There are many resources available to the family historian. Historical newspapers are just one of them, and here in this Newspapers.com Review I want to show you what they can offer you.
This site does contain an impressive number of pages from newspapers all across the U.S. as well as some countries from around the world.
This site can also link to your Ancestry family tree, if you have one.
There’s plenty that is offered from this site, so please check out my site and see whether it is for you or not.
|Free||7-Day Free Trial|
|Pages||300 Million + pages|
|Newspapers||7,500 newspapers from US, England, Canada, Australia, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Guam, Panama|
|Help & Support||Instructional Videos, Articles, Online Contact Form, Blog, Facebook and Twitter, Phone Support|
|Bottom Line||Best Worldwide Newspapers!|
The world’s largest online repository of historical newspapers, this database contains more than 300 million pages. And there are millions more added each and every month.
The collection centers around 7,500+ newspapers from all across the United States, as well as from Canada and the rest of the world.
The newspapers that you will find on this site date from the 1700s, through the 19th and 20th centuries and right up into the 2000s.
Bought out by Ancestry.com back in late 2012 this site can show you a glimpse into the lives of your ancestors quite unlike vital or census records.
It can reveal events from a different perspective compared to other sources of genealogical information.
I must point out here that the newspapers that you will find on this site are mostly available from the parent website Ancestry, (although some issues and years may differ).
But on the flip side there are some newspapers that you will find on Newspapers.com that do not appear at Ancestry.
Either way you will have to weigh up your options whether you want to sign up to both.
Newspapers.com can help:
- Family Historians
Newspapers can give you a unique snapshot of your ancestor’s life. They can fill in the gaps of your knowledge about them as well give you crucial clues that you can use to research your ancestry.
Another benefit of this resource is that the information that you find in them may not be recorded elsewhere.
So, if you are considering checking out this resource then I highly recommend that you do so.
Discussed in this post:
- What Does Newspapers.com Offer?
- How To Search The Newspapers
- Saving Your Searches
- This Is A Subscription Site
- Help & Support
- Pros & Cons
- Do I Recommend Newspapers.com?
What Does Newspapers.com Offer?
This archive site offers millions of newspaper pages as I have mentioned. These pages can be searched for using either the Search or Browse options using the site’s menu at the top.
The following video will show you how to perform basic searches. It will also give you an introduction to the site and show you how to navigate around it.
I didn’t necessarily want to talk about how to search this website just yet, (that’s covered in the next section). Also, I obviously cannot list the 7,500 newspapers within the collection in this post as well. That’s just crazy!
What I want to do though is to go into a little more detail about why it is important to explore newspapers to discover your ancestry.
Or, rather I should say that newspapers can really benefit your genealogy research. But why?
What to find within the pages
You are probably aware that modern papers include birth, marriage, and obituary announcements. And these notices have been included in this valuable genealogical resource for centuries.
So, it’s not surprising to say that if you find a notice that includes your own ancestors then this can obviously help you fill the gaps in your knowledge about them.
For example, an obituary can show 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.
So, you can see that there is a lot of information that you can use here. That’s if all that information is there, but it is possible to find these clues among this notice.
You just work with what you find. And that is true to say for any kind of announcement.
The 6 Tips for Searching Obituaries on Newspapers.com guide will help you get the most from this particular notice.
Other kinds of information
There are other kinds of information as I have pointed out. Just to note that yes you can find birth, marriage and death records among other resources, but there could be further clues included within newspapers.
But what other clues can you find? I am glad you asked.
- Anniversary and divorces announcements
- News about disasters and tragedies
- News about unusual events
- Notices about local events
- Local news about business, church and school events
- Ads for businesses
- Legal notices
- Letters to the editor
Through historic newspapers I was able to find news about my 2nd great-grandfather’s indiscretions with the law involving alcohol. I knew that he was a bit of a character but I didn’t know anything about these stories.
This was something that wasn’t passed down through the generations so I was glad to discover it through this resource. Which leads me to two point about newspapers.
Firstly, what you may find within the pages may not have been recorded elsewhere, so it’s worth checking. And secondly, it doesn’t have to be good news that you will uncover. So, please be prepared for whatever you find out about your ancestor.
How To Search The Newspapers
There are 3 ways that you can find news about your ancestors. Either you enter their name into the search bar on the home page of the site, or you browse through the newspapers. I will cover these methods here.
Searching for your ancestors by name!
The search box is quite basic I must admit. There is just one space where you enter their name. Usually you will find to spaces where you enter their first name and their last name.
Besides entering their name you could enter a keyword, or both maybe. The point of entering a keyword is in case maybe you are searching for a particular event in the life of your ancestor for example.
Obviously entering their full name, (middle name would help), followed by clicking on the magnifying glass button.
As a note you may want to add a keyword to the name if your ancestor has a fairly common name, (John Smith for example). This will help you limit the responses that you will receive.
You can though limit your responses further by doing an advanced search. This is performed by clicking on the ‘Add more info‘ button
This will bring up two further boxes where you can enter more information. These include entering a place, (country, state, or city), and date, (an exact date or range of dates).
Tips on searching for your ancestors!
Before I go on further with the search feature of the site I just wanted to share with you some tips.
- Alternative spellings – Try alternative spelling if you
cannot find your ancestors. Maybe try entering their initials as
- Check more than one newspaper – Multiple newspapers may have covered the same event so it’s worth checking all occurrences. This is particularly true if there are more details in one than the other.
- Check a large city newspaper – A newspaper from a large city may include more detail than say in a small town paper. Well, it’s worth checking.
- Try searching for other ancestors – If you have an elusive ancestor then try searching for a relative, such as their spouse or child. You may get some luck that way.
Browse through the newspapers!
For the second method you will need to select ‘Browse‘ from the top menu. The newspapers and pages are obviously categorized within the collection of the site. And you can try to find your ancestors by using this method.
Although I must point out that you should try searching for their name as discussed above. But failing that you could just check through the papers until you find them.
To start this feature you will first need to select the country where the newspaper originates. For the above example I have selected ‘United States of America‘.
This is then followed by the state of ‘Alabama‘, the city of ‘Abbeville‘, the newspaper ‘Abbeville Advertiser‘, and then followed by the year, month and date.
What will follow will be images of pages from the newspaper that I have selected. In this example there are 4 pages that have been digitized and uploaded to the site.
If you are presented with countless images then there is an option for you to limit your results further. This is performed by typing in a name or keyword that appears in the search box above.
You do not have to select the date, newspaper or city if you do not know them. I just entered these values to give you an idea of the full extent of the search function.
Check through the papers!
This 3rd option is available to you by selecting ‘Papers‘ from the top menu. Essentially it is pretty much the same as the previous method but is a bit more interactive.
Here you can enter keywords for the newspaper that you are searching for. So, if you know what paper that your ancestor appeared in then this is a good option for you to use.
You can also easily alter the date range from when you think that the article featuring your ancestor may appear. This is performed by moving the blue circles on either end of the graph.
Clicking anywhere on the interactive map below the date range can also limit your responses to your request.
If you know where in the U.S., (or the world for that matter), then this will obviously cut down the results for you to sift through.
Countries included in the search:
- Northern Ireland
Saving Your Searches
When you have found an interesting article featuring your ancestor then you will obviously want to save it. To do this you will need to take a clipping of the article.
This is a much better option for you rather than saving the entire page that features your ancestor. If you saved the entire page then you will needlessly have to scan through the page each time until you find your ancestor.
The clipping feature makes your job much easier.
Rather than go into a lengthy discussion about how to clip and save your finds I thought that I would share with you a helpful post that I have discovered.
Please check out the informative post This Old Newspaper Site Lets You Clip Directly to Your Ancestry Tree featured on the Family History Daily website. Full credit to Melanie Mayo for the post. PS. You will need to scroll down a bit for the clipping example.
From the example that I have referenced you can see that you print the clipping directly or save it to your computer. I always save anything that I find online.
You should always save your sources as this will help your research if you ever need to go back to it in the future.
You can also save what you have clipped to the Clipping section of the site. This is great because you can then quickly scan through all the clippings that you have performed.
And finally, in the above example you can also save your clippings to your Ancestry family tree. This of course depends on whether you are already subscribed to Ancestry.
This Is A Subscription Site!
I am sorry to say that you will need to subscribe to this site in order to search and save your discoveries. But to keep this valuable resource available to the masses of genealogists it’s a necessity that you will need to pay for.
Newspapers.com Membership Explained!
There are two options that you can choose between, the Basic or the Publisher Extra packages. They will depend on how much you are willing to spend, how long you want to subscribe to the site and how many pages that you want available to you.
This package includes 129 million + pages from 7,200+ newspapers that date back to the 1700s. As well, you can clip and share what you find from the pages that are available to you.
- 6 Months – $44.95 (save $2.75)
- Month – $7.95
Newspapers.com Publisher Extra:
This packages includes what you can receive with the Basic option, plus 240 million + more pages.
- 6 Months – $74.90 (save $44.50)
- Month – $19.90
Personally I like that you do have a choice of packages. If you don’t feel that you are going to search the whole collection of pages then you don’t have to go with the Extra package.
You can just stick with the Basic option.
To make your decision between the two packages easier you can view what extra newspapers are included in the Extra package.
Also, you can decide whether you want to go with the Month or 6 Months plan. Some sites that I have reviewed offer an annual
option.It’s good that here you have 6 months as you may find that 12 months is a bit too long a period to be subscribed to the site.
You will obviously need to cancel your subscription before your month or 6 months is up. Otherwise your account will be automatically renewed.
I just thought that I would point that out as I have seen countless complaints about this from Newspapers.com as well as other subscription sites.
Free Newspapers.com Access!
You do not have to pay for searching this site straight away if you don’t want to. And that is why I like that you have a 7-day free trial available to you.
Although I must say that I have seen 14-day free trials available on other sites. So, it would have been nice to see a 2-week period instead.
Please make sure that you do have a full seven days free to fully check out what this site has to offer and whether it is right for you. You do not want to sign up to this site if you cannot fully check it out.
Also, when you sign up for the trial you will need to enter your email address, chosen password as well as credit card details. You can even create an account by signing in with Facebook.
You will also need to choose which package and duration option that you want when your free trial expires.
You may think that this is a sneaky tactic from this site but let me say that I have seen this on countless sites that I have reviewed thus far. It is effectively a way for them to retain you as a customer and to not let you forget about the site.
This trial will give you access to the Publisher Extra package completely free for 7 days. So please free your calendar so you can take full advantage of this offer.
Help & Support
I have already included in this review two short videos that show you what Newspapers.com is all about. From these videos you have seen how to use the site and how to search for your ancestors.
Besides these videos there are other ways that you can get help and support.
You just need to select ‘Help‘ from the menu at the base of the site. This will then open up the Help Center, where the following is provided:
- Get Started – The above video where you are shown how to use the site.
- Subscription options – Showing you the 2 packages that are available where you can easily compare the both of them.
- Account and payment – Get assistance about your account and billing problems that you may experience.
- Something’s not working – Anything other problems that you maybe experience, such as logging, search failures and so on.
There are of course other methods of support that are available to you. Newspapers.com also maintain a blog where you can get useful advice and tips on how to search for your ancestors.
And you can also find Newspapers.com on social media where you can interact with them that way. They are on Facebook and Twitter.
And finally, you can contact them for support by filling in an online form or leaving them a message on the phone number that is provided on the page.
Pros & Cons
✔ Includes 300 million + pages
✔ From 7,500 newspapers
✔ Covers entire United States and some countries from around the world
✔ Find births, marriages, obituaries and other kinds of notices
✔ Monthly or 6-monthly subscription available
✔ Basic or premium packages
❌ Only a 7-day free trial, (not 14 days)
❌ Can get expensive, (but only if you do not find time to research)
Do I Recommend Newspapers.com?
There are a number of benefits of using this site as I have pointed out in this review. Let me though share with you two more.
- Proof a family story – You can use this resource to verify whether a story that has been passed down to you is true or maybe a complete fabrication. Stories can become embellished, so it’s great to find out what has been recorded within the pages of a newspaper.
- Discover new stories – Find clues about your ancestors as well as stories that you may not have heard. For example, the stories about my 2nd great-grandfather’s brush with the law.
As you find information about your ancestors within the pages of a newspaper you can thus verify whether what you have been told is true or not. As the family history detective you need to be on the case and get the facts.
Discovering new stories is also a plus as you may find revelations about your ancestors that you did not even know about. But you will need to be prepared to discover the dark side of your ancestry.
From those two perspectives alone newspapers are definitely a resource worth checking out.
It’s not fair to give you my own opinion about the site and to make you think that this site is for you. You obviously need the opinion of others, other people who have signed up and tried the site.
For that reason I would like to turn your attention to Trust Pilot. Granted though that there are only 6 reviews on this site and they poorly favor Newspapers.com.
But let me just explain the complaints and set your mind at ease.
Pretty much the complaints that I have read on this review site stem from a lack of good customer service and that they are not getting value for money.
To qualm the first complaint it is true to say that some time in our life we will experience poor customer service. I don’t expect that to be the case with the majority of people who have had to interact with Newspapers.com.
Also, their issues may have come down to misunderstanding what was available to them and maybe their attitude when speaking to support for help.
Secondly, the amount of pages available may not have been adequate for some people. It’s all open to interpretation in my mind.
To clarify I would suggest to check out the 7-day free trial. See what this site has to offer you and whether it can help you with your genealogy research.
And please note if you are afraid of being charged then please cancel your trial before the 7 days has expired.
But do I recommend Newspapers.com?
Yes, I definitely do recommend Newspapers.com.
These two points prove how valuable a resource that it can be to discovering your ancestors and telling their story.
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 Newspapers.com Review and showing you what it can offer you for your family history research. If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below.
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