New Michigan Paper!

Do you have ancestors from Michigan or an interest in Michigan history? We’ve added the Homer Index to our archives of Michigan papers bringing the total number of digitized Michigan papers to 93! Homer is about 30 miles southeast of Battle Creek, and the Index covers news in Calhoun and Hillsdale counties.

The Index is a weekly that has been in publication since 1872 when the first issue promised an independent paper that would “further the interests of the community.” The Index reported on Homer pioneers that settled this Michigan township established in 1862. 

The Homer Index May 31, 1876

In 1876, the Index reported on the Centennial International Exhibition. It was the first World’s Fair held on the nation’s 100th birthday in Philadelphia. Some Homer locals traveled to attend the Exhibition and described pavilions filled with wonders like machines to wash clothing and dishes. The Declaration of Independence was transported back to Independence Hall for the event, and many of the nearly 10 million visitors got to see it.

In the late 1800s, the Index reported on a bird problem. Flocks of English sparrows had arrived in town, damaging crops, eating all the chicken feed, and chasing away other songbirds. The birds were introduced to the United States in the mid-1800s to eat harmful insects. They multiplied and were quickly spreading across the continent. Michigan enacted laws to get rid of the birds. Killing sparrows became a pastime for many young boys in Homer. They could bring sparrow heads to the county clerk and receive a bounty for each one. The Index reported on payouts for young men like James Lane, who brought the heads of 1200 sparrows to the clerk’s office in 1900, and received $24 (the equivalent of $750 today)!

The Homer Index September 3, 1890

In December 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and America entered WWII. A few weeks later, Homer residents learned that one of their own died in the attack. Over the next several years, many soldiers from Homer and surrounding towns stepped up to serve. The Index published their letters home and reported on additional local casualties.

You’ll find lighter topics covered in the Index over the years. For instance, this 1951 front-page story complaining about a driver’s poor parking skills made us giggle. But you’ll also find sweet stories of neighbors helping neighbors. In 1976, a group of farmers set aside their chores to help an Eckford neighbor during a time of crisis. Carl Harris was at the hospital with his seriously ill son, but it was time to plow his 350-acre farm. Several dozen local farmers showed up to get the job done. After they finished at the Harris farm, they moved to another farm and did the same thing.

If you have ancestors from Homer, or surrounding areas like Clarendon, Albion, and Tekonsha, search the pages of the Index for things like obituaries and local news. Start searching the Index today on Newspapers.com!

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Search the World’s Largest Archive of Historical Wedding Announcements

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the first phase of our Newspapers.com Marriage Index collection. The Marriage Index collection is a searchable archive of more than 50 million U.S. wedding announcements! We’ve teamed up with Ancestry® to train machine learning algorithms to scour more than 600 million pages of digitized newspapers to extract wedding announcements.

Wedding announcements often contain detailed genealogical information, including the names of family members, biographical details, addresses, and more. These key details can break down genealogical brick walls and open up new research avenues.

How Does it Work?

Using OCR (optical character recognition), we’ve converted our archive of newspapers into machine-readable text. We’ve trained computers to identify keywords often associated with wedding announcements. The computer then draws a text box around that announcement. If you hover over the announcement and then click on the text box, you will see a dialogue box pop up. It has the information we’ve indexed. That indexed information is searchable in our Marriage Index. Occasionally you might notice an incorrect date or misspelled names. This is a result of the OCR conversion process. You can correct the facts by clicking on “Add alternate info” within the dialogue box. Your updates will then become searchable for other users. You then have the option to electronically clip the announcement and save it or attach it to your Ancestry® tree.

The first phase of this release contains information from more than 200 million records from over 50 million lists and wedding announcements from the United States dating from 1800-1999.

  • List marriage announcements were usually a weekly list of couples that had applied for a marriage license that week. The lists usually contained the names of the bride and groom only. See an example of a list announcement here.
  • Non-list marriage announcements might contain detailed information about the bride and groom, photographs, addresses, the names of relatives, the wedding officiant, and wedding guests. See an example of a non-list announcement here.

You will soon see wedding announcement hints to your Ancestry® tree. These hints can lead to personal discoveries and genealogical breakthroughs! We will continue to update this index with additional wedding announcements and international wedding announcements in the future. Start searching our Marriage Index collection today on Newspapers.com.

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New Papers from the Cornhusker State!

If you have ancestors from Nebraska or an interest in the history of Nebraska, we are excited to share our big news. We’ve recently added more than four million new pages to our Nebraska archives, for a total of almost nine million pages of content from 1,616 papers – and there’s more to come! We have partnered with History Nebraska, a state agency tasked with preserving the history of Nebraska, to make this important archive easily accessible for all. Many of these papers are short-run titles from small towns, and they contain a goldmine of information!  

Our papers in this archive date back to 1854, more than a decade before Nebraska achieved statehood. As the American frontier expanded westward, settlers moved to, and through, Nebraska. Emigrant trails, including the Mormon Trail and the Oregon Trail, opened up the Western United States to settlement. Chimney Rock became a prominent landmark mentioned in many journals as travelers crossed the plains.

In 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act, bringing a wave of settlers to Nebraska. The first homestead claim was filed in Nebraska in 1863. That claimant, Daniel Freeman, became the sheriff of Gage County, and his original homestead became Nebraska’s first National Park, and later Homestead National Monument.

The farmland of Nebraska proved rich, and farmers successfully grew healthy crops including fields of corn. That corn was the inspiration for the University of Nebraska’s mascot, the Cornhuskers. A sportswriter from the Nebraska State Journal coined the term in 1899, and the school officially adopted it the following year.

The pages of these papers contain fun Nebraska trivia. For example, did you know that SPAM was invented in Nebraska in 1937? Hormel created a spiced canned ham product and then sponsored a contest to come up with a catchy name. The winning entry was SPAM – short for spiced ham. The meat became a favorite of soldiers during WWII because of its indefinite shelf life. Another nostalgic American favorite, Kool-Aid, was invented in Hastings in 1927 and is the official state soft drink.

You’ll also learn about famous Nebraskans like legendary dancer Fred Astaire. He was born Frederick Austerlitz in Omaha in 1899. As a child, Astaire performed in a vaudeville act along with his sister Adele. Their popularity grew, and by 1908, the Austerlitz siblings were performing on tour. Other famous Nebraskans include Johnny Carson and President Gerald Ford.

Though it’s fun to search for famous Nebraskans, we know that it pales in comparison to finding the names of your ancestors. When searching for your family, check the social news, obituaries, wedding announcements, and birth announcements.

Start searching our expanded Nebraska archives today. We are adding new Nebraska content each day, so check back often to see the latest additions on New spapers.com!

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How YOU Can Make a Difference in Holocaust Research!

History Unfolded

Looking for an easy way to make a big difference? Newspapers.com invites you to participate in the History Unfolded project run by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum!

What is History Unfolded?

History Unfolded is a project that seeks to expand our knowledge of how American newspapers reported on Nazi persecution during the 1930s and ’40s so we can better understand what Americans knew about the Holocaust as it was happening.

To help achieve this, the History Unfolded project asks people like you to search local newspapers from the 1930s and ’40s for Holocaust-related news and opinions and then submit them online to the museum.

How Are the Articles Used?

The newspaper articles you submit will be used to help support the museum’s current initiative on Americans and the Holocaust. Material from History Unfolded has been included in the “Americans and the Holocaust” exhibition at the museum, a companion online exhibition, a traveling version of the exhibition, and lesson materials.

The articles will also be made available to scholars, historians, and the public.

Who Can Contribute?

Everyone! History buffs, students, teachers . . . All you need is an interest in the Holocaust and access to a newspaper from the 1930s or ’40s, either online (using Newspapers.com, for example) or through a physical archive, such as a library. Simply create an account with History Unfolded, and away you go!

How Do I Contribute?

History Unfolded has created a list of more than 40 Holocaust-related events to focus on. Choose one of these events to research, then search for content related to that topic in an American newspaper of your choice from the 1930s or ’40s.

After you find an article related to one of the events, submit it online to the museum through the project’s website.

Can I See an Example?

Curious to see an example before you get started?

Of the many topics on History Unfolded that you can help research, some explore different aspects of the massive 1938-1941 European refugee crisis (topics such as “Evian Conference Offers Neither Help, Nor Haven” and “Jewish Refugees Desperately Seek Safe Harbor,” for instance).

As Jews and others sought safety from Nazi persecution and violence, some of these refugees fled (or tried to flee) to the United States. But restrictive immigration laws—combined with isolationism, xenophobia, racism, and antisemitism exacerbated by the Great Depression—meant refugees faced a complicated response in America.

How did American newspapers cover the country’s multi-faceted reaction to European refugees? Here are just a few examples that citizen historians like you have discovered and submitted to History Unfolded:  

These newspaper discoveries have helped shed light on this significant era of our history. What might you uncover on these or other topics with a little digging?

Newspapers.com & History Unfolded

You can contribute to this important project whether or not you use Newspapers.com to do so. But using Newspapers.com makes it even easier to submit the articles you find.

Simply use Newspapers.com to create a clipping of an article you’ve found, then submit that clipping through the submission form on the History Unfolded website. The submission form has a special tool created specifically for Newspapers.com users that makes submitting your clipping a snap.

Your assistance with this project will help shape our understanding of the Holocaust and the lessons it holds for us today.

For more information on how to get involved, visit the History Unfolded website. Or use this link to contact History Unfolded with any questions.

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New Papers From South Carolina!

Do you have ancestors from Sumter, South Carolina, or an interest in the history of South Carolina? We’re happy to announce that we’ve added The Sumter Item and The Watchman and Southron to our archives, with issues dating back to 1881. The Watchman and Southron was a weekly (later a semiweekly) paper that was published through 1930 when it was absorbed by the Sumter Daily Item, which in turn became The Sumter Item.

The city and county of Sumter are named after Gen. Thomas Sumter, a Revolutionary War hero. South Carolina history is also closely tied to Civil War history. It was the first state to secede from the Union in 1860 and the state where the first shots of the Civil War were fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor in April 1861. It’s also the place where some of the last shots of the Civil War took place. The Battle of Dingle’s Mill was a Civil War skirmish that took place when Potter’s raiders confronted Confederate forces on April 9, 1865, in Sumter County. This fighting is especially noteworthy because the Civil War officially ended the same day, but the word of the Confederate surrender had not yet reached Sumter where fighting continued until April 25th.

The Sumter Item is the oldest continuously family-owned paper in South Carolina, and one of the oldest in the country. It has been run by the Osteen family for five generations and was started by patriarch Hubert Graham Osteen. The Osteen family has chronicled the changing news in Sumter over the decades.

When the first automobiles arrived in Sumter in the early 1900s, The Sumter Item reported on several attempts by residents to climb the courthouse steps in their new automobiles. After several accidents, city leaders realized that they needed to enact safety measures and speed limits.

Prohibition took effect in Sumter in 1916 (four years before Congress mandated Prohibition nationally). Despite impassioned arguments against the use of alcohol, some Sumter residents operated underground, producing liquor despite the constant threat of police raids.

In April 1924, a tornado with a path 135 miles long struck Sumter causing multiple casualties. The tornado destroyed buildings, burying people in rubble and carving a path that resembled “a forest after an artillery barrage.” 

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, The Sumter Item published a special edition announcing the attack. In the following days, Sumter was on a high state of alert. Soldiers stood guard over public buildings and a Sumter bridge. The Item kept residents informed about local soldiers serving in the war.

If you have ancestors from Sumter, search the pages of this archive for things like death notices or wedding announcements. The society columns are another place to search for colorful details about your family. Start searching the pages of The Watchman and Southron and The Sumter Item today on Newspapers.com!

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New Papers from the Pine Tree State!

If you have ancestors from Maine or an interest in the history of Maine, we are pleased to announce that we’ve added The Bangor Daily News, the Bangor Daily Whig and Courier, and The Weekly to our archives! In 1900, the Bangor Daily News merged with the Bangor Whig and Courier and we have both archives with papers dating back to 1832!

Maine is the “Pine Tree State” and these newspapers chronicle how the lumber industry played a part in the growth and prosperity of the city. Bangor lies along the Penobscot River and logs harvested from the Maine North Woods could be floated downstream to the city’s sawmills. By the 1860s, Bangor was home to the world’s largest lumber port. All that lumber also provided materials for the growing shipbuilding industry, which thrived in Bangor. 

During the Civil War, the 2nd Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment was the first to march out of Maine in 1861. They fought in the First Battle of Bull Run. Bangor residents felt the acute impact of war. The 1st Maine Heavy Artillery Regiment that mustered out of Bangor lost more men than any other Union regiment in the War with 683 deaths.

Bangor Daily Whig and Courier: May 14, 1861

The war left some children orphaned and the Bangor Children’s Home was established. The orphanage started in 1839 as the Bangor Females Orphan Asylum, but after the war, it was re-purposed to admit boys with a new and larger building dedicated in 1869.

On April 30, 1911, a fire started in a hay shed and spread throughout Bangor. The Great Fire of 1911 claimed the high school, banks, the post office, Custom House, churches, nearly a hundred businesses, and close to 300 homes.

The Bangor Daily News: May 1, 1911

The library, which was also destroyed, held books that contained historical records and genealogies of early Bangor residents. The press that produced the Bangor Daily News did not burn, but the building was without electricity. Nonetheless, the editors printed a paper just hours after the fire, setting it all by hand.

In December 1962, Bangor was hit with a huge snowstorm that dumped 37 inches. Howling winds caused snowdrifts 20 feet tall! For the first time in its 130-year history, the Bangor Daily News was unable to deliver a paper on December 31, 1962.

If you are searching for ancestors from Bangor, search for obituaries and marriage or birth announcements. Family reunion notices also provide a wealth of genealogical information. Start searching The Bangor Daily News, the Bangor Daily Whig and Courier, and The Weekly today on Newspapers.com

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New Papers from Miami and Raleigh!

Our archives are expanding again! We’ve added new newspapers from Miami, Florida, and Raleigh, North Carolina, bringing wonderful new content from the Southern United States.

The Miami Herald – September 20, 1926

The Miami Herald: In 1891, a woman named Julia Tuttle left Cleveland after the death of her husband. She purchased 640 acres in what is present-day downtown Miami and persuaded a railroad magnate to extend the rail lines south to Miami. Miami was incorporated in 1896, with a population of just over 300, and The Miami Herald began publication in 1910. Initially published six times a week, it became a daily in 1913. Our digital archives date back to 1911 and chronicle the growth of southern Florida.  

In 1926, an intense hurricane brought death and destruction to Miami. For days leading up to the Miami Hurricane, meteorologists warned that a storm was brewing, but didn’t think it would make landfall. The first storm warnings were issued on September 18, 1926. The Miami Herald was unable to publish a paper on the 19th, but on September 20th, the Palm Beach Post allowed the Miami Herald use of its publishing facilities and the paper reported that Miami suffered “the worst disaster in its history” with more than 10,000 homes damaged or destroyed. The famous Art Deco District sprung up during the era of post-hurricane re-development.

In 1959 Fidel Castro rose to power and hundreds of thousands of Cubans emigrated to Miami. The Spanish-speaking population burgeoned and in 1975, the Herald created a Spanish insert called El Miami Herald. It featured Spanish translations of the stories in the Herald. Pleased with the success, the paper decided to launch a separate Spanish newspaper and in 1987, El Nuevo Herald began publication.

Search the pages of Herald for news on Miami residents, obituaries, marriage and divorce news, birth announcements, and more. Stories like anniversary announcements can also contain a wealth of genealogical information.

The News and Observer: Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina and the progressive, Pulitzer Prize-winning News and Observer has played an influential role in the history of the city and state, particularly in terms of political issues. Our archives date back to 1880, about the time that then-Governor Thomas J. Jarvis used the pages of the paper to advocate for the building of a proper Governor’s Mansion to conduct state business. The public agreed and construction began. Jarvis’s predecessor, Governor Daniel G. Fowle, was the first to occupy the mansion, though it was short-lived when he died unexpectedly just months later.

The News and Observer – June 1, 1890

In 1884, a group of young men, all under the age of 30, established a group called the Watauga Club. They promoted educational, agricultural, and industrial development in the state. In 1887, the club was the driving force behind a new college in Raleigh. Construction got underway, and in October 1889, North Carolina State University opened as the College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts. The college aimed to provide an education for the children of farmers, mechanics, and other workers.

The News and Observer – December 23, 1887

The Observer supported women suffrage and reported on the efforts of the suffrage movement under leader Cornelia Petty Jerman. Jerman was at the forefront of the movement in North Carolina and was the first woman to serve as a delegate to the Democratic State Convention. At the time of her death in 1946, the News and Observer called her the “State’s First Woman.”

The News and Observer is a wonderful resource if you have ancestors from North Carolina. Search for your family in articles like family reunion notices, society pages, and marriage announcements. Start searching the pages of The Miami Herald and The News and Observer today on Newspapers.com.

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New Papers from Fort Worth, Texas!

If you have ancestors from Texas or an interest in the Old West, we are pleased to announce that we’ve once again partnered with McClatchy, the second-largest local news company in the U.S., to add the Fort Worth Star-Telegram to our archives. Included in this collection are other historic Fort Worth papers including the Fort Worth Record-Telegram 1912-1931; the Fort Worth Record and Register 1897-1912; and the Daily Fort Worth Standard 1876-1877.  The Fort Worth Star-Telegram was founded in 1909 when the Fort Worth Star merged with the Fort Worth Telegram. This archive has chronicled the growth of Fort Worth for nearly 150 years!

At a time when the American frontier expanded westward, settlers moved into the Fort Worth area in the 1840s. They met with local Native American chiefs and established a treaty where Native Americans would remain west of a line drawn through present-day Fort Worth. The line would mark, “Where the West Begins” – Fort Worth’s famous slogan that is still found on the masthead of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram today.

The front page of The Fort Worth Telegram chronicles devastation after the 1908 Messina earthquake and tsunami

In 1849, construction began on a fort, one in a line of military outposts meant to establish control over North Texas and protect settlers from Native American attacks. The fort was named after Maj. Gen. Williams Jenkins Worth and soon a small community of civilians sprang up in the area.

Daily Fort Worth Standard – May 12, 1877

Ranching has long played a part in the history of Fort Worth and ranchers herded millions of cattle along the Chisholm Trail. Our newspaper archive dates back to 1876, the year the first railroad came to town and helped establish Fort Worth as a center of the cattle trade.  

Fort Worth Star-Telegram – February 8, 1920

With all the cattle being driven through Fort Worth, the meatpacking industry developed in the late 1800s, bringing jobs in packing houses. The Texas oil boom brought additional growth to Fort Worth. In 1917, workers drilling for oil in Ranger, Texas, hit a gusher. More oil nearby discoveries followed, and Fort Worth’s strategic location meant that speculators, promoters, and interested parties set up offices in the Westbrook Hotel lobby bringing throngs of people to the city. Advertisements selling oil leases filled the pages of the Star-Telegram as many sought their fortune.

In the early days of radio, the Star-Telegram’s founding publisher, Amon G. Carter, started an experimental radio station WBAP. A ringing cowbell signaled listeners that their program was about to start. That cowbell was the first audible logo broadcast over the radio. The station broadcast livestock reports, rodeos, and even church services. In 1948, the Star-Telegram expanded its reach again and established the first television station in the southern half of the United States.  

Fort Worth Star-Telegram – December 24, 1922

In 1982, in a time before readers consumed information online, the Star-Telegram pioneered another way to deliver news when they began StarText. StarText was a subscription service that delivered the latest news, stock quotes, and classified ads 24 hours a day via home computer and modem.

If you are researching your ancestors from Fort Worth, there are countless stories about challenges faced by early settlers in Texas. Severe weather, snake bites, heat and humidity, and life in the wild west where six-shooters ruled were just a few. Be sure to search for birth announcements, wedding announcements, death notices, news about family reunions, and more. Start searching the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Newspapers.com today!

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New California Paper!

Sacramento is the capital city of California and we’re happy to announce that we’re adding The Sacramento Bee to our archives. The Bee is the longest-running newspaper in Sacramento’s history and the flagship paper of McClatchy, the second-largest local news company in the U.S. James McClatchy was an Irish immigrant and young journalist when the lure of the California Gold Rush brought him West. He became the second editor of The Bee, taking over just days after the paper began publication in 1857.

California was part of Mexican territory until the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo annexed California as part of the United States. In 1848, when gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill, about 45 miles outside of Sacramento, thousands converged in the area. Many of them passed through Sacramento and the city experienced tremendous growth.

When The Bee began publishing in 1857, McClatchy aimed to provide an independent newspaper that championed the interests of the people. The paper recorded the growth of this area, including celebrating the starting point for the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1863.

When a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit San Francisco in 1906, residents of Sacramento felt the shaking and observed the dome of the Capitol building sway back and forth. The front page of The Bee contained numerous updates throughout the morning as the extent of the damage became more clear.

April 18, 1906

During the Great Depression, high unemployment rates resulted in a rising rate of homelessness in the city. Some destitute families banded together and formed tent cities called Hoovervilles, named after President Hoover, whom they blamed for their economic situation. Although not officially recognized, these shantytowns located along the Sacramento River were overseen by elected officials and city charters. The cities, however, lacked systems for waste removal and officials found residents living in squalor and ordered them closed. Though evicted, some continued to camp out along the river throughout the 1930s.

Residents of Hooverville Seek Food – October 7, 1931

The Sacramento Valley’s fertile soil brought many farm workers to the area. In 1965, Filipino American grape workers organized a strike to protest poor pay and working conditions. The protestors joined forces with Latino farm workers led by Cesar Chavez. Together they walked 300 miles to Sacramento to raise awareness and pressure growers into changes. The two groups formed the United Farm Workers. Their strike lasted five years but eventually led to growers agreeing to better pay and working conditions for all farm workers.

If you have ancestors from the Sacramento area, The Bee is a great place to search for things like obituaries, birth announcements, wedding announcements, and death notices. The social pages also tracked news from communities like Napa and Chico. Start searching The Sacramento Bee archives today on Newspapers.com!

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New Paper from Illinois!

We are pleased to announce that we’ve added the Breese Journal to our archives! Breese, Illinois, is located in Clinton County in South Central Illinois. We have issues dating back to 1923 when Breese had a population of around 2,000. The headlines back then announced the installation of the town’s first stop signs and plans to build a sewer system (although according to this clipping outhouses were still around for another 35 years!)

Breese Families Without Food During the Depression

The city of Breese was founded in 1855 and settled in part by German immigrants who were drawn to the area’s fertile farmland. It was named after Sidney Breese, a senator and contemporary to Abraham Lincoln. The city is located about 40 miles from downtown St. Louis, so if you have ancestors from Eastern Missouri you might find them mentioned in this paper.

During the Depression, Breese established a Mayor’s Relief Committee to provide food and clothing for the town’s unemployed. Several years later, in 1940, as the world became embroiled in war, Clinton County resident William August Klasing enlisted in the US Navy. He was serving on the USS Oklahoma when Pearl Harbor was bombed, becoming Clinton County’s first casualty of war. Using DNA, last year his remains were identified and returned home after 78 years.  

The Breese Journal is a wonderful resource for researching ancestors that lived in the area. This clipping shows all the births and deaths in Breese during 1930! The paper reported when residents spent time in the hospital or made a visit to grandma, and notable events like when the Westermann family purchased a new Studebaker. Each page provides a historical snapshot of the time.

Many of the area’s residents worked in the railroad and mining industry. You can learn about Breese’s first coal mine that opened in the 1800s, and mining tragedies such as the East Mine accident in 1906.

The Breese Journal includes news from nearby communities including Staunton, Trenton, Aviston, Germantown, Beckemeyer, Carlyle, and others.

Start searching the pages of the Breese Journal today on Newspapers.com!

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