Newspaper archives are a goldmine of information that can help you immensely with your family history research. And that is where Genealogy Bank comes into its own. This valuable resource contains 95% of newspapers printed within the United States. But how can this site help you? Well, read on and I will explain!
Genealogy Bank Details:
|Subscription||Annual – $5.83 per month (billed in one payment of $69.95)
Monthly – $19.95 per month (billed separately $234.90)
30-Day Trial – $9.95
|Records||2 billion genealogy records|
|Collections||Newspaper Archives, Newspaper Obituaries, Social Security Death Index, Government Publications, and Historical Books|
|Help & Support||Online FAQ, email and telephone support, and webinars|
|Where to buy||Genealogy Bank|
Genealogy Bank was founded back in 2006 and is a great resource for the beginner as well as the more advanced researcher. Today the site contains well over 2 billion digitized records from newspapers all across the United States.
These records are an excellent primary resource for the family historian. They will provide you with a snapshot of a moment in the life of your ancestor.
And it is quite possible that what you will discover may not have been recorded elsewhere!
Through my experience tracing my family history I have learned that every resource is valuable in the pursuit of discovering who my ancestors were. And newspaper archives are no exception.
So I do urge you to consider this research when you too are tracing your family history.
Topics discussed in this post:
- What Does Genealogy Bank Have To Offer?
- How To Search Genealogy Bank!
- Genealogy Bank Is A Subscription Site
- Help and support
- Pros and cons of Genealogy Bank
- Do I recommend Genealogy Bank?
What Does Genealogy Bank Offer?
Genealogy is all about finding the details about our ancestors lives and plugging that data into our ever-growing family tree. Genealogy Bank contains billions of births, marriages and engagement notices that will help you to fill in those blanks in your tree.
Credit: Genealogy Bank
And there are even obituaries and death announcements that can help you further. In fact Genealogy Bank is the world’s largest obituary collection that you will find online with 250 million obituaries recorded with their collection. That’s a lot of people.
Believe it or not but you can find out a lot about your ancestors through these particular records
What you will uncover through obituaries and death announcements:
- Date of your ancestor’s death.
- Name, location and year of their birth.
- Names of their children, where they lived and also their position in the family’s birth order.
- Name of the towns that they lived in and also the duration as well.
- Age of their spouse at time of death and when that was.
- Details about the longevity of parents and grandparents.
- Name of the cemetery, date and the place of the funeral and burial.
If you have already begun your family history journey then you will know just how valuable birth, marriage and death records can be. And having that resource available to you through newspaper records can give you those details.
They can also give you information that you may not be able to glean from official records. So it is worth checking out what they have to offer.
But Genealogy Bank do have other records that can benefit your family history research.
Genealogy records that you will discover in newspapers include:
- Birth announcements,
- Engagements and marriages,
- Anniversary and divorces,
- Legal notices,
- Family reunions,
- Military records
- Passenger lists,
- Photographs and images,
- Shipping and shipping records,
- Community news articles, and much, much more
Coverage of newspaper records!
Within the collection of newspapers you will find over 7,000 different newspaper titles that have been in print in all 50 states. They also contain over 2 billion names.
Genealogy Bank boasts that they contain 95% of newspapers that are exclusive just to this site. So there is a very good chance that you will discover more about your ancestry through this valuable resource.
Not only do they have newspaper archives but also historical documents, books and other publications as well that can help you with your family history research.
Historical documents include:
- Casualty lists
- Land grants
- Military records
- Orphan petitions
- Revolutionary and Civil War pension requests
- Widow’s claims
The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) can also be found at Genealogy Bank. This index is a collection over 94 million death records covering the United Stated.
The information you will find here be your ancestor’s name, their birth date, death date and locations. All very useful details that you can use to build your family tree. And also help you to break down any brick walls in your research that you may have encountered.
How To Search Genealogy Bank!
With Genealogy Bank you will easily be able to search for your ancestors and discover facts and stories about their lives. Not only that but you will also be able to share what you find with your family.
Credit: Genealogy Bank
Searching for your ancestors by name!
To begin your search you will first need to enter your ancestor’s first and last name. Obviously entering both of these details will help you to narrow down your search for your ancestor.
Although if they had a very common name, (John Smith for example), then it may take you a while to sift through the search results.
You can though narrow down your search even more by using some handy filters that Genealogy Bank offers.
- Name – Besides entering your ancestor’s first and last name but you can also select the option “Exact Name Search” to make sure that results will feature the name that you have entered.
- Keyword – You can enter keywords that you want to search for, but also keywords that you do not want to feature in your search results.
- Date – The start and end date for your search.
- Location – The town or city and state where you want to concentrate your search.
- Newspaper – The title of the newspaper that you want to search.
Tips on searching for your ancestors!
- Alternative spellings – Your ancestor may not have appeared with their correct name, so try alternative spelling if you cannot find them. Also you may wish to try entering their initials as well.
- Check more than one newspaper – You may discover through your search that your ancestor may appear in more than one newspaper for the same event. Checking other sources may prove valuable as they may give you more detail about the account/event.
- Check a large city newspaper – If your ancestor lived in a small town then chances are that they may not have had their own local newspaper. You may want to thus check the newspaper records of a large city nearby.
- Try searching for other ancestors – If you cannot find your ancestor then try a relative instead. You could search for a brother or sister, an aunt or uncle, or even maybe an in-law. This method may also help you to find that elusive ancestor.
Searching for your ancestors by collection or state!
The method highlighted above will bring up a multitude of different records containing your ancestor. You may though only be interested in finding an obituary record for your ancestor and nothing else.
And that is possible by checking out the following collections:
- Newspaper Archives – 1690-2016
- Newspaper Obituaries – 1690-Today
- Social Security Death Index – 1937-2014
- Government Publications – 1789-1994
- Historical Books – 1749-1900
A further method that you may want to use is to search for your ancestor by state. You can then click on a city for that state to limit your search even further.
Discovering your ancestors!
Through the searching and filtering process you will be able to track down the key events in the life of your ancestors. Events such as their birth, marriage and even their death. But of course there will be other pieces of your ancestor’s lives that you will uncover.
When you have hit the search button you will be presented with a number of results. Each of these results will show you a snippet of the digitized record along with a few details.
These details will include:
- Date of the article.
- Location of the event.
- Newspaper that features the event.
Sharing what you discover about your ancestors!
The great thing that I really like about this website is that not only can you easily search for your ancestors but you can also easily share what you find.
First click on a record that interests you. You will then be able to take a snippet of the record that features your ancestor.
Once you have done that you just need to enter a few details. These include the title and year of the newspaper, followed by a brief description of the record.
And that is it. You then just need to save it. Your snippet of the record will then be saved to your own personal folder.
To share you just download those snippets and then email or message them to your relatives.
You can also organize your finds, create to do lists, track your recent activity, and more!
Genealogy Bank Is A Subscription Site!
Although you may be excited to learn about this genealogy resource and you are itching to use it I must point out that you will have to subscribe to the site in order to view the collection.
Despite that fact you will find an incredible amount of information here that will surely benefit your genealogy research. They will help you to prove a family story that may have been passed down the generations or you may read a story that you have never heard before.
GenealogyBank Membership Explained!
There are two options that are available to you if you decide to join Genealogy Bank. Either you join up on a monthly package or an annual one.
- Annual – $5.83 per month (billed in one payment of $69.95)
- Monthly – $19.95 per month
The Annual subscription is obviously the best deal for you as if you were to pay monthly for an entire year then this would cost you a staggering $234.90.
But you don’t have to jump in straight away. There is a 30-day trial that you can take advantage of for just $9.95. Choosing this option is great as you will still get unlimited access to all the newspapers on this site for a month.
You will need to select either an annual or monthly package even if you buy the 30-day trial.
Once you have selected your membership the second step to take is to fill in your details. You will need to enter first and last name and your email address. Adding your phone number is optional.
The third step to take is then to fill in your billing address followed by your payment details. When you have entered all of that information you can then access the newspapers immediately.
Help and Support!
Genealogy Bank have provided on their site a very useful Frequently Asked Questions which will help you with any of your queries. Once you get to this section of the site just find the category that best fits your query.
FAQ section includes:
- Getting Started – Includes help on how to search for your ancestor and how to get results.
- Find Better Matches – How to limit your results in order to find what you are looking for.
- Useful Tips
- Searching by Collection – How to search the different collections that are featured on the site.
- Advanced Techniques – How to use the other filters of the search function.
- How to Search for Specific People – Covers what you need to enter in order for you to find your ancestor.
- Technical Questions – What happens if you stumble upon an error.
- Security – Information as to the security of the system and your details.
- Account and Billing Questions – What you need to do to set up, renew or cancel your subscription, as well as other account queries that you may have.
If the FAQ section cannot help you with your question then you can easily contact Genealogy Bank via email or telephone. There are even addresses listed where you can mail your questions if you prefer.
A Learning Section is also provided which provides practical webinars, a blog featuring expert tips, articles written by Genealogy Bank and help from a seasoned genealogist.
There is even a free e-book that you can download which helps you get started. Included in this e-book is a blank family tree chart and family group sheet. You will also be shown how you can fill in the chart and sheet.
You can even get search tips, exclusive offers and other helpful information through the publication of a newsletter. All of which is sent conveniently to your email inbox. And it is entirely free!
Pros and Cons of Genealogy Bank
✔ Contains billions of digitized newspaper articles
✔ Over 7,000 newspaper titles from all 50 states
✔ Dates from as early as 1690 right up to modern day
✔ Find births, marriages, engagements and obituaries
✔ Choose monthly or annual subscription
✔ Check it out on a 30-day trial
❌ Can be expensive to research your family tree
❌ Limited to the United States
Do I Recommend Genealogy Bank?
I have already discussed a number of reasons why newspaper archives are a great way to research your family history. Let’s look at them again shall we?
- Proof a family story – A family story that has been passed down through the generations can be verified by a newspaper article. Often a story may become embellished over time but an article that has been written at the time may be a true account of what happened.
- Discover new stories – You will discover a new side of your ancestors that you didn’t know even existed. Case in point with my family story where I discovered that my 2nd great grandfather liked his drink. And because of this he had a few encounters with the law.
The first point is great because it can proof one way or another the validity of a story. After all you are the family history investigator and it is your job to get to the bottom of things and find the truth.
The second point shows just how much newspaper archives can help you in discovering your family tree. Not only that but newspaper archives may be the only account for an event in the life of your ancestors.
So it is definitely worth checking out what you can find from this valuable resource.
But do I recommend Genealogy Bank?
Yes I definitely do recommend this site. These two points proof how valuable a resource that it can be to discovering your ancestors and telling their story.
Thank You and Please Leave A Comment
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