Santa Claus in the 1930 census
Legacy update now available - 6 December 2006, Version

A new approach for newspaper research

If you have an old obituary that has been cut out of the newspaper, and the date and title of the newspaper no longer accompany it, you may have felt a sense of frustration. The line that reads "...he died last Thursday..." is exciting because you have an idea of when he died, but without the context of having the complete page of the newspaper, "last Thursday" could be somewhat meaningless.

Today's technology solves these dateless obituary problems. Take this for example:


This is a clipping that we've had in our family records for years. Nobody knows where it came from, let alone the date and place it was published.

Then we used GenealogyBank's new newspaper service and located the original in seconds! We entered the name of the person, and a couple of other unique words from the obituary, and clicked on the search button. GenealogyBank then searched over 1,300 historical U.S. newspapers and found 1 result that matched perfectly.

We now had the date (October 20, 1896) and the name of the newspaper (Charlotte Observer).

Historical U.S. newspapers is not all that GenealogyBank offers. You can also search digitized images of modern obituaries, historical books/documents, and even the Social Security Death Index:

Historical Newspapers, 1690 to 1977—articles, obituaries, marriage notices, birth announcements and other items from over 500,000 issues of more than 1,300 titles; updated monthly

America's Obituaries, 1977 to the Present—over 22 million modern obituaries from more than 800 newspaper titles across all 50 states; updated daily

Historical Books, 1652 to 1900—the complete text of over 17,000 genealogies, biographies, funeral sermons, local histories and more from books, pamphlets and other printed items; updated monthly

Historical Documents, 1789 to 1980—government and military records, casualty lists, widows' claims, pension requests and other items from the complete American State Papers and over 81,000 selected reports (more than 40%) from the U.S. Congressional Serial Set (1817-1904); updated monthly, with plans to complete content through 1930 by December 2007 and through 1980 by 2009

Social Security Death Index, 1937 to the Present—over 78 million unique records with enhanced data (including exact age and city, county and state information), which genealogists can easily copy and save to their files; updated weekly

Special pricing for December 2006 has just announced special pricing for the month of December. If you sign up now, you can save 66% per month with a yearly subscription. It's worth looking into if newspaper research is on your To Do List.

Visit and enter the promotion code of "Legacy" without the quotes.


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Articles like this are fine for the USA but but totally pointless for (most) UK residents. How about creating a Legacy News for USA/non-USA readers?

Andrew, I understand your viewpoint. However, the methodology taught in this article can be applied to any number of digital newspaper databases, not just the one that was mentioned.

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