Old newspapers give us a glimpse into the everyday lives of our ancestors. Not to mention that it’s a lot of fun to browse through them.
In years past, newspapers printed the same kinds of news that we find in today’s papers. The volume of information was, as today, dependent on the location and size of the paper’s circulation base. They covered local, national and international politics, business, events, and sports. There were legal notices and accounts of court proceedings.
Social events were described in flowery language.
There were commercial ads and classified ads.
There were human interest articles and stories.
What were the local issues of the day? What was happening that affected your ancestors? Were streets being paved? Street car tracks being laid? Land being annexed to the city? What kinds of entertainment were available?
History books tell of significant events, but newspapers tell us about everyday life.
Here are some online sources for historic newspapers
Chronicling America - FREE
This is a collaboration between the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Newspapers.com – Subscription
Genealogy Bank - Subscription