Thursday, July 7, 2011

New finds in historical newspapers

I've been having a good time recently with my subscription to GenealogyBank has a large set of historical newspapers covering many areas of the United States starting in 1690. I recently discovered they have the Pawtucket Times, which was the local paper that covered the news in the part of Rhode Island where my father's family is from. Almost all of my father's ancestors lived in Central Falls and Valley Falls, Providence County, Rhode Island since the early 1800s (and probably longer). Valley Falls is a village in the Town of Cumberland and the city of Central Falls borders it. Pawtucket is the next city south.

GenealogyBank's collection of the Pawtucket Times covers the period of 1898 - 1921, during the time my paternal g-grandparents were all living in the area. I have found all kinds of gems in the paper, including some obituaries. I also found alot of information about the social and fraternal organizations my ancestors belonged to and who they entertained at socials and parties. Wedding notices often listed the names of  family members and attendants and described the bride's and bridesmaid's attire. Notices of probate, land sales, and regular news articles about some of my ancestors were also there.These articles ranged from a burglary at a store that an ancestor owned ( I hadn't previously known he was a store-owner) to a sensational account of my great-great-great-grandmother's testimony at a poisoning trial. I will incorporate all these findings into future blog posts.

For those of you planning on doing GenalogyBank searches - I did find that I had to search on last name only to get the most 'hits'. Including the first name in most searches meant that many articles were missed.

If you can find historical newspapers that cover the area where your ancestor lived, this site is a great resource for adding details to a family history, as well as yielding clues about names and dates for searching out records about our ancestors.


  1. Welcome to the Geneabloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories" and family sagas
    and "Back to the Homeplace" and "The Homeplace Revisited"

  2. Welcome to Geneabloggers. I love GenealogyBank too - check out my blog at for a few posts using news articles I found there.


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