Newspapers contain great material for the genealogist. This NewspaperArchive.com Review will show you what the site has to offer, the tools and features of the site and whether it is right for you or not. I will also give my opinion throughout the review as well.
Unfortunately this site has been labeled as a scam by some from a 3rd party review site. I will mention these claims later in my review.
But let me set your mind at ease by saying this. Whatever site, product or service that you sign up for please make sure what you are entitled to.
With that said there is plenty of genealogical information that you can find on this site. The site can really help you find clues about your ancestry and help you to build your family tree.
|Free||No Free Trial|
|Pages||Tens of Millions|
|Newspapers||Nearly 10,000 newspapers from US, Canada, UK and 25 other countries|
|Help & Support||FAQs, Instructional Videos, Email and Phone Support, Online Form|
|Bottom Line||It’s Not A Scam!|
This site offers tens of millions of pages from nearly 10,000 newspapers worldwide. There are plenty of pages for you to flick through that date from as early as 1607. You can even search through the newspapers right up until the present day.
Although not yet the largest online collection of newspapers it could very well soon be. That is because the site is adding a newspaper page nearly every second.
That’s 80,000+ images added a day, or about 2.5 million pages uploaded every month!
And besides newspapers there is other material on the site that can you can explore. More on that later.
NewspaperArchive has been created for anyone who is interested in their family history. But it can also cater for the genealogist, historian, researcher or teacher as well.
The site has been designed to be comfortable and easy for anyone to use, allowing for fast searching and browsing.
Their Mission and Aim!
With an impressive amount of pages being added every month it is no wonder that they want to be the world’s leading provider of historical newspaper content.
Their focus is on individual people and the events that have impacted their lives, all through the resource of newspapers.
NewspaperArchive.com is committed to providing a high volume of quality content, where you can easily find the information that you are looking for through its high-powered search tools.
They aim to be able to help you find the answers that you are looking for by employing skilled people who strive for excellence.
Importance of newspapers for family history research!
Before I continue I just want to highlight why you should consider using newspapers for your family history research.
Quite frankly newspapers are an excellent source of information for a couple of reasons.
Similar to census records they can give you a snapshot into the life of your ancestor. The information that you can glean from this resource can help you to break down any brick wall that you may have encountered.
Also, you may make discoveries within the pages of a newspaper that may not have been recorded elsewhere. So, it’s definitely well worth checking what newspapers have to offer.
Discussed in this post:
- What Does NewspaperArchive.com Offer?
- How To Search The Newspapers
- 3 Other Cool Features
- This Is A Subscription Site
- Help & Support
- Pros & Cons
- Do I Recommend NewspaperArchive.com?
What Does NewspaperArchive.com Offer?
Although not the largest online collection of historical newspapers, (that title goes to Newspapers.com), this site does offer tens of millions of pages for you to search. There are 2 things benefits to this site that sets itself apart from its nearest competitor.
Firstly, Newspapers.com contains pages from newspapers that date from as early as the 1700s. The bulk of the collection though do date from the late 1800s and onwards.
However, with NewspaperArchive you can find your ancestors from sources as early as 1607, (these are though from other sources).
The second benefit of the site is that you can find other useful sources of information besides newspapers. So, this means that you don’t really need to search elsewhere if you don’t want to.
Sources of information:
- Birth, Marriage, Death Records,
- Divorce Records,
- Arrest Records,
- Murder Cases,
- Old Photographs!
And there is so much more as well!
What to find within the pages
You are probably wondering how can a newspaper article help you with your genealogy research?
And that’s a really good question.
After all you may find an interesting story or event that is covered within the pages of newspaper. But what about the clues that you can find that will help you to solve any obstacles that you may have come across?
Well, you can discover birth, marriage, and obituary announcements that will obviously be of great help to you.
Take for example an obituary which can give you:
- Date of death for your ancestor.
- 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.
There is a lot of information here that you can uncover. And that’s just from an obituary. Can you imagine what other clues that you can find from other sources?
Other kinds of information
Newspapers can offer other kinds of information within their pages as I have just mentioned. So, what other kinds of articles can you get facts about your family history from.
Well they can include:
- Anniversary and divorces announcements
- News about disasters and tragedies
- News about unusual events
- Notices about local events
- Local business news, church & school events
- Ads for businesses
- Legal notices
- Letters to the editor
That is quite an array of different articles that can help you with your research. I must stress that newspapers should therefore not be underestimated.
For example, through researching historical newspapers I was able to discover some facts about my 2nd great-grandfather. I always knew that he was a bit of a character but I did not know that he had a couple altercations with the law.
These were just minor altercations relating to being disorderly due to alcohol. But nonetheless this is a part of my family history that I knew nothing about. And this is all thanks to newspapers.
How To Search The Newspapers
There are a number of ways that you can search for your ancestor. You can start your search straight away from the home page, or use the search options available to you from the menu.
I would suggest that you check to see what you can uncover by searching for your ancestor by name before you conduct any other kind of search.
Credit: NewspaperArchive.com (posted 2 years ago)
Searching for your ancestors by name!
The search box available to is quite simple, you just need to fill in your ancestor’s first and last name. Entering both of these will help limit the number of results presented to you.
You may though decide to see what you can find with regard to a particular event that is significant in your family history. For this you can click on the ‘Keyword‘ tab and enter relevant words for your search.
From this search you either select a name to search for or keyword, not both!
After you have filled in the required information you just click on the green ‘Discover Your Family History‘ button and wait for the results.
If you feel like you can add more information then you can check out the ‘Advanced Search‘ option.
From this expanded box you can enter not only your ancestor’s full name but also keywords that you may feel is relevant to your search. This means that you search for both name and keyword together!
There are even options for you to limit the results by entering the Publication Date and the Publication Location.
I would definitely suggest that you try to enter as much useful information as you can. Obviously you do not want to sift through potentially 100s of pages. Trust me, you would much rather want to limit this down to a handful of results.
So, please make it easier for yourself.
Tips on searching for your ancestors!
Through my own experience of searching for my ancestors I have learned a few tricks along the way. Let me share them with you so that you can get the most from this excellent resource.
- Alternative spellings – If you cannot find your ancestor then try alternative spellings of their name, maybe even their initials.
- Check more than one newspaper – The same story may have been covered by more than one newspaper, so it’s worth checking other papers as well.
- Check a large city newspaper – It maybe the case that a larger newspaper from a city may include more detail than a small town newspaper.
- Try searching for other ancestors – If you are unable to find your ancestor then you can always try to search for their relatives instead. This may help your search.
Browse through the newspapers!
Searching for your ancestor doesn’t always mean searching for them by name. You may wish to instead browse through the newspapers that were local to them instead.
For this option just select ‘Browse‘ from the drop-down menu. This will then open up a new page for you to conduct your search.
So, if you cannot find your ancestor by name, even alternate spellings or through family members then this search is worth checking out.
Please note that the newspapers that are available to you within the U.S. dates from as early as 1736 and are as recent as 2018.
There are other countries besides the United States that you can search through. Although the publications for these other countries is more limited compared to the U.S.
28 countries include:
- New Zealand
- Northern Ireland
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
- United States
- US Virgin Islands
In regard to searching for your U.S. ancestors you can limit your search by State, City, followed by Publication, i.e. the newspaper. After making your selection just click on the ‘Go!‘ button and see what pops up.
If you wish you can even search for your ancestors using an interactive map of the United States, (and the rest of the world). This is done by clicking on the map that appears below the search publication feature.
3 Other Cool Features
Besides searching through the millions of pages that this site has to offer there are 3 other cool features that can help you with your genealogy research.
As I mentioned earlier you can find out a lot of information just by looking at an obituary notice that appeared in your ancestor’s local newspaper.
NewspaperArchive.com makes your search easier by making this a distinctive feature of the site. So, that’s a pretty cool initiative if I must admit.
From this feature you can search for your ancestor by again entering their first and last name. However, to help you further you also have the option of entering a middle name as well.
So, if you do know it then I would suggest that you enter it in order to limit the number of results returned.
You can also limit the number of results further by entering the date range that the announcement may have appeared in the newspaper. This is followed by selecting what Publication the obituary featured in, (if you know it).
Once you are happy that you have entered as much as you possibly can then just click on ‘Search Obituaries‘ and see what follows.
This is a really cool feature as it presents recent clippings that have been taken from newspapers. Rather than viewing an entire page of adverts, stories and announcements you can view single pieces of interest, i.e. clippings.
These clippings have been submitted by other users of the site. Although you may not find what you are looking for there is still a chance that something may appear in the future. So, it’s worth a look.
Also, you can do your part and help others by submitting your own clippings from newspapers.
To begin using this feature you first enter a keyword or name that you feel will help your search. You then select how you want the results to be sorted and select what kind of category that the clipping may be found in.
You may wish to sort the results by either when the clipping was created by other users, or when the individual piece originally appeared in the newspaper.
You can also follow this up by opting whether you want the newest or oldest piece displayed first.
- Clipped Date / Newest first
- Clipped Date / Oldest first
- Paper Date / Newest first
- Paper Date / Oldest first
From the following list you can see that there are many categories for you to choose from, 22 to be exact. Selecting one of these will obviously limit the number of clippings that are returned.
- Other Articles
- Crossword Puzzle
- Obituary/Death Record
- Passenger Lists
3. Family Trees
From this feature you can search and access the family trees that have been submitted by other users of the site. Besides viewing these trees you can also find clippings and articles that have been connected with each family tree member.
Just click on the Family Trees option in the menu of the site.
You can search for this information by entering a person’s first and last name, or by entering a keyword. Then you click on the green ‘Search‘ button. And see what results come up.
The Latest Activity from other users can also be accessed from this section of the site. Just select from any one of the people that are displayed that interests you.
Please note that this strategy is a bit hit-and-miss, but it’s still worth a look regardless.
A third option available to you, (shown in the picture above), is to search for your ancestor by surname, from A-Z. From this feature you will then be given surnames included within the NewspaperArchive’s database. And then you just click on the surname that interests you.
After that then you can pick from A to Z the first name of your ancestor as well. Which obviously helps narrow down your search further.
This is a handy search feature that I quite like because you can see straight away whether your ancestor is included within the site’s database or not.
This Is A Subscription Site!
Well, as you wold quite imagine with this type of site and the information that you get that it won’t be free. Yes, it’s a subscription based site, but that hasn’t stopped more than 7 million users already joining.
Unlike other sites there is only one package available to you when you sign up. You could say that they don’t give you any choice, you just take what you are given.
But on the other hand at least you’re not getting confused between so many options. So, really signing up is a simple process.
- 6 Months – $49.95 (only $8.32)
When you join NewspaperArchive.com you will begin a 6-month premium package. This will give you unlimited access to everything that I have discussed about the site.
You can access millions of pages, obituaries, family trees and more for $49.95 for 6 months. That’s $8.32 per month, which isn’t bad really.
If you aren’t completely satisfied within the 30 days of beginning your membership then you WILL get a full refund. I would suggest canceling 72 hours before.
Signing up is simple!
Signing up to this site is a more simple process compared to other sites. With others that I have reviewed they split the process over 2 pages, but here it’s just the 1 page.
First you will need to fill in your full name, followed by your email address. After that just enter a password that you will use for that site, and enter it again to confirm it.
The second part is then to add your credit card details, yep the usual information.
After that just tick that you have read the Terms and Conditions, and then click on the ‘Start Membership‘ button. You are then on your way.
Free NewspaperArchive.com Access!
OK, I am not going to sugar coat. There is no free access! But in a way there is.
What do I mean by this?
The site does allow you to search the site for free. That’s good because by doing this then you know whether the site is for you.
However, in order to view any records or pages that you are interested in, well you guessed it, you need to pay!
But in a way the 1st month is free!
As I mentioned above if you are not completely satisfied with the site within 30-days then you can get a full refund. So, you can search and access the site for a month completely free.
Although I would cancel at least 3 days before this time is up. This should be sufficient time for your cancellation to be processed.
You may think that this is a sneaky tactic. But at the end of the day if you have utilized the site as much as you can within a month then why continue using it?
So, if this is the route that you want to take then make sure that you have plenty of free time on your hands.
When the 6 months has lapsed you will then automatically be charged for another 6 months after that. So, if you do not want to continue using the site and being charged you will need to cancel it.
To do this you can visit the billing section of your account or contact Customer Service.
And if you think that this is a sneaky practice from them then let me say that all subscription based sites operate this way.
Help & Support
I have already included one video in this review about how to browse and search for information on the site. Currently NewspaperArchive has 6 videos for you to view, (all posted 1 year ago).
- Browse and Search
- Profile Page and Treasure Box
- Saved Search
- About Me
- Become an Editor
- Create an Archive from the viewer
All the above will help you get the most from this historical newspaper archive site. Videos are great as you can soak up the information and see exactly how to use the site. Compared to long-winded text.
In total there are 4 ways for you to get help and support from this site. You can access these methods by clicking on ‘Help‘ at the bottom of the site.
- Frequently Asked Questions – Get help from General Questions, PW Windows Troubleshooting, Mac OS Troubleshooting, My Account Support and My Shopping Cart Support.
- Send us an Email – If you do have a query that you cannot find answered in the FAQ section then you can always email staff for help.
- Take a Tutorial – From here you can access the first 3 videos that I have listed above. To view all 6 please visit the NewspaperArchive YouTube Channel.
- Send us a Letter – If you want the old-fashioned approach then their address details are provided.
Oh, yes and there’s the telephone number provided as well. It’s not listed in this section so go to the sign up page and you will see it there.
There is an online form that you can also use to get support from the staff at NewspaperArchive.com. Just click on the ‘Contact Us‘ option at the base of the site.
From here you just enter your name and email, followed by which country you are from, select a subject for you query and then enter your message. And then send it.
Pros & Cons
✔ Millions of pages available
✔ Over 10,000 different newspapers
✔ Vital records and others available
✔ Newspapers and records from United States, Canada, UK and 25 other countries
✔ Fairly simple and easy to use site
✔ FAQs, Instructional Videos, Email and Phone Support, Online Form
❌ No free trial offered
❌ Plenty of ways to search which can get confusing
❌ Poor customer service
Do I Recommend NewspaperArchive.com?
Newspapers are a great source of information as I mentioned at the start of this review. There are 2 key benefits that you can gain by utilizing this resource.
- Proof a family story – Either prove or disprove a family story that has been down to you. If you do not believe it or are trying to get to truth behind it then why not try to discover it within the pages of a newspaper.
- Discover new stories – Why not find new stories about your family history. There are many accounts of our ancestors that may not have been recorded. So, why not discover them?
Being the family detective it is your job to track down any information that you can find about your ancestors. And this is from any resource that you can find.
Like with any information that you come across there is the potential that what you find might not be what you expected. There may even be a dark side to your ancestors that you did not even know existed.
So, please be mindful of this fact when searching for them through the pages of a historical newspaper.
I don’t want to finish reading this review thinking that it’s the best newspaper resource for you to use. Now, I have given my review of the site and shown you what tools and features that you can expect from it.
But, you would be naive to think that no one has complained about this site. Yes, like other products and services there have been complaints.
So, let me go through them and see what other people have been saying.
These are the 3 main complaints that I have seen for this site. You can read more complaints at SiteJabber.
Difficulty canceling subscription!
Back in June 2014 the company behind this site was under review by the Iowa Attorney General’s Office. Apparently people were being charged an additional charge.
This extra amount was added to the already hefty 1-year subscription. When people signed up back then they were automatically charged a small amount towards a charity.
Also, people did not like the auto-renew ‘tactic’ that was used when you originally sign up to the site. And they found it difficult to cancel their description.
For more information please check out Cedar Rapids company under state review after complaints. I am though pleased to announce that the matter was rectified 2 years later, and the company was ordered to pay $100,000.
Poor customer service!
I have seen plenty of negative reviews for other subscription sites where people have been less than flattering in regard to customer service. This site is no exception.
However, this seems to have been the minority of complaints for other genealogy sites. With NewspaperArchive.com there seems to be a level of rudeness from the staff, which I don’t appreciate.
Being charged after membership ends!
This is another common complaint that I have seen for this site and others. I have already covered this issue in the review and will just give my two cents worth here.
Whenever you do sign up for any service please make sure that you know what you are signing and what you are entitled to. The terms are there.
Just remember that when your 6 months is up then you will automatically be charged for the following 6 months. So, if you do not wish to continue then please cancel at least 3 days before.
Pissed Consumer complaints!
You can find more complaints over at Pissed Consumer. The majority of complaints here are quite similar to what I have found on SiteJabber.
Many people have complaint on this review site of poor customer and the fact that their credit card has been charged. Because of this last fact they have unfortunately been labeled as scammers.
But as I have pointed out before you need to be aware that when your 6 months has lapsed then you will automatically be charged for the next 6 months. If you do not want to continue then please cancel before your membership expires.
But do I recommend NewspaperArchive.com?
Yes, I do recommend NewspaperArchive.com, but please be prepared what you are signing up for. The site can offer you a great deal of information for your genealogy research.
If after signing up you feel that the site is not for you then please cancel your subscription immediately. It is best to call the company so this matter can be handled quickly.
If you decide to subscribe to this newspaper archive then please come back and let me know what you think of it. I would love to hear how it is working for you.
Thank You and Please Leave A Comment
I hope you enjoyed this post giving my NewspaperArchive.com Review and if it is a scam or not. If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below.
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