When it comes to family history I’ve always known that newspapers can be a gold mine of information. Especially obituaries, anytime I found an obituary I would pour over every detail.
But living in Alberta, Canada there weren’t that many Canadian newspapers online especially not Alberta newspapers. So getting into those newspapers would entail a trip to the Provincial Archives of Alberta to go through their film collection. This would mean viewing reel after reel of
Recently I became aware that Newspapers.com had added to their Canadian collection. In fact, they now have 60 Canadian newspapers that you can view. So this past week I signed up for a free trial and I can tell you I’m not disappointed. (I’m now a full blown member.)
Before I get started with my finds let me tell you that Newspapers.com has over 11,200 newspapers from 1700 to 2000’s. They have newspapers from the U.S., Canada, Australia, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Panama.
On the home page there is a tutorial video that explains how to search. But searching is easy and I’m a fly by the seat of my pants type of girl so I just jump in and search. You can do a general search of your family names and then refine your search by newspaper, location and date. It even keeps track of the things you’ve search already.
When I searched I just put in my mom’s maiden name; Middlebrough and then I refined by Canada and The Edmonton Journal. I got 123 search results. I could then sort the results from oldest to newest which ended up being 1917 to 2009. Some of the articles I found were things I’d already found but even then it was a find because the copies I could clip were much better than the ones I’d taken at the Alberta Archives. Not that their films weren’t good but more so because of me not taking a good copy.
The bonus is that there are finds that I would never know about and wouldn’t have had a date to search.
When you click on each of the items in your search you are taken to the exact spot on the newspaper page and in my case, the surnames were highlighted in yellow. If I decided I wanted to keep a copy I could add it to my ancestry account or I could clip it, print it or save it. I could also share it on Facebook or Twitter or I could email it. It also saves your clippings to a clip tab so you can go back and find something.
So what did I find in my search of the Middlebrough family? I found that my grandfather; Francis Middlebrough and his sisters were “Caught on Camera” April 7, 1923 (Edmonton Journal)
I found wedding and death announcements. Some I had before some I didn’t. When I did a search of the Beaton family I found out that they even announced divorces in the paper back then.
I found out that my great-grandparents Francis and Ellen Middlebrough were talented and performed in many plays and sang at various events. (C.J. Hall is their son-in-law). Edmonton Journal April
And I found out my uncle was selling a tape recorder on June 21, 1955.
I still haven’t gotten through all the Middlebrough finds and there are so many other searches I can think of. Best of all is that I don’t have to know a specific event I just have to search and I can find so many treasures.
What would you find about your family if you searched the newspapers?
Note: that the above article contains affiliate links.
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Note: The post above contains affiliate links. This means I make a percentage on sales via these links. This does not INCREASE the price you pay as a consumer. It’s simply a supplement to my income so I can continue to support The DNA Angel Project and to make donations to the Alzheimer’s’ Society