MyHeritage's US genealogy advisor, Schelly Talalay Dardashti, describes how historic newspapers add life to our family trees.
Old newspapers are treasure troves of family information. If your family lived for a long time in one location, then local papers likely hold information about your relatives.
Such details include birth, marriage and death announcements. If your ancestors owned businesses, there may be legal records or advertisements. Social announcements, real estate records, school graduations, athletic events and even the costs of consumer goods at the time can provide a glimpse into your family and also provide a backdrop as to what life was like for them at a certain point in history.
In the Spanish American (published in Roy, Mora County, New Mexico) page 12 of the February 6, 1906 edition offers local notes such as these (see left). We learn who went where and why, business announcements and who was sick. If your family is one of those mentioned, here’s a very personal look into what happened around that time.
No matter where you live around the world, local historic newspapers provide fascinating information available nowhere else.
Although current events and major historic events are of great interest, it is the personal and cultural reporting that may be of more interest to family historians. Consumer goods are only one area of life detailed in historic newspapers, and those published in major ports (such as San Francisco and New York City) published ship arrivals, the cargo carried, as well as passengers.
We have added the world's oldest continuously-published Jewish newspaper to our online search engine, SuperSearch, with billions of historical records.
The Jewish Chronicle, popularly known as The JC, is the oldest and most influential Jewish newspaper in England. The collection dates back to the newspaper's founding, in 1841, and contains over 200,000 newspaper pages.
The newspaper has played a central part in the development of modern Anglo-Jewry, capturing the lives and times of the Jewish community around the globe for almost two centuries. It has interviewed high-profile, leading figures through the years. The JC collection is a valuable resource for historians and genealogists alike. Anyone with Jewish roots in the United Kingdom is bound to find this collection extremely interesting, and is sure to learn more about their ancestors and the times they lived in.
Today’s edition includes map resources (including Google Earth), genealogy classes covering diverse topics, information on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a Maryland newspaper digitization project, easing adoptees’ efforts to obtain their original birth certificates, and the start date for the new US season of "Who Do You Think You Are?".
ON THE MAP
The New England Historical and Genealogical Society provided more major map collection resources:
- The Boston Atlas
- The Harvard Map Collection
- The Yale Map Collection
- Historic USGS maps of New England and New York on the University of New Hampshire Library website
- New York Public Library Digital Gallery maps
- David Rumsey Map Collection
- Library of Congress Map Collections
- Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas
- Historic Atlas of Canada Online Learning Project
- Historic Cities
GOOGLE EARTH CAN HELP YOU
This week’s edition includes an archaeological find, more on a new book, NARA’s citizen archivist dashboard, Canada’s Veterans’ Week, a Canadian newspaper digitization project, new FamilySearch records and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society’s new website.
Follow the links for each item to find more information and read the complete articles.
-- In the US, Veterans Day was observed on November 11, and there is a MyHeritage Blog post devoted to this important day.
-- In Canada, Veterans’ Week was observed November 5-11. For full coverage of this remembrance week, see the Genealogy Canada blog, authored by Elizabeth LaPointe. She has done a masterful job of spotlighting organizations, institutions and websites connected to veterans in a series of posts. If you have Canadian family that served, her resources may assist you to find information.
This week's edition includes expansion of a digital newspaper archive, new and updated FamilySearch records, African immigration to Nova Scotia, classes, seminars and more.
ProQuest, considered the world’s largest digital newspaper archive, is expanding its Historical Newspapers collection. It is accessible for free at most US public libraries.
The newest offerings are historic American Jewish and regional newspapers dating from 1841 and covering Boston, the Ohio Valley and New York City, offering primary resources for researchers.
The papers include The Jewish Advocate (the oldest continuously-circulating Jewish newspaper in the US, a Boston-based weekly) and The American Hebrew/Jewish Messenger (from 1857, covering events before and during the Civil War). Later this year, the Jewish Exponent (1887-1990, Philadelphia) will be added, as well as the Jerusalem Post (1932-1988).
Regional coverage will expand with Newsday (1940-1984, mainly covering Long Island, NY), and the Cincinnati Enquirer (1841-1922, Ohio River Valley)
ProQuestHistorical Newspapers™ began with digital archives of a handful of major American newspapers and has grown to encompass more than 20 dailies from around the world. Collections such as Historical Black Newspapers™ and the growing number of regional papers enable researchers to conduct deep dives on specific topics and also to compare multiple perspectives of the same events. The archive is continually growing and now encompasses more than 30 million pages.
The ProQuest platform allows researchers to share, create and collaborate. Check with your local library to see if it subscribes. I know my library does. For more information, visit ProQuest.com.
Just in time for the collection is a free podcast- available on iTunes - by Lisa Louise Cooke, offered by Family Tree Magazine and focusing on tips for searching old newspapers online, finding historic books on the Web and more. Don’t know what a podcast is? Click here for Lisa's podcast primer.
Looking for more records?
This week's news includes a new online database for the names of Virginia slaves, an exhibit on Germans in Chicago, two sources for information on digital preservation, a Massachusetts conference, a display of memorabilia for the Canadian Women's Army Corp (CWAC), and a New York City seminar on cutting-edge genealogy.
The MyHeritage genealogy team is back from Springfield, Illinois, where we attended the 2011 Federation of Genealogical Societies conference.
Read about the conference here in an article from the local paper. The event claimed some 2,000 attendees, offered 198 presentations, and attracted conference-goers from as far away as India.
Read on for more.
Do people have trouble saying or spelling it?
If so, you might enjoy this post that appeared earlier this month in the MyHeritage Genealogy Blog.
They look at your name, stammer, and ask "how do you say that?" What do you do?
Do you patiently spell it several times? Will you, as I often do, spell it out as in "D as in David, A as in Apple, R as in Robert".........
Do you break the name down into syllables for the other person? Do you give up and say, "Call me by my first name!"
People look at DARDASHTI and their eyes glaze over. "Is that two Ds and two As?" asks the person on the phone or in a store. I usually break it into three syllables: Dar-dash-ti. For TALALAY, strangers usually put the accent on the wrong syllable, and say Tah-LAY-lee, instead of TAH-lah-lie. To confuse matters, one family branch uses TALALAY in English, but pronounces it Tah-la-lay.