Ruth's Genealogy

“I don't know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.” -Abraham Lincoln

This Genealogy On A Budget series presents links to free online genealogy databases, software and other items.

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Newspapers can play an important part in genealogical research, either directly (such as marriage announcements and obituaries) or indirectly (natural disasters, celebrations, wars, cost of living, local celebrities- all manner of lifetime events.)

Where can you find the actual newspaper pages, not transcriptions or quotes?

ChroniclingAmericaSearch America’s historic newspaper pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.

As of today, Chronicling America contains 1469 newspapers for a total of 8,115,024 pages, from almost every state and the District of Columbia, and in 7 languages.

As an example of how valuable this database can be, I know next-to-nothing about my second great-grandfather, Joseph Rogers. What I do know is that his son, Charles Arthur Rogers, my great-grandfather, was born at Grassy Lick, near Mt Sterling, Kentucky in 1870. Joseph apparently died when Charles was a child. I know only his name, as it was given on Charles’ SS5, Application For Social Security Card from 1937. I have no census sheet, no land record, no probate document… nothing but that SS5.

But what I do have… is access to the Mt Sterling Advocate, published in Mt Sterling, Kentucky from 1890 to the present day. Chronicling America has issues from 1891 thru 1922. Now that’s a lot of pages to go through. The site does have OCR search capability, but as some of the newspapers are not in the best condition, that ability is somewhat limited. So I have been trying to examine each page for any mention of my 2GGF or his family.

A big job, but given the lack of other source data, it is at this time my best hope for finding my second great-grandfather!

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