Chicago, Illinois, Newspaper Archives (1835 - 2010)

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Chicago, Illinois, Newspaper Archives

Can you trace your family lineage back to the Windy City?As the leading Midwestern city for industry and manufacturing, Chicago attracted many European immigrants. During the Great Migration, Chicago became a hub for African Americans moving out of the South. Additionally, from 1910-1945 the city saw an influx in Mexican and Puerto Rican immigrants. So, there’s a good chance many of us have an ancestor who spent time in Chicago. In addition to its diverse population, Chicago was and continues to be a cultural and political hub.

Find out if your ancestors lived, worked, and visited Chicago using the genealogy records found in newspaper archives. With old Chicago newspapers dating back to the city’s early years in 1835 to modern day Chicago in 2010, you’ll find all the major historical and daily events in Chicago and nationwide. Our extensive database features Chicago newspaper publications from around the city includes The Drover’s Journal, The Central South Sider, The Chicago Courier, The Chicago Daily Herald, and many more. Discover new stories and significant events regarding your ancestors lives documented in Chicago newspaper archives.

History of Chicago

Originally founded in 1830, Chicago has been a central transportation hub and major city of the Midwest. As the city began to grow, so did its economy. It quickly evolved into a thriving industrial capital with its prime location for trading and exporting. By the late 1840’s, Chicago was even equipped with their very own telegraph and railroad systems.

Tragedy struck Chicago during the Great Fire of 1871. This devastating event left a majority of the population homeless, and a third of their infrastructure in shambles. Even with this setback, the city wasted no time and was able to rebuild from the ground up in record speed. By the end of the 1800’s, Chicago became the main Midwest metropolis.

Immigrants from all of Europe moved to Chicago attracted to the booming city. The first round of immigrants were dominated by German, Irish, and Scandinavians. During the late 1800s to WWI Jews, Czech, Poles, and Italians came over. Then, during the Great Migration many African Americans living in the South moved north to Chicago. Finally, the first half of the 1900s saw the influx of immigrants from Mexico and Puerto Rico. Chicago’s newspapers undoubtedly document the various waves of immigrants and the events that they inspired.

Search our online database of Chicago newspapers archives to trace your family heritage. Whether you have German American, Irish American, or African American roots you may be able to trace your ancestry to Chicago. Start search by name, date, or keyword today!

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