Newspapers are an incredible resource for learning details about your ancestors’ lives. Simple searches can yield surprising insights. Expanded searches might result in genealogical breakthroughs. Check out these real-life discoveries from Newspapers.com™.
Mystery Solved: One researcher sought details on an ancestor for months. Anna Miller was orphaned at age four and raised by an aunt. They moved from Pennsylvania to Idaho, but at age 12, Anna disappeared from the records. After an exhaustive search, the family discovered a marriage announcement for Anna. It was published in a Pennsylvania newspaper in 1892 (even though Anna hadn’t lived in Pennsylvania for more than a decade). Anna sent wedding announcements to old friends in Pennsylvania, and the local paper reported the news. The article named her new husband – Fred G. Mock. With that new detail, Anna’s descendants discovered another newspaper in Idaho announcing the “Death of Mrs. F. G. Mock.” The announcement referred to Anna by her husband’s name. Following the trail of clues found in newspapers led to answers in the life of Anna Miller.
Family Reunion Treasure: Talk about striking genealogical gold! The Pierson family from Delaware held a family reunion in 1909. The local paper reported on the reunion and named all 325 attendees, even charting how they were all related!
Newspapers Reveal Ancestor’s Death 2000 Miles from Home: David McKissick from New Alexandria, Pennsylvania, appeared in the 1850 Census as a 20-year-old man. Despite extensive searches, he wasn’t found in any more Pennsylvania records. While searching Newspapers.com™, McKissick’s descendant discovered an article published in the Sacramento Bee in 1876. It said a newly arrived traveler died in a hotel, and when searching his belongings, they discovered a letter to David McKissick from “The Old Home” in New Alexandria. This tip led family members to California probate records, where they found proof that David McKissick was their ancestor. They had no idea David had traveled 2,000 miles from home!
Family Bible Records in the Paper: Wish you could track down the family bible? The Wade family discovered answers to their family history mystery when records from an ancestor’s family bible were published in a 1904 Maryland newspaper. The records dated back to the 1700s and revealed answers to birth dates, death dates, and family marriages.
Breaking Through Brick Walls: Have you hit a brick wall in your genealogy? Your immigrant ancestor may have changed their name after arriving in America. Or, you may want to learn where your immigrant ancestors came from. A search in the newspaper might reveal clues that take you back to the old country. In 1913, the Volturno ocean liner caught fire in the North Atlantic and sank. A young immigrant, Joseph Zelotske, was on board after returning from a visit to his homeland of Croatia. Zelotske survived, and this newspaper clipping provided information, including that his wife and four children remained in the old country. These are priceless details for genealogists.
Making Up For the 1890 Lost Census: The loss of the 1890 Census records in a fire is devastating for family historians. Newspapers can fill in the blanks by providing proof of residence, births, deaths, and other family details. The Gelschlichter family lost three children within three weeks during a diphtheria outbreak in 1892. The children were not recorded in census records, and their birth and death records were not found. With this newspaper article, descendants can learn more about the family.
Newspapers.com™ is a fantastic resource for helping uncover your family’s stories. Tell us about your discoveries in the comments below and make new ones today on Newspapers.com™!