Tips: Travel News and Vacation Plans

Cover photo

People love reading about themselves in the paper. Gossip about others ranks right up there, too. Historically, vacation and travel information were regular features in newspapers around the country, especially in summertime.

Davenport Democrat
Let’s check in on a few of these “personals” columns to get news of vacation plans for residents of communities around the country in decades past. In an August 1890 issue of The Ironwood Times in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, we learn that Florence Bassett returned from her vacation to Minnesota, and Dr. McLeod was heading there for a chicken hunt, after meeting up with his buddies John Ross and attorney George Hayden.

An entire page of The Galveston Daily News in July 1923 was devoted to “The Week’s Society in Various Texas Towns.” In this section, we learn that Dr. and Mrs. Norris and their little son spent a month in California before returning to Madisonville, TX. In the column next to it, we read that several people in Sealy “motored” to their destinations.

If you were picnicking and swimming at Stonewall Sportsman’s Club Lake in Ada, OK, in August 1962 and wondered why the Morgans were driving a blue car, you’ll learn that they had car trouble and had to borrow one. Those were the days when everyone’s business was a community affair.

Davenport Democrat
A hundred years ago, Floridians headed out of state on their vacations. Dr. Liken and his wife left the beach for a sojourn in the mountains before spending several weeks in New York City. Rev. Bowen, while vacationing in Kansas, wrote his wife that he “had really forgotten how disagreeable Kansas weather is” as it was 110 in the shade and dust was flying.

As people traveled a lot, there were obviously others ready to receive visitors. The Kokomo Tribune in Indiana reported on house guests, as well as reunions. Sometimes these help us find family relationships like when Miss Aseneth Hanson visited her sister Mrs. Billy Jackson, in the Oakland neighborhood.

Naturally, Canadians like to vacation, too, so it’s no surprise to find news in The Winnipeg Tribune under “At the Beaches” in August 1922 with a list of 15 families enjoying their summer vacations by the water.

Search for family surnames in locations your ancestors and their cousins may have lived. Add keywords—vacation, visit, guest, travel—if you want to concentrate your search on a particular activity. Or, simply browse the society or community columns for your family’s local paper on Newspapers.com to see what summer adventures they had.

Best Strategies: Clippings

Cover photo

Newspaper clippings are significant in both historical and sentimental ways. If you’ve ever discovered clipped gems in a library file, posted on a bulletin board, folded into a letter, stuck between the pages of a book, or pasted into an album, then you know of their appeal. A clipping directs us to a snippet of valuable news or focuses our attention to a seemingly casual item that must have been important to the person who clipped it in the first place.

On Newspapers.com, clippings are elevated to a digital level. Unlike those in dusty scrapbooks or creased inside yellowing envelopes, the clippings on Newspapers.com maintain their quality, are more discoverable, and easier to share with others. We can clip to our heart’s content without worrying about losing a scrap of paper or watching important words smudge and fade over time.

The Clippings link is readily accessible at the top of every page. Click on it to view your clippings as well as those of others. Browse through recently clipped items for an intriguing glimpse at what others find interesting in the online newspapers. Of course, creating your own clippings is a lot of fun, too.

Anytime you come across an article you’d like to save or share, reach for your virtual scissors by choosing “Clip” at the top of the viewer window. Drag the edges of the box that appears around the item of interest, add a description if you wish, and your clipping will be saved in “Your Clippings” for you to find again. You can share your clip through a variety of options to the right under “Share this clip.” Choose to send the link to another, embed it in a webpage, or share it with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Newsprint clippings of the past often show up without a paper’s name or publication date. With Newspapers.com that’s no longer a problem as each clipping is saved with the publication’s title and date permanently attached. If you choose to print a clipping, that important information is printed as well.

A clipping can be an article, search, page, newspaper, or another member’s profile. It’s a great way to save things you like, share interesting stories you find, and stay up to date on things that interest you.

Clippings are so ubiquitous, it’s easy to find references to “newspaper clippings” spanning decades and regions by searching on Newspapers.com. Here are some links to clippings about, well … clippings! This Staff Reporter feels a bit like her mother, sending these clippings to you, our readers. But, we’ve all been on the sending or receiving end at some point in our lives, right? Enjoy!

Finding Your Place

We had a great time talking to people about the site at the RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City last month. We got to meet people, show them the site and to get their feedback and suggestions.

For most of the people that I spoke to, the first question they had was, “What do you have for [fill in the location]?” People had a place, and often a time period, they were interested in and wanted to know if we had newspapers that could help them.

There are a few different ways to see what we have on the site and each has its benefits.  At the top of each page of the site you’ll find links to “Browse” and “Papers”, both of which will show you what we have for a particular area.

Browse
The Browse page let’s you start with a country, narrow to state, city and then date. It gives you a quick sense for what is available by location and is particularly helpful if you are interested in papers from a certain city.

Browse Newspapers.com

The Papers Page
The Papers page lists all the papers we have alphabetically by title, but you can use the map on the left side of the page to narrow the list and just show papers from a give state. You can even add a date range to further narrow your list. Then you can search within just those papers or click on an individual paper to learn more about what we have for that paper.
Papers Page

In addition to the US papers we have, you’ll find a few from England and Canada if you click on “World” above the map.

State Pages
Recently we’ve been working on a new set of pages that we hope will help showcase what we have for each state. We’re still trying to get them right, but you can have a look at them and let us know what you think.
State Page

Here are the states we currently have papers for with links to their pages:

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin

So, for now we’re missing HawaiiVermont and Wyoming, but we’re working hard to get some good papers for those states.

We also have pages for a couple of non-US locations: Canada and England.

We’re adding millions of pages to the site each month, so if you don’t see what you are looking for today, don’t forget to check back later and be sure to let us know if there is a paper or a location you are interested in.

Strategies for Searching on Newspapers.com

Cover photo

Searching for names and keywords in newspapers can be challenging, especially when you’re looking for someone whose name is the same as a prolific noun or verb in the English language. Surnames like Rose, Wells, Fudge, and Burns are tricky to separate from their everyday usage when you’re looking for people, not words, in newspaper articles.

Understanding the quirks of how typed text is indexed through Optical Character Recognition (OCR)*, may help you in your searches on Newspapers.com. You’ll soon develop unique strategies for getting the results you want.

Whether you search directly from the search box on the homepage or click the “Search” link at the top of most pages, adding fields for dates and a location will narrow your search results. You can also make use of quotation marks to keep two or more words next to each other in the results. For example, a search for Henry Fudge brings 65,731 matches, while “Henry Fudge” yields 37. Results for Rose Allen exceed 1.5 million, while “Rose Allen” provides a much more manageable 1,770 matches.

An 18-year-old Pennsylvania socialite named Rose Allen made headline news across the nation in 1931-32 when her brother allegedly murdered her sweetheart. If the Rose Allen we seek is a different woman, we’ll want to narrow our search by time period and place to filter out all the results that pop up from the brother’s murder trial and Rose’s testimony. Use the date and location filters on the left of the search results page, add an additional search term outside of the quotation marks (try a profession, relative’s name, or event title), or even confine your search to a specific newspaper under “Narrow by Newspapers.” Reducing the matches and further adjusting your search filters will ultimately lead you to the news you’re looking for if it’s available.

Once you create a specific search sequence that works for you, save it as a clipping by clicking the “Clip” link on the upper right. As more papers are added to Newspapers.com, you can return and easily perform the same search again using those clipped search parameters.

* Visit the Help Center on Newspapers.com. Under Newspapers.com Basics, OCR is explained as: All the pages on Newspapers.com have been indexed using Optical Character Recognition (OCR). This means that a computer has tried to identify the words on each page and produce a digital version to search. When the image is clean and in good condition, this process is very accurate and can make searching papers easy. For older papers or other papers where the image is less clear, the OCR processing may miss important words or read them incorrectly.