Search Tips: Relax and Read Newspapers

As we begin a new year I thought that the best tip I could give this month is to encourage you to take the time and read through the newspapers your ancestors read. Don't just pull an obituary for a specific ancestor and then move on to the next family history "find."

Instead, relax and give yourself the leisure to browse the paper.

Photo: "Len Ganeway" sculpture by Derek Wernher in
Brookgreen Gardens,South Carolina. Credit: Wikipedia.

As you dig through GenealogyBank and find the obituary or wedding announcement of a relative, take a moment and read through that day's newspaper. Visualize your ancestors' times through the lens of that day's paper. What were the news stories of the day? What were the prices?

What was life like in their town that week?

Stop—and for a moment live life as they lived it.

You have documented your ancestor; now take the time to get to know them.

No other source lets you do that. Newspapers documented every day of our ancestors' lives and the times they lived in.

Relax and take the time to read the paper.