Ancestor Hunting through Newspaper Research

Now that a new year has started, you probably have made and broken several genealogy resolutions.  At this point you may be feeling at a loss as to where to research for more information on your elusive ancestors.

One important avenue for research is newspapers, and not just one newspaper in the local community.   As an example, several years ago I was researching the railway accident that killed my grandfather.  Using (a subscription website), I filled in the date of the accident and the  name of the nearest newspaper in the area of the accident.  There were several articles from two local newspapers.  This was in a small town in Ontario but, to my surprise, there was also an article in an upstate New York newspaper giving details of the accident.   And the moral of that story is to widen your search criteria and to not stop your research with just one newspaper.

If you have an unusual or uncommon surname, searching for one person  by surname only may also provide useful links to other people in your family.

There are several subscription sites for newspaper research, but one free site that has links to several newspapers, both in Canada and the United States is Ancestor Hunter.

Don’t just stop with researching the newspapers.   As is stated on their page, “to research historical newspapers and be successful, it helps to be educated about the characteristics of these important genealogy resources; where to find them, and how to best search for the articles that you are seeking.  You will find the lessons page at

Good luck with your ancestor hunt!