Find your ancestors in old US newspapers and rediscover stories lost to history using the new OldNews USA app
Revgenea Software LLC announces the availability of OldNews USA, a free Android app for finding interesting stories in online historical newspapers. Designed for both genealogists and history enthusiasts, OldNews USA is the easiest way to search the Chronicling America collection of historical newspapers, provided by the US Library of Congress.
“Old newspaper stories can really make your family history research come alive with details that can’t be found elsewhere” said Bill Nelson, the founder of Revgenea. “If your family tree consists of little more than names and dates, you need to try searching old newspapers. You’ll be amazed at the stories that have been lost to history that you can rediscover.”
OldNews USA makes getting started with newspaper research quick and easy. You first define a goal that identifies what you want to find, including a date range and a geographic location. OldNews uses the goal data to instantly suggest a list of newspaper titles that were published closest to your goal’s location, and with issues within the date range of your goal. You don’t need to be an expert in geography to find the local newspapers that are the most likely to contain stories about your family.
“I created OldNews USA because I found searching online newspapers using a web browser difficult. I was constantly re-entering similar search parameters, waiting for page images to reload as I zoomed in to see the keyword matches, and wondering if I remembered to look at all of the matches.”, said Bill.
OldNews USA leverages the power of your mobile device to solve these problems while enabling you to take your research with you wherever you go, without your laptop. The app provides full-featured search capability and automatically saves each search, letting you easily select and modify a previous search as you narrow in on your research goal. OldNews also displays a text preview of search results, which means you may find what you are looking for before you download a page. Finally, you can review all keyword matches on a page by simply tapping the page. OldNews will automatically zoom in to display a highlighted term. You can continue reviewing all other matches by tapping, and OldNews will let you know when you have reviewed all matches. “It is hard to believe until you try it, but the tap-to-review feature makes researching on your phone easier than your laptop or desktop with a large monitor.”, Nelson said.
Another feature not found on the Chronicling America website is a Google Map view that shows where each newspaper was published. You can explore the map to discover newspaper titles published in a geographic area, but the real power of the location information built into the OldNews USA app is location-based research suggestions.
“When I first started looking for articles about my New Hampshire ancestors using Chronicling America, I thought I wouldn’t find anything since the collection does not currently have any newspapers published in NewHampshire. But when I defined my research goal in OldNews and selected my ancestor’s home town, the app immediately gave me a list of suggested newspaper titles to search in Vermont.”, Nelson explained.
Genealogists and historians will love the advanced research features in OldNews USA that will improve the quality of your research while letting you spend more time making discoveries and less time documenting your research. You can automatically create a research log that tracks everything you researched, helping you to prevent repeating the same searches multiple times. Also, every time you save an newspaper page or clipping, the app will automatically generate a source citation for the article, both as a separate text file and embedded within the image of a clipping.
As an avid genealogist with over 20 years of family history research experience, Nelson understands the importance of good research habits, and the amount of effort required to properly document research. “It takes a lot of discipline and effort to create research logs and proper source citations. I know how important it is to properly document research, and realize how easy it is to skip these steps when you are having fun making new discoveries. I want genealogy to be fun, and use technology to automate the important steps that aren’t much fun. That is why I started Revgenea Software. I want to build research apps that automate best research practices while letting you focus on discovering your family’s story.”
OldNews USA is available on the Google Play store.