all back issues of the Deseret News are posted there yet-- my  LDS and Utah Records  notes have more information
    5. For links to early vital records in Utah newspapers see Don's class notes on LDS & Utah Records at 
  18. Library of Congress Digital Collections -- , and
  19. National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) -- 
  20. Wikipedia list of newspapers and links --
  21. NewspaperCat -- and additional information and links at --
  22. Newspapers ($) --
  23. Newspaper websites with archives worldwide -- 
  24. New York Times -- -- free registration, but they charge for some articles; starts with first NY Times in 1851; knowing the date and title of article you may be able to find it for free on other websites  
  25. London Times (Digital) -- available through Godfrey Library
  26. Online Historical Newspapers Website --
  27. GENUKI -- -- UK and Ireland
  28. RootsWeb -- -- Search all or by newspaper
  29. US GenWeb -- -- Go to state > county > city
  30. Cyndislist -- > Newspapers
  31. US Newspaper List -- 
  32. Internet Public Library --
  33. Old New York newspapers -- -- can search many old New York newspapers, including the New York Times; read the FAQ before using it 
  34. Small Town Papers -- -- list of several hundred current small town newspapers with archives
  35. The Olden Times Historic Newspapers Online --
  36. Google Newspapers -- -- and Google News Archive --  (Wait for the search box to open.) -- also see more info about Google Archives Search at  and Google Newspapers at
  37. Michigan State U Guide to Historical Newspaper Databases --
  38. Illinois Newpaper Project (INP) -- has more than just Illinois newspapers
  39. California Digital Newspaper Collection --
  40. Quincy (Illinois) Public Library website -- > Reference and Research tab
    1. Historical Newspaper Archive -- many articles about the Mormons in Nauvoo
    2. US National Newspaper websites -- links to many current national newspapers
  41. Obituary searches --
  42. New York Times photos --
  43. Genealogy Bank ($) -- -- large collection of historic newspapers; can search and see snippets for free; claims that 95% of its newspapers are only on this website and not elsewhere
  44. Godfrey Memorial Library ($) -- -- free at FHC's -- includes the following:
    1. Newspaper Archive ($) -- -- claims to be the largest online newspaper archive, includes several New York City newspapers and New York Times archive through 1857-1909
    2. London (Digital) Times ($) -- -- also on Fold3
    3. World Vital Records ($) -- -- also on MyHeritage now 
    4. Newspaper Archive and World Vital Records are also available in FHC's through the FHC Portal -- see the KnowledgeBase document ID 106761 -- 
  45. Gale Digital Collections ($) -- -- search "Products by Name" to see newspapers
  46. ($) --  -- owned by Ancestry
  47. Ancestry's Newspaper Collection ($) -- -- or go to Ancestry's Home page > Search > Stories & Publications > Newspapers & Periodicals -- free to LDS and at FHC's
  48. The British Newspaper Archive ($) -- -- commercial, but you get a few pages free
  49. Last Chance To Read ($) -- -- 18th and 19th Century British newspapers
  50. Fold3 ($) -- -- owned by Ancestry; mostly military records, but includes some newspapers -- free at FHC's
  51. World Vital Records ($) -- -- click on Card Catalog (right-hand side) > Newspaper Archive Collection -- free to LDS and at FHC's
  52. Personalized Newspaper Gifts ($) -- -- sells newspapers of various dates, etc.
  53. New York Newspapers on MyHeritage -- MyHeritage Blog

  55. Newspaper websites with archives worldwide -- 
  56. New York Times -- -- free registration, but they charge for some articles; starts with first NY Times in 1851 -- knowing the date and title you may be able to find the same article for free on other websites  
  57. Chicago Tribune 1852 - Present --
  58. Toronto Star -- -- free archives only goes back to 1985
  59. Los Angeles Times --  -- free registration
  60. Salt Lake Deseret News -- -- To search Deseret News Archives enter search terms (upper right corner). click on pick arrow and select Archives 1850-1987, then click on the Search button (the magnifying glass) -- note that this file is incomplete and lacks many issues of the Deseret News
  61. Salt Lake Tribune -- -- Salt Lake Tribune Archives back to 1991 -- -- charge for each article, but may be able to get it free elsewhere
  62. St. George Spectrum -- 
  63. You may be able to find ethnic and trade-type newspapers, e.g. Polish language in Chicago and Carpenters Union newspapers in various places

  65. Many newspapers are not online, only in paper, microfilm, microfiche format, etc. -- search  to see where located
  66. FamilySearch Wiki (see above) -- -- do a search for something like "newspapers idaho" (without the quotes)
  67. Articles by Kimberly Powell and from 
    1. "7 Tips for Searching Digitized Newspapers" --
    2. "Family History in the News" -- 
  68. US Newspaper Program -- 
  69. GenealogyBank -- Vital Record Clues in Old Newspapers 
  70. Readex Newspaper Archive -- -- Click on Digital Collections (upper left side) for Archive of Americana
  71. Dick Eastman on digitizing small town newspapers --
  72. British Newspapers 1800-1900
    1. British newspapers 1800-1900 --
    2. Dick Eastman --


  73. Newspapers are a good source of information, stories, and data about our ancestors, especially those at the time.
  74. More and more newspapers are being digitized and posted online, so check back often.

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