7 Unusual Pumpkin Pie Recipes to Make Your Mouth Water

Pumpkin pie image, 1921Pumpkin pie image, 1921 Tue, Nov 22, 1921 – 11 · Courier-Post (Camden, New Jersey) · Newspapers.com


November is here, which means it’s time to start thinking about that classic holiday dessert—pumpkin pie!

Pumpkin pie has been an American tradition for at least two centuries—which means a lot of people have a favorite tried-and-true recipe. But sometimes we’re in the mood for something a little different! So we took a look to see what non-traditional pumpkin pie recipes we could find in the historical papers on Newspapers.com.

Here are our top picks from across the decades. Beneath the original recipes, we’ve written them out in a way that’s a bit easier to follow. Click on any of the recipe images to see the original clipping on our site. And for even more pumpkin pie recipes, visit our Topic Page!

[Note: In old recipes, a “slow oven” typically means 300-325 degrees Fahrenheit; a “moderate oven” means 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit; and a “hot oven” means 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit.]

Pumpkin-Date Pie – From 1916

1916: Pumpkin-date pie1916: Pumpkin-date pie Thu, Oct 19, 1916 – 13 · The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer (Bridgeport, Connecticut) · Newspapers.com


Ingredients (for filling)

  • 1 pint pumpkin pulp
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup chopped dates
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • 1 cup cream or rich milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

Directions

  1. Blend all the ingredients to a cream. Beat up the yolks and whites of eggs separately and fold in the whites the last thing.
  2. Pour into crusts and bake.
  3. Serve cold with a layer of whipped cream on top flavored with a little vanilla and dotted, if liked, with a few crystallized cherries.

Note: These pies can be made in the form of patties.

Pineapple Pumpkin Pie – From 1930

1930: Pineapple pumpkin pie1930: Pineapple pumpkin pie Fri, Nov 21, 1930 – Page 40 · St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri) · Newspapers.com


Ingredients (for filling)

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup drained crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup cooked and strained pumpkin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk

Directions

  1. Make a flaky crust and line the pie plate.
  2. Mix sugar, pineapple, and pumpkin with spices and salt. Add slightly beaten eggs and milk; mix well.
  3. Turn into well-lined pie plate and bake in moderate oven 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Honey Pumpkin Pie – From 1932

1932: Honey pumpkin pie1932: Honey pumpkin pie Fri, Nov 11, 1932 – 9 · The Miami News (Miami, Florida) · Newspapers.com


Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups canned or cooked pumpkin
  • ¾ cup honey
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 ¼ cups evaporated milk
  • Pastry

Directions

  1. Mix ingredients thoroughly. Pour into a pie can lined with pastry.
  2. Bake in a hot oven for 10 minutes, reduce heat, and continue baking in a slow oven until set. Time for baking—40 minutes.

Raisin Pumpkin Pie – From 1940

1940: Raisin Pumpkin Pie1940: Raisin Pumpkin Pie Wed, Jul 31, 1940 – Page 23 · The Daily Tribune (Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin) · Newspapers.com


Ingredients (for filling)

  • 2 cups stewed strained pumpkin
  • 2 cups rich milk or cream
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup seedless raisins

Directions

  1. Mix pumpkin with milk or cream. Add brown sugar, eggs, salt, ginger, allspice, walnuts, and raisins. Beat 2 minutes.
  2. Pour into unbaked shell. Bake in hot oven 15 minutes, reduce heat, and bake 45 minutes in a moderate oven.

Apple-Pumpkin Pie – From 1941

1941: Apple-pumpkin pie1941: Apple-pumpkin pie Thu, Nov 13, 1941 – 33 · Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio) · Newspapers.com


Ingredients (for filling)

  • 2 cups peeled, thinly sliced apples
  • 2 cups peeled, thinly sliced pumpkin
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp orange flavoring, or 2 tsp grated orange rind

Directions

  1. Line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry and fill with apple and pumpkin slices.
  2. Sprinkle with sugar, spices, and salt. Add flavoring or grated orange rind.
  3. Moisten edge of crust, cover with top crust, and press edges together. Brush crust with milk or cream.
  4. Bake 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, then 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 minutes.

Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Pie – From 1944

1944: Caramel pecan pumpkin pie1944: Caramel pecan pumpkin pie Thu, Oct 5, 1944 – Page 18 · The Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.com


Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups pumpkin
  • ¼ cup cream
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp lemon extract
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 unbaked pastry shell
  • 1 cup pecans
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar

Directions

  1. Mix pumpkin, cream, and eggs. Blend the sugar, flour, salt, and spices, and add to the pumpkin mixture, stirring well.
  2. Add extracts and melted butter, and pour into an unbaked pastry shell.
  3. Bake in hot oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate (350 degrees Fahrenheit) until filling is firm, or about 40 minutes.
  4. Cover filling with pecans which have been mixed with the ¼ cup butter and 1 cup brown sugar. Place under broiler until slightly caramelized. Makes one 9-inch pie.

Pumpkin Parfait Pie – From 1952

1952: Pumpkin parfait pie1952: Pumpkin parfait pie Wed, Nov 19, 1952 – 9 · The Semi-Weekly Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Washington) · Newspapers.com


Ingredients

  • 1 package lemon-flavored gelatin
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 pint butter pecan or maple walnut ice cream
  • 1 cup mashed cooked pumpkin
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1 baked 9-inch pie shell

Directions

  1. Dissolve gelatin in hot water in 2-quart saucepan. Add ice cream by spoonfuls, stirring until melted. Then chill until thickened but not set (15 to 25 minutes).
  2. Combine pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, and spices. Fold into thickened gelatin mixture. Turn into the cooled baked pie shell.
  3. Chill until firm (15 to 25 minutes). Garnish with whipped cream and sliced dates.

Note: Mashed cooked sweet potatoes, yams, or squash may be used in the place of pumpkin in this recipe.

Want more vintage pumpkin pie recipes from newspapers? Visit our Pumpkin Pie Recipes Topic Page. We’ve got some already clipped for you!

Or find even more pumpkin pie recipes by searching the papers on Newspapers.com. And follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more historical content like this!

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6 “Buried Alive” Newspaper Stories to Send Shivers Down Your Spine

San Francisco Examiner, 07.19.1896
San Francisco Examiner, 07.19.1896

“The greatest horror that the human mind can picture is that of being buried alive,” read an article in the 1896 San Francisco Examiner. “The agony, of course, would be of short duration, but, even though it lasted only two minutes, it would, in its intensity, contain a world of misery and anguish too horrible to contemplate.”

Historical newspapers are full of bone-chilling tales of people being mistaken for dead and buried alive. Some of these stories are likely embellished or altogether fictional, while others have a ring of truth that make them all the more terrifying.

We’ve selected 6 of these “buried alive” stories from the papers on Newspapers.com. Decide for yourself if they’re true or not. If you’re brave enough to read them.

The excerpts below are just a taste of the full stories. Follow the links to read the jaw-dropping newspaper accounts in their entirety.

From 1729

The Pennsylvania Gazette, 02.24.1729
READ THE FULL STORY in the Pennsylvania Gazette, 02.24.1729.

From 1836

The York Gazette, 08.30.1836.
READ THE FULL STORY in the York Gazette, 08.30.1836.

From 1845

The Jeffersonian, 12.18.1845.
READ THE FULL STORY in the Jeffersonian, 12.18.1845.

From 1849

The Abbeville Press and Banner, 07.21.1849
READ THE FULL STORY in the Abbeville Press and Banner, 07.21.1849.

From 1850

Wilmington Journal, 06.06.1850
READ THE FULL STORY in the Wilmington Journal, 06.06.1850.

From 1883

Fall River Daily Evening News, 10.18.1883
READ THE FULL STORY in the Fall River Daily Evening News, 10.18.1883.

Find more “buried alive” stories by searching Newspapers.com. And follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more historical content like this!

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8 Steps for Telling Your Ancestor’s Life Story with Newspapers

Do you know your ancestors’ names but not their stories? Historical newspapers are an important resource for discovering who your ancestors were beyond names and dates. But if you’re not sure where to start, read on to learn how to use Newspapers.com to piece together your ancestors’ life stories.

1. Build a basic timeline with the facts you already know.

Before you start searching for your ancestor’s story in newspapers, it helps to have at least a rough knowledge of when and where they lived. These basics will serve as the backbone for the story that you build and help guide you in your newspaper search.

Image from the 1880 census on Ancestry®
Image from the 1880 census on Ancestry®

One way to do this is by locating your ancestor in as many state and federal censuses as you can. Write down the year of the census and the city/county/state where the person was living. It may also be helpful to note their occupation (if provided) and who else was living in the household at the time. These facts can help you identify your ancestor when you begin your newspaper search. You can also use dates and locations pulled from other records, such as those for birth, marriage, and death.

2. Begin your newspaper search.

Enter your ancestor’s name into the Newspapers.com search bar. Scroll through some of the results to see if there are any likely hits for your ancestor. If there are too many results for people who aren’t your ancestor, try adding date, location, and other filters to narrow down the possibilities.

Remember, however, that people didn’t always appear in newspapers by their legal name. Try searching for your ancestor using nicknames, alternative names, initials, and misspellings. In older newspapers, men were often referred to by initials or abbreviations, and women were often referred to by their husbands’ names (e.g., Mrs. John Smith).

And here’s a tip: When you find a search that returns results for your ancestor, use the Save/Notify feature to be automatically alerted when we add new newspaper pages that have matches for your search.

3. Sort your search results chronologically.

Image showing how to sort results chronologically
Image showing how to sort results chronologically

It’s often easiest to understand how the events of a person’s life tie together when you learn about them in the order they happened—just like reading a biography. So once you’ve found search results for your ancestor, sort the results chronologically. This will help you see more easily how the newspaper articles you find fit with the timeline you made in Step 1.

The default for search results on Newspapers.com is “Best match,” but you can easily order them chronologically by choosing to sort them by “Paper date (oldest first),” which is found under “Sort” in the upper left of the search results page.

4. Start reading!

You’ve got your search results, so now it’s time to start reading! Using the image thumbnails on the search results page as a reference, open up articles that seem like they might be about your ancestor. The timeline you made before you started searching will help you determine which articles are about your ancestor and which are not. As you find articles about your ancestor, you’ll become more familiar with their life, making it easier to spot which other articles are about them too.

5. Clip the articles you find.

When you find articles about your ancestor, use our clipping tool to save them to your Newspapers.com account.

It’s important not only to clip the article but also to title the clipping in a way that will make it easy to find again. For example, the clipping’s title could include your ancestor’s name and a brief summary of the article. Then when you need to find that article again, you can simply go to your clippings page and search for the person’s name to quickly pull up all the articles you’ve clipped about them.

Example of helpful information to include in a clipping
Example of helpful information to include in a clipping

When making a clipping, you can also use the “Add more details” field to make notes about the clipping. For example, you could use this field to indicate details in the clipping you want to research further or to specify how the clipping ties into a larger story.

Another great feature of clippings is that you can easily share them on social media or via email. So if you find an article about your ancestor, you can post it to social media and ask your family members if they know anything else about the story. You can also save clippings to your Ancestry® tree.

6. Take notes along the way.

As you start reading newspaper articles about your ancestor, they’ll likely spark ideas about other people or topics to research. Make sure to take plenty of notes about these so you can come back and search them later. It’ll be tempting to research them right away, but that can lead you down a rabbit hole that takes you far away from the person you were originally researching. So instead make a note to return to it in the future.

It’s also a good idea to take notes about ways you could adjust your search terms. For instance, if you find an article that uses an alternative spelling of your ancestor’s name, make a note to come back later and search using that alternate spelling. 

7. Branch out.

Once you learn everything you can about your ancestor’s life by searching for their name, try searching for their family member’s names. People don’t exist in isolation, so learning about the stories of their family members can help you understand your ancestor. For example, your ancestor might not be mentioned by name in an article about a tragic death in the family, but it nevertheless likely had a direct impact on their life.

News from an ancestor's childhood about his father and uncle (Chicago Tribune, 11.09.1865)
News from an ancestor’s childhood about his father and uncle (Chicago Tribune, 11.09.1865)

Searching by family members names (particularly parents’ names) is especially key to learning about your ancestor’s early life, since adults are more likely than children to be mentioned by name in a newspaper. By doing this, you might find out that their family moved when your ancestor was young or that their father was injured in an accident—events that would have shaped your ancestor’s childhood.

8. Explore the social history of your ancestor’s life.

Learning about the time and place in which your ancestors lived can also help you understand their life. Take time to look through their local newspaper to find out what life was like in the town or city they lived in. Try browsing through national and local news stories, ads, articles about the economy, the entertainment and leisure sections, war news, transportation schedules, and more to learn about the context of your ancestor’s life.

Social history research is also helpful if you weren’t able to find much about your ancestor when you searched for them by name. Researching the world around them can give you a pretty decent idea of what their life may have been like.

Happy searching!

We hope this has been useful in helping you uncover your ancestor’s life story. If you have any tips we missed, be sure to post them in the comments!

Get started finding your ancestors’ stories by searching Newspapers.com! And follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for more articles like this!

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5 Vintage Autumn Recipes You’ll Actually Want to Try

Lafayette Journal and Courier, 11.15.1921
Lafayette Journal and Courier, 11.15.1921

If you love to cook, historical newspapers are a great place to find recipes. But we’ll admit that sometimes the ingredients and flavor combinations in old recipes can be less than appealing to the modern palette. So we searched the newspapers on our site to find 5 vintage recipes you’ll actually want to try this autumn.

Beneath the original recipe, we’ve written it out in a way that’s a bit easier to follow. We’ve also used brackets to indicate our best estimates for cooking times, temperatures, and measurements when not provided by the original recipe.

Pumpkin Waffles – from 1919

Recipe: Pumpkin waffles, 1919Recipe: Pumpkin waffles, 1919 Sun, Oct 5, 1919 – Page 80 · New-York Tribune (New York, New York) · Newspapers.com


Ingredients

  • 1 scant cupful cooked and sifted [pureed] pumpkin
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 large cupful flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 cupful milk
  • 2 Tbsp melted shortening
  • 2 egg whites, stiffly whipped

Directions

  1. Mix the molasses, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and lightly beaten egg yolks into the pumpkin.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and sugar.
  3. Gradually combine the mixtures, beating in the milk and melted shortening.
  4. Fold in the stiffly whipped egg whites last of all.
  5. Cook in hot, well-greased waffle irons.

Sponge Gingerbread – from 1905

Recipe: Sponge gingerbread, 1905Recipe: Sponge gingerbread, 1905 Sun, Nov 26, 1905 – 32 · The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) · Newspapers.com


Ingredients

  • ½ cup sugar (light brown recommended)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup milk (either sweet or sour)
  • 3 cups pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2-4 tsp ginger
  • 1 scant tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients. [Likely, mix wet and dry ingredients separately, then combine.]
  2. Pour into a 2-inch-deep 9×12 pan [or a 9×13 cake pan].
  3. Bake in a moderate oven [around 350 degrees] for about 30 minutes.

Note: If you do not like a decided ginger taste, use only 2 teaspoons.

Apple Slump – from 1916

Recipe: Apple slump, 1916Recipe: Apple slump, 1916 Sat, Oct 7, 1916 – 14 · Norwich Bulletin (Norwich, Connecticut) · Newspapers.com


Ingredients

  • [8] tart apples [e.g., Granny Smith, Pink Lady, etc.]
  • Water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Nutmeg, to taste
  • Pinch of salt
  • Rich biscuit dough, already prepared and cut out into biscuits
  • Hard sauce or cream

Directions

  1. Pare and quarter enough tart apples to fill a 4-quart stewpan half full. [Likely, about 8 apples, though it will vary depending on size of the apples.]
  2. Add the apples to the pot and cover with water.
  3. Add sugar, nutmeg, and salt and let come to a boil.
  4. Lay cut-out biscuit dough over the boiling apples.
  5. Cover the pan and steam for 25 to 30 minutes, without lifting the cover. The pan must not be placed over a very hot fire, as the apples will scorch. [I.e., reduce heat to a simmer.]
  6. Serve hot with hard sauce or cream.

Sweet Potato Soup – from 1921

Recipe: Sweet potato soup, 1921Recipe: Sweet potato soup, 1921 Wed, Nov 16, 1921 – 32 · Evening Star (Washington, District of Columbia) · Newspapers.com


Ingredients

  • ½ Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 pint [2 cups] milk
  • 1 pint [2 cups] stock [chicken or vegetable are typically used]
  • ½ tsp onion juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • Small stick of cinnamon
  • Sweet potatoes [already baked and then pureed; amount can vary according to preference, but likely about 2 cups]
  • Chopped parsley
  • Grated nutmeg
  • Croutons

Directions

  1. Put butter and flour into a saucepan or double boiler and blend [i.e., make a roux].
  2. Add milk, stock, onion juice, salt, pepper, and cinnamon.
  3. Stir carefully over the fire until the mixture is hot and beginning to thicken. [Be careful the soup does not boil as this can curdle the milk.]
  4. Add the sweet potatoes, stir well, and cook for 10 minutes longer.
  5. Strain into soup dishes, sprinkle chopped parsley over the top, and add a dash of grated nutmeg.
  6. Serve very hot with croutons.

Ham Sandwich Biscuits – from 1914

Recipe: Ham sandwich biscuits, 1914Recipe: Ham sandwich biscuits, 1914 Sun, Oct 25, 1914 – 42 · The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) · Newspapers.com


Ingredients

  • Biscuit dough, prepared stiffer than usual
  • Minced ham
  • Butter

Directions

  1. Roll biscuit dough out thin [likely, about ½-inch thick] and cut into rounds.
  2. Spread half of the dough rounds with a mixture of minced ham and butter, then cover with a second round. [Consider pinching the edges closed to prevent filling from leaking.]
  3. Bake far apart in a hot oven. [Likely, bake 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.]

Note: In baking biscuits, always place them far apart on the baking sheet so as to ensure crisp baking all round.

Let us know if you try any of these recipes! Are any of them similar to ones handed down in your family?

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Newspapers.com and Ancestry® Launch a New Podcast!

Behind the Headlines of History

Have you ever read an old newspaper article and wondered what happened to the people mentioned in the story? Then check out the new Newspapers.com and Ancestry® podcast, “Behind the Headlines of History”!

Join hosts Brad Argent of Ancestry® and historian Michala Hulme of Manchester Metropolitan University as they share intriguing newspaper articles from the past, before putting on their genealogy hats and scouring records to find out more about some of the people involved in the stories.

In the first episode, Brad and Michala discuss the love story behind the Great Bullion Robbery of 1855 and also reveal how the theft of some hazelnuts in 1877 is linked to Downton Abbey!

Host Brad Argent shared his thoughts:

Historic newspapers are a treasure trove of great stories, and a fantastic resource for family historians to find out more about the details of their ancestors’ lives. With this podcast, we wanted to bring this to life, sharing weird, wonderful and sometimes tragic historic news stories to find out who these people were, where they came from and what happened next. Join us as we go behind the headlines of history!”

We’re excited to share “Behind the Headlines of History” with you! Whether it’s on your commute, at the gym, or while cleaning the house, this fun and fascinating podcast is a perfect way to pass the time!

“Behind the Headlines of History” will be released each week on Tuesdays for 10 weeks, beginning September 3. It is available on a range of platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts and more.

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The Surprising Evolution of Pumpkin Spice

Love it or hate it, pumpkin-spice season is here again. But do you know how this autumn flavor got its start?

Let’s head to the historical papers on Newspapers.com to see what we can learn. Click on any of the links in the post to see newspaper clippings that document the history of pumpkin spice!

An Age-Old Combination

1734 ad mentioning nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice for sale (Pennsylvania Gazette, 03.06.1734)
1734 ad mentioning nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice for sale (Pennsylvania Gazette, 03.06.1734)

“Pumpkin spice” is usually a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and/or cloves. Since some combinations of these spices date back to ancient days, for the sake of time, let’s jump forward to the 18th century United States.

By this time, spices were available in the U.S. and were being used in cooking and baking. A 1734 Pennsylvania newspaper advertisement, for instance, shows that spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice were being imported to the U.S. And a newspaper recipe for “soft cakes” from 1825 New York confirms that spices (nutmeg and cinnamon in this case) were used in early American baking.

For the Love of Pumpkin Pie

So it’s clear that the spices in “pumpkin spice” were used together, but where does pumpkin come in?

Americans have been flavoring their pumpkin dishes with spices for a long time. In fact, the first American cookbook (“American Cookery” from 1796) includes a pumpkin recipe that uses mace, nutmeg, and ginger.

But most of all, Americans loved pumpkin pie, and spices were an important part of the flavor of the dish. A 1839 newspaper recipe, for example, calls for cinnamon and ginger in the pie filling.

“Pumpkin Pie Spice” Proliferation

But when did this traditional spice combination become known as “pumpkin spice”?

1933 ad for T&T Pumpkin Pie Spice (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10.20.1933)
1933 ad for T&T Pumpkin Pie Spice (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10.20.1933)

In 1930, a spice company called Thompson & Taylor (T&T) introduced what they called “Pumpkin Pie Spice,” which combined all the spices a home baker needed to make pumpkin pie. Now, as the ads claimed, making pumpkin pies at home was more convenient and the pies themselves would be more consistent in flavor.

The idea of selling a pre-mixed pie spice caught on, and over the next few years more and more companies introduced their own pumpkin pie spices. The mix best-known today, by McCormick, went on the market in 1934.

With an increasing number of companies selling pumpkin pie spices, newspapers were inundated with ads around Thanksgiving time. As newspapers tried to save space, the mix was sometimes referred to simply as “pumpkin spice” instead of “pumpkin pie spice,” as you can see in this ad from 1931.

With pre-mixed pie spices now readily available and convenient, it was easy for creative home cooks in the 1930s and beyond to add it to other foods, from soufflés to cookies to gingerbread. McCormick even briefly marketed a “Pumpkin Pie & Ginger Bread Spice” in the mid-1930s. 

“Pumpkin Spice” Comes into Its Own

1957 ad for pumpkin spice ice cream (News-Messenger, 11.29.1957)
1957 ad for pumpkin spice ice cream (News-Messenger, 11.29.1957)

Around this same time, “pumpkin spice” began appearing in the names of recipes published in newspapers. For instance, based on the papers currently on Newspapers.com, recipes for “Pumpkin Spice Cake” began showing up in newspapers around 1935, though we found a brief mention in an ad from 1934.

From this time on, ads and recipes for “pumpkin spice” flavored foods appeared with increasing frequency in newspapers, and it became well-established as its own flavor in the decades that followed.

But, of course, despite pumpkin spice’s long history, the current flood of pumpkin-spice products can largely be traced back to Starbucks, which first introduced its popular Pumpkin Spice Latte in 2003. Spiced coffee has its own extensive history, but Starbucks’ branding of its new beverage as “pumpkin spice” kicked off a trend that seems to have taken over the autumn season. Whether you like it or not.

Search Newspapers.com for more pumpkin-spice articles and recipes. And follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more interesting historical content like this!

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7 Tips for Finding an Ancestor Beyond Their Hometown Newspaper

At Newspapers.com, we’re constantly adding newspapers to our archives to grow our coverage of locations around the United States, Canada, and beyond. In fact, we add millions of newspaper pages each month!

But growing our archives inevitably takes time. So what can you do if Newspapers.com doesn’t have a newspaper from your ancestor’s hometown yet? Or if Newspapers.com does have the paper, but not the years you need? Or what if your ancestor’s hometown didn’t even have a local newspaper in the first place?

Can you still use the papers on our site to learn about your ancestor? Yes! While hometown papers are the most likely place to find news about your ancestor, they’re far from the only place.

Read on to learn 7 of our top tips for doing family history research beyond your ancestor’s hometown newspaper.

Family reunion photo from 1919 Indiana (Muncie Morning Star, 09.27.1919)
Family reunion photo from 1919 Indiana (Muncie Morning Star, 09.27.1919)

1. Search your ancestor’s name in ALL the papers on the site.

This tip is only practical if your ancestor had a fairly uncommon name, but it’s worth mentioning up front. You never know exactly when or where your ancestor’s name might appear in a newspaper—and they can turn up in some pretty surprising places! Yes, your ancestor may have lived their entire life in a particular place, but a reprinted or syndicated story about them may pop up in newspapers in states they had no connection to at all!

But if your ancestor’s name isn’t particularly unique, you’ll need some ways to focus your search to avoid getting too many matches. That’s where our other tips come in!

2. Search for your ancestor in the newspapers of nearby towns and the county seat.

Apart from hometown papers, newspapers from the county seat or neighboring towns (even those across a state border!) are some of the most likely places you’ll find mentions of your ancestor.

Two ways Newspapers.com helps you with this are the County search and Map search functions. County search allows you to search all the papers in a county. Just start typing the county name into the “Paper Location” field of the Advanced Search options, and then select the county name. (If the county you type doesn’t appear on the list, then Newspapers.com doesn’t currently have papers from that county.)

The Map search (accessible by selecting “See papers by location” on the homepage) allows you to zoom in on our map to see (and then search!) the papers on our site from as big or small a geographical region as you want.

For example, you can zoom in on the map to see all the papers currently available from the entire state of Kansas, or you can zoom in even further to see all the papers available specifically from Cherokee County. This is especially helpful if your ancestor lived near a state border, since you can see which papers were being published in neighboring towns across the state line. So if your ancestor lived in Cherokee County, Kansas, the Newspapers Map will show you that we also have papers from nearby Jasper County, Missouri.

Example of the Newspapers.com Map zoomed in to show papers available in Cherokee County, KS, and Jasper County, MO
Example of the Newspapers.com Map zoomed in to show papers available in Cherokee County, KS, and Jasper County, MO

3. Search for your ancestor in every city they lived in or were associated with.

Outside your ancestor’s hometown, the towns where they were born or died are good places to check for newspaper mentions of them. But there are many more places you can search!

First, use vital and other genealogical records, family stories, newspaper clues, or whatever resources you have to compile a list of every place your ancestor lived or was associated with. Then search for them in papers from those locations.

This could be the city where they attended college, where they worked, where they were stationed in the military, where they landed after immigrating, or even where they traveled on an extended vacation. The possibilities are endless! Anywhere your ancestor spent time may have some sort of newspaper record of their time there, even if it’s simply a mention of them in a list of hotel guests or passengers who came in on the train.

4. Search for your ancestor in the areas where their family members lived.

Once you’ve tried searching for your ancestor in the places they were associated with, move on to their family members. Start with parents, children, and siblings, and work your way out to in-laws, cousins, aunts and uncles, and other extended family. This will likely require you to do some digging into collateral (non-direct) lines on your family tree, but it may be worth the time.

Pennsylvania newspaper photo of the Klinefelter Family, 1909. (Gazette-Times, 02.07.1909)
Pennsylvania newspaper photo of the Klinefelter Family, 1909. Note that the caption mentions the Thompsons are living in Nebraska! (Gazette-Times, 02.07.1909)

Family members’ obituaries can be a particularly rich source of information about your ancestor, but the possibilities don’t stop there. For instance, newspapers often published news about people who were visiting family members in town, whether it was for a vacation, wedding, funeral, or reunion. They also published updates on people who had moved away but still had family in town.

Keep in mind that newspapers didn’t always mention visitors by name, sometimes merely saying that so-and-so’s brother was in town for the week. But if you’re paying attention, you might catch that the nameless brother mentioned in the article is actually the ancestor you’ve been looking for!

You may be surprised how much information about your ancestor can appear in the newspapers where their family members lived. For example, one birth announcement for a baby born in Colorado was actually published in Pennsylvania, where the mother’s family lived. Even more surprising, the announcement wasn’t in the family’s hometown paper but in the paper from the county seat!

5. Search for your ancestor in newspapers of ethnic or religious communities they belonged to.

Example of a Catholic-focused newspaper serving Kansas and Oklahoma (Catholic Advance, 01.24.1914)
Example of a Catholic-focused newspaper serving Kansas and Oklahoma (Catholic Advance, 01.24.1914)

If your ancestor belonged to a particular ethnic or religious community, try looking for them in newspapers that catered to that community. These might include Jewish or Catholic newspapers, African American papers, or German-language papers. Newspapers that targeted a specific religious or ethnic community often shared news about people within that demographic even if they lived in a different state than where the paper was published. 

For instance, if your ancestor was African American, you may have luck searching for them in historically black papers, such as the Pittsburgh Courier or Kansas City Sun. These papers published news about African Americans from all over the United States, not just Pittsburgh or Kansas City.

6. Search for your ancestor in the years after their lifetime.

If the problem is that Newspapers.com has the hometown paper, just not the years you need, try searching for your ancestor in the years after their lifetime. They might be mentioned in their child’s obituary or in a piece spotlighting the pioneers of the town. Or they might crop up in a “this-day-in-history” feature in the newspaper or in an article about events of historical significance to the town. This Indiana town history piece  from 1939, for example, mentions people and events from more than a century earlier!

1939 newspaper piece that discusses century-old town history (Palladium-Item, 07.16.1939)
1939 newspaper piece that discusses century-old town history (Palladium-Item, 07.16.1939)

7. Check back!   

Since Newspapers.com frequently adds and updates papers, check back often to see if the hometown paper you want has been added to the site. A quick way to do this is on our New & Updated page.

There are also a couple ways to be automatically informed by email when certain newspaper content is added to the site. The first way is to save a search. This will notify you when we add a newspaper page that has results that match criteria you specify. To enable this feature, simply set up a search with the criteria you want (for example, “John Smith” in Kansas newspapers), then select the “Save/Notify” button on the search results page.

You can also choose to be automatically notified by email when we add pages to a specific newspaper title. This is a convenient option if you’re waiting for additional years to be added to a paper already on our site. Do it by selecting any newspaper title and clicking the “follow” button on the landing page.

Best of luck finding that ancestor!

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These 10 Cats Adopted Baby Animals and It’s Adorable

Literally just 10 vintage newspaper photos of cats being foster moms that will make your day better.

1922: This cat adopted a Boston bull terrier puppy, and the photo of them snuggling might be the cutest thing you’ll see all day. Read their story in the New York Daily News.

1922: Cat adopts Boston bull terrier puppySat, Dec 23, 1922 – 37 · Daily News (New York, New York) · Newspapers.com


1930: This tabby adopted a baby groundhog, proving looks don’t matter when it comes to a mother cat’s love, because that groundhog probably isn’t going to win a beauty contest anytime soon. Read their story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

1930: Cat adopts a baby groundhogSat, May 10, 1930 – Page 2 · Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.com


1935: This cat adopted a baby rat. Read their story in the Detroit Free Press.

1935: Cat adopts a baby ratThu, Mar 14, 1935 – Page 26 · Detroit Free Press (Detroit, Michigan) · Newspapers.com


1936: And this cat adopted a baby rat too. There must be something about rats. Read their story in the Tampa Times.

1936: Another cat adopts a baby ratSat, Jun 13, 1936 – 1 · The Tampa Times (Tampa, Florida) · Newspapers.com


1937: This cat’s owner adopted a puppy, then the cat took over! Read their story in the Atlanta Constitution.

1937: Cat adopts a puppyMon, Jun 28, 1937 – 8 · The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) · Newspapers.com


1938: When presented with 3 baby squirrels, this cat apparently took them on without a hitch. Read their story in the Decatur Herald.

1938: Cat adopts 3 baby squirrelsSat, Apr 2, 1938 – Page 3 · The Decatur Herald (Decatur, Illinois) · Newspapers.com


1939: More squirrels! This time 2 baby fox squirrels. Read the story in the News-Palladium.

1939: Cat adopts 2 baby fox squirrelsTue, Jun 20, 1939 – 8 · The News-Palladium (Benton Harbor, Michigan) · Newspapers.com


1946: The relationship between this cat and 3 baby rabbits sounds like it had a bit of a rocky start, but maternal instinct prevailed! Read their story in the Courier-Journal.

1946: Cat adopts 3 baby rabbitsSun, Apr 7, 1946 – Page 17 · The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky) · Newspapers.com


1946: This cat adopted a red fox cub. If you’ve never seen a red fox cub, check out this photo. They’re the cutest. Read the cat-fox adoption story in the Cincinnati Enquirer.

1946: Cat adopts a red fox cubWed, May 1, 1946 – Page 22 · The Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio) · Newspapers.com


1950: And finally, this cat adopted a baby field mouse, rising above the traditionally complicated relationship between the two species. Read their story in the Austin American-Statesman.

1950: Cat adopts baby field mouseTue, Aug 22, 1950 – 11 · Austin American-Statesman (Austin, Texas) · Newspapers.com


Whether it’s cat photos or something less feline-themed, search for what interests you on Newspapers.com! And follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more interesting historical content like this!

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What Old Newspapers Reveal about the Last of the Czars

If you were living in 1918 and saw a newspaper story about the murder of the Romanovs, would you have known who they were? How would you have felt about the news if you read it when it first broke?

Thanks to numerous books, plays, movies, and mini-series, most people today are familiar with the story of the Romanovs, the Russian royal family headed by Czar Nicholas II who were brutally executed in 1918, ending the country’s monarchy.

But that’s today. What about back then?

We headed to the historical newspapers on Newspapers.com to help us find out how people living in the United States and Canada at the time of the Romanov executions would have experienced the news of their deaths.

Would people living in the U.S. and Canada have known who the Romanovs were?

While we can’t speak for everyone living in those countries at the time, it’s pretty safe to say that if you were a newspaper reader, you would have known who the Romanovs were.

Since Russia was a world power, its monarch naturally drew the attention of newspapers. People could read about Nicholas II’s personal life, from his marriage, to the births of his children, to his visits to foreign royalty. And they likewise could read about Russian politics under his rule, from the Russo-Japanese War, to civil unrest and revolution, to World War I.

Newspaper headlines announce Nicholas II's abdication as czar (The Pacific Commercial Advertiser, 03.17.1917)
Newspaper headlines announce Nicholas II’s abdication as czar (The Pacific Commercial Advertiser, 03.17.1917)

There was fairly consistent newspaper coverage of the Romanovs throughout the years of Nicholas II’s reign, with the exception of a few years that had major spikes in coverage. The first was 1905, an eventful year in Russian politics headlined by a revolution attempt and Nicholas’s issuing of the October Manifesto (which promised an elected parliament).

The other two years that saw spikes in newspaper coverage of the Romanovs were 1917, when Nicholas II abdicated and was exiled, and 1918, when the family was executed. The abundance of newspaper coverage about the executions is probably self-explanatory, but the Romanovs’ lives in exile prior to their deaths seemed to fascinate newspapers almost as much.

How did Americans and Canadians back then feel about the Romanovs?

Nicholas II and Alexandra (The Pittsburgh Post, 11.26.1905
Nicholas II and Alexandra (The Pittsburgh Post, 11.26.1905)

Most people likely formed their opinions about the Romanovs based on newspaper stories—the main source of news at the time. So a look at how newspapers were portraying the Romanovs can help us understand how they would have been seen by the general public in the U.S. and Canada.

Nicholas was often portrayed by the American and Canadian press as an inept, weak ruler who was easily influenced by those around him. The more negative portrayals showed him as an arrogant, superstitious despot who cared nothing for the people he ruled, overly dependent on his wife and on incompetent advisors. The more positive portrayals, however, often wrote about him as a quiet family man who had the misfortune of being born into a role he wasn’t suited for.

As for his wife, Alexandra, the more flattering depictions portrayed her as an intelligent and spiritually-minded woman who was a loving wife and mother. The negative newspaper accounts tended to show her as a pro-German sympathizer who controlled her husband and was unhealthily obsessed with mysticism. 

As for the children—4 daughters and a son—newspapers paid the most attention to Alexei (Alexis), the long-awaited male heir. Although the royal family tried to keep Alexei’s hemophilia a secret, rumors of the boy’s poor health still made it into the American and Canadian media. This in turn led to articles predicting that Alexei’s likely early death would spell the end for the Romanov dynasty.

Did people know about Rasputin?

Newspaper interpretation of Rasputin and Czar Nicholas II (The Shreveport Times, 08.16.1914)
Rasputin and Nicholas II (The Shreveport Times, 08.16.1914)

Yes. Rasputin was a controversial, scandalous figure, and controversies and scandals have always been popular news items. News about Rasputin seemed to have taken a few years to reach the U.S. and Canada (he joined the Russian court around 1905, yet didn’t begin appearing in Western newspapers until about 1911). But once he became known in North America, he was a figure of fascination, and his mystical power over Alexandra and Nicholas was widely written about both before and after his murder in 1916. 

How much did people in 1918 know about the deaths of the Romanovs?

Not much—at least, not much accurate information. Because so much was kept secret by the Bolsheviks, news of the Romanovs’ deaths left Russia slowly, and the details that were reported were often far from what we now understand to have happened. This lack of concrete news opened the gates for a flood of rumors and unsubstantiated news.

Article incorrectly reports Romanov family is safe (The Morning Leader, 07.29.1918)
Article incorrectly reports Romanov family is safe (The Morning Leader, 07.29.1918)

Most initial reports indicated that while Nicholas had been killed, his family was still alive—which we now know was not true. Another oft-published item from around that time claimed that Alexei had died from exposure a few days after Nicholas’s murder—also incorrect. Fictitious accounts of Nicholas’s execution also circulated widely in newspapers, as did a plethora of tell-all articles of dubious veracity written by people claiming to have been connected to the royal family. To top it off, every few months articles would crop up claiming that there was a chance Nicholas was still alive.

There were so many conflicting accounts about what happened that even when a somewhat accurate account was published, there was no way for newspaper readers to be able to discern that this particular article was any more or less true than the numerous others.

The mystery of what really happened to the Romanovs lasted for decades, until the discovery of their bodies was made public in 1989. Even today, there are still things we don’t know about the Romanovs’ deaths, but one thing’s for certain: We know much, much more than people did in 1918.

Search Newspapers.com for more articles about the Romanovs. And follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more interesting historical content like this!

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5 Tips for Finding an Ancestor with a Common Name in the Newspaper

What do you do when you want to look for your ancestor in the newspaper, but your ancestor has a common name? How do you know if the John Smith you found mentioned in a newspaper article is your John Smith?

This can be a frustrating roadblock to navigate, so to help you in your search, we’ve come up with 5 tips for finding a person with a common name in the papers on Newspapers.com.

1. Use our search filters.

We’ll start with the most obvious tip first: Use the Newspapers.com search filters to narrow down your matches. (Watch this video to learn how to use our filters.)

If you go to our search bar and type John Smith, you’ll get more than 100 million results, which is far too many to go through one by one. So try adding filters in addition to your search terms. For example, if you know John Smith lived in Kansas between 1909 and 1930, add filters for that location and date range. This simple method will help get the number of search results down to a more manageable number.

Search filters on Newspapers.com
Search filters on Newspapers.com

Keep in mind, however, that any time you add filters to a search, you are excluding potential matches. While a newspaper article about your ancestor is most likely to appear in a newspaper from the town he lived in during the time he lived there, if he traveled to a different city to visit a relative, he may also appear in that town’s newspaper. Or he might be mentioned in a newspaper long after his death in an article about one of his descendants.

2. Learn everything you can about your ancestor.

If your ancestor has a common name, the thing that will help you distinguish them in the newspaper is obviously not going to be their name—it’ll be other things about them. So the more you know about your ancestor, the more likely you will be to recognize them when you come across them in a newspaper. Traditional records, such as censuses, vital records, wills, and land records, are a good place to find personal information about your ancestor that you can use in your newspaper search.

Example of a WW2 draft card, which can provide useful information in learning about an individual (via Fold3)
Example of a WW2 draft card, which can provide useful information in learning about an individual (via Fold3)

Details that may help you distinguish your ancestor include when and where they lived (even down to their address, if possible), as well as their spouse’s, parents’, and children’s names. Every detail can help—even their profession, physical description, and the clubs and church they belonged to.

So if your ancestor John Smith lived in a town with another John Smith, you may be able to tell them apart by the details provided in a newspaper article. For instance, if you know your John Smith was a doctor, then an article in the town paper mentioning a “Dr. John Smith” is more likely to be about your ancestor than an article talking about a lawyer named John Smith. Similarly, if you know he was 30 years old in 1912, then you’ll also know that an article from 1912 about a John Smith’s 50th wedding anniversary isn’t going to be about your ancestor.

3. Learn who their family, friends, and neighbors were.

Your ancestor may have had a common name, but there were likely people in their circle who had more distinguishable names. So try searching for your ancestor in conjunction with family, friends, and neighbors who had less common names.

For example, our commonly named John Smith may have married a woman with a more uncommon surname, like Chuba. So if you search for him in conjunction with his in-laws’ surname, you may turn up mentions of him in the newspaper. Similarly, maybe his father or brother had a less common first name than “John,” so if you find their names and his mentioned together in an article, this is a good sign you’ve found whom you’re looking for.

A Smith family photo (Nebraska State Journal, 12.25.1915)
A Smith family photo from a newspaper (Nebraska State Journal, 12.25.1915)

And don’t stop at family members. If you know the name of a family friend or neighbor (things like censuses and city directories can alert you to who lived nearby), you can search for that person in the newspaper and see if your ancestor pops up in conjunction with them. For example, if your John Smith lived next door to a Thomas Bieber for many years, and you find a John Smith mentioned in a newspaper social column about the Bieber’s Christmas party, there’s a good probability that it’s your John Smith.

4. Try searching without a name.

If the person’s name is the problem, try searching without one—or with only part of it. To search without a name, gather all the information possible about the person, like we mentioned in previous tips, and then search using these criteria.

So instead of searching for the name “John Smith,” search for things you know about him. If you know Dr. John Smith lived in Topeka, Kansas, between 1909 and 1930 and was married to a woman with the maiden name Chuba, you could try searching for doctors living in Topeka during that time period who were mentioned in the newspaper in conjunction with the Chuba family.

Example of a Newspapers.com search that doesn't use the individual's full name
Example of a Newspapers.com search that doesn’t use the individual’s full name

This method requires a lot of experimenting with different keywords and testing out different searches, but you never know what you may turn up this way!

5. Pay attention to newspaper patterns.

If you’re confused about which John Smith is which in a town’s newspaper, it would’ve been confusing for people in your ancestor’s day too. So newspapers had to find a method to distinguish people with the same name in their articles. One way they sometimes did this was by including an address in conjunction with a name. But they also differentiated people by styling their names differently.

Newspapers often stuck to naming patterns when mentioning residents so that their readers could know who was being written about. John Smith may have been written about in the newspaper as “John Smith,” “Jno. Smith,” “John A. Smith,” “J. A. Smith,” “Johnny Smith,” “Jack Smith,” “Dr. Smith,” or some other variation. So your ancestor might not be “John Smith” in the newspaper at all—he might be “J. A. Smith,” while the other John Smith in town was written about as “John Smith.”

Of course, newspapers didn’t always stick strictly to naming patterns, but when you are able to find a pattern, it can be a major help in identifying your ancestor. So if you are able find your ancestor mentioned in the newspaper at least once, pay attention to how the paper styled their name!

Good luck!

List of some of the John Smiths in and around Kansas City circa 1888 (via the Kansas City Daily Gazette, 08.11.1888)
List of some of the John Smiths in and around Kansas City circa 1888 (via the Kansas City Daily Gazette, 08.11.1888)

Unfortunately, having an ancestor with a common name often means you have to spend a lot more time combing search results to find them in the newspaper. Sometimes, the best you can do is narrow your search results down to a manageable number, and then go through each result, ruling them out one by one. You may even have to do quite a bit of research into someone who isn’t your ancestor, just so you know for sure that they aren’t the person you’re looking for.

But the time and effort you spend will be well worth it when you do finally find a newspaper mention of your ancestor!

Let us know in the comments if you have any other tips for finding ancestors with common names!

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