If you are new to historical newspaper research, getting started can be very frustrating. When I first started, I didn’t really know where to begin. I spent some time watching YouTube videos, then I went to the Chronicling America website to look for digitized newspapers in New Hampshire, which is where my Nelson ancestors lived during the late 1800s. There were no digitized newspapers from New Hampshire available on the Chronicling America site.
Next, I tried searching “All States” for my great-grandfather Joseph Nelson. The search returned 8872 matching pages, and none of the first 20 pages were from newspapers in New England. I then went to the Advanced Search page and searched for the phrase “Joseph Nelson”. This reduced the number of matches to 2183, but once again, the newspapers shown as the most relevant were from Utah, Arizona, and Idaho. I looked at a few pages with no luck, and decided I had better learn how to use all of the advanced search features before I wasted more time.
I also wanted to try searching a specific newspaper, so I decided to look for newspapers published in the neighboring states of Maine and Vermont. Chronicling America has no digitized papers from Maine, and around 60 newspaper titles from Vermont. Which of these 60 papers to try? I was not that familiar with the towns in Vermont, so I went down the list trying to figure out which newspaper was published closest to my great grandfather’s home town of Stratford NH.
Why is this so hard?
Let OldNews USA Help
Getting started with historical newspaper research doesn’t need to be difficult. Using the OldNews USA app, you start by telling the app what you are looking for by creating a Goal. Your Goal defines the who, when, and where you want to search. It takes less than 1 minute to create a Goal. If you have previously found your ancestor in a US Census record, you have everything you need to create a Goal.
Once you create your Goal, OldNews USA uses your Goal and the app’s built-in newspaper database to create specific newspaper suggestions, as well as automatically created search suggestions that you can try without entering any data. The app does the hard work of finding the closest newspaper published to your Goal’s location, and the search examples help you learn how to use the advanced search features.
Try OldNews USA
For a complete click-by-click walkthrough of OldNews USA, check out the slide presentation at the top of this post. Using OldNews USA, you will get started in less time and with less frustration. Try OldNews USA for free today, and start discovering your family history in old newspapers.