How To Research Around the 1890 Census Record Loss – Part 6: Newspapers
The loss of the 1890 U.S. Census is a stumbling block for many genealogy researchers. “Losing” our ancestor in 1890 is the cause of many brick walls, but we do have research options to overcome these brick walls.
Devon Lee from the Family History Fanatics and I have teamed up once again to bring you an 8-part video series focusing on how to research around the 1890 census loss. We want to take the overwhelm out of researching your ancestors during the 1890 US Census Loss time period. And yes, we will have fun along the way!!
Sometimes newspapers get a bad rap, but Devon is talking about how to newspapers to research our ancestors in this 6th video of this 8-part genealogy video series.
Fake news today. Yellow Journalism in the 1890s. Scandal Sheets in the 1800s. Newspapers get a bad wrap, but they are wonderful resources for finding your ancestors, especially in the void Lisa and I affectionately call the 1890 Black Hole.
Read All About It In The Newspaper!
The newspaper was a big deal for our ancestors and being in the newspaper was, too.
The first thing you might think of to be found in the newspaper are:
- Birth announcements
- Engagement / Wedding Announcements
- Death / Funeral Announcements
But if you stop there, you’re missing out on same AWESOME discoveries. I know, because I did this until I started tracking down my Grannie’s biological grandmother. The things I found when I looked harder, helped me tremendously!
News Item One: Society News
The society news items were the Social Media of the past. The Society bites would detail who was visiting from out of town, who left town to visit relatives or travel, who had been ill, who had recovered, and oh so much more!!!
Use the Society News Section to find those extended family members your family interacted with during the 1880 – 1900 time period. Perhaps you’ll find that your ancestor moved away for a time period. And you thought they never moved around!
News Item Two: Legal Notices
If you think society news is great, you will love the legal notices. Some notices are applications for marriage licenses. Not the same as wedding announcements, but oh so important. (You might find a previous engagement that didn’t pan out, or maybe it did?)
You can find out who sued whom in business and personal matters. And you can get confused too. When you find these cases and a case number (as many newspapers included), you know a trip to the courthouse is in your future.
You can learn about folks who filed for divorce, had their estate probated, who took out a mortgage, or whose estates was sold off in a sheriff’s sale. Oh the things you can find in legal notices.
News Item Three: News Features
Some of our ancestors were involved in town stories. Sometimes they are cool… like my great grandfather who was stabbed during the apprehension of a robber. He survived, but I learned he had a nickname. I always thought he used the name Richard.
You can learn about the political and social involvement your ancestor was in the town.
And you can also find the black sheep stories.
HOW DO YOU FIND NEWSPAPERS:
There are numerous sites for finding newspapers:
- Ancestry.com has a small but searchable collection as part of it’s membership
- FindMyPast and MyHeritage have newspapers
- The Library of Congress has newspapers in the Chronicling America site
- And there are services like Newspapers.com and GenealogyBank.
- Some state archives, like the Ohio History Connection, have newspapers online.
Your best bet for finding newspapers is to do a google search for the state / county / city you’re researching and see what comes up. That’s how we’ve found newspaper collections for California, Utah, and New York, to name a few.
Read All About It In The Newspapers!
Did you miss the previous videos on the 8-part series?
- Video 1 – 1890 Census Fragments
- Video 2 – State Census Records
- Video 3 – City Directories
- Video 4 – Life Events
- Video 5 – Taxes
In the next and 7th video in our series we will talk about land records.
You might also be interested in:
- How To Perform Your Genealogy Searches More Successfully
- 15 Places to Find the Genealogy Records You Need
- How To Research Ancestors in a Location You Cannot Visit
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