Using Newspapers for Genealogy Research

Digital Access

ChroniclingAmerica  Collections of newspapers from 1836-1922 that have been digitized. Emphasis is on historical newspapers.  Also includes an index of all published newspapers in the United States from 1690 to the present.

The Ancestor Hunt   Great list of newspapers available in each state.

***Highly recommended***

Iowa Newspapers  Link is from The Ancestor Hunt website.

Historic Iowa Newspapers   (From the University of Northern Iowa Rod Library) Click on Digitized A-Z Cities/Counties tab for a listing of digitized Iowa newspapers.

Google News Archive A wide range of some newspapers but searching is mostly limited to post 1970 newspapers.

WikipediaList of Online Newspapers Enough here for days and weeks of searching!

Historical U.S. News Archives (from the University of Pennsylvania):

Historic Worldwide Newspapers Online (from Bowling Green State University)

Ronny's List of Newspapers   (This is in spreadsheet form and only the first sheet is displayed.  Click the download arrow for the remainder of the list.)

Historic Newspapers Online  (by Miriam J. Robbins)

Cyndi's List Extensive list of resources

Elephind search engine for newspapers. (Not all newspapers are in the database.)

Catalog of Digital Historical Newspapers (NewspaperCat)

Obituary Daily Times Index   (for more recent obituaries)

Directory of State Archives  

Microfilm Access

Check with a library, historical society, or museum close to where your ancestor lived.

Most state archives or historical societies also have microfilmed newspapers. The State Historical Society of Iowa has almost all the early newspapers of Iowa on microfilm.  To search the catalog, click on Library & Special Collections, then Catalog.  Choose Advanced Search and select newspapers for format.  Enter the location in Keyword Anywhere.

A library may also have a collection of obituaries, or at least an index.

You won't know if you don't ask!

Google Search

Use the term newspaper and name of the county and state:

newspaper “Grundy County” “Illinois”

The following are subscription sites:

Newspaper Archive (

Suggested Resources:

Breland, Claudia C. Searching for Your Ancestors in Historic Newspapers.  [CreateSpace, 2014]

Cooke, Lisa Louise. The Genealogist's Google Toolbox, 2nd ed., <>, 2015

Cooke, Lisa Louise. Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast episode 27. <>

Cooke, Lisa Louise. Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast episode 28. <>

Marks, Kenneth R. An Introduction to Researching Historical Newspapers Online. [available through, 2014]

©Story County Genealogical Society