Newspaper Archives

Newspapers are a phenomenal source of information.  Just because you think your ancestor wasn't anybody famous, don't let that stop you from doing a search.  Birth, graduation, engagement, marriage announcements - they can provide names, dates, places that various family members are living, etc.  Obituaries are a huge source of information normally, and the most common form of "social publication".

If your ancestor lived in a small town with a newspaper (trust me, 90% of them did at one point or another), that newspaper may have had a "Local" column which will tell you who came to visit, who got a new job, where they went on vacation, etc.  Use that information to figure out what your ancestor did for a living, the names of their children, when they moved from one town to another, etc.

Finally, you never know when your ancestor could pop up in some big stories.  I have one person whose family I was looking that everyone thought was boring and staid... and within a week I had discovered dozens of newspaper articles about the family - from epic fights to running for mayor.

  1. Paper of Record   $$$
  2.   $$$
  3. Genealogy Bank   $$$

North American
  1. Google Newspaper Archives
  2. Fulton History - Newspaper Archives   Promoted as "Old New York State Historical Newspapers", but I frequently find articles regarding both Canada and the US on this valuable site.

  1. Welsh Newspapers On-Line   free newspaper archives