Sunday, April 28, 2024

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: The Best Newspaper Article You've Found for Your Family History

I love newspaper research, so this week's challenge from Randy Seaver for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun should be right up my alley.

Come on, everybody, join in and accept the mission and execute it with precision.

1.  What newspaper article is the best one you've found to help you with your family history?  Tell us about it:  where you found it, and what you learned from it.

2.  Tell us about your best newspaper article find in a comment on this post or in a Facebook post.  Please leave a link on this post if you write your own post.

Because I love newspaper research so much, I am constantly searching databases for family names, and as a result I have all sorts of articles about family members.  But I can't say that any of them has particularly helped with my family history.  I learn cool little tidbits of information, but I can't recall solving any significant mysteries or resolving any major questions with them.

I did answer a question the other way around, though.

Many years ago, when was still a pay site and had a lot more content (including older issues, and newspapers from not-so-small towns), I had access to it at some point, so I poked around and searched for various family names.  One article I discovered was in a DeFuniak Springs, Florida newspaper (which might have been the Herald or the Breeze, but I don't remember).  The article mentioned a display of antique carpenter's tools in the local library that had been provided by my paternal grandfather, B. L. Sellers, who lived in Niceville.

I printed out a copy (well before the days when I routinely saved electronic files, sadly) and remember thinking that I had never known my grandfather to collect carpenter's tools.  I wondered what had generated his interest in them.

Only a few months ago I was looking through a stack of papers that my grandfather saved from when he worked as a civilian at Fort Dix, New Jersey (he saved everything!) and learned that one of his early jobs there was as a carpenter.  So the newspaper article created the question for me, and other documents answered that question.

Another cool newspaper find was from the 1978 Playground Daily News (now the Northwest Floriday Daily News), the newspaper that covers a lot of the Florida Panhandle communities.  I lived in that area for six years.  I didn't find this myself; my father's sister was volunteering at the Historical Society Museum in Valparaiso and made the discovery.  She was sorting through a newspaper clippings file and found a photo of me at the museum, so she made a photocopy and mailed it to me.  During the summers, the museum used to offer craft classes, which I think were free.  So I have a photo of me learning traditional Indian pine needle basket weaving.  And I still have the little basket that I made in that class.

me, in a very 1970's polyester shirt
(which I actually remember!)

So no great revelations, but fun stuff nonetheless!


  1. Two fun finds, for sure. And, who DIDN'T wear polyester in the 1970s? Awful stuff!

    1. I hope your polyester wasn't permanently commemorated in a newspaper photograph!

  2. What a great photo of you! I never wore 100% polyester. I hated the feel.

    1. Thank you! I don't remember liking the feel of polyester, but it was way cheaper than cotton and more readily available at Salvation Army.

  3. What a great photo! I have a love-hate relationship with newspaper access. If one is already paying for something like, say, Ancestry, which is not inexpensive, being asked to cough up another $$$ for access to US Newspapers can strain the budget. Not to mention that some of the sites that won't let you do deep research without paying them for the privilege (which sometimes includes being able to modify your own info!) I do understand that these are all companies that need to stay in business. :) Happily, I've been able to find a lot of info about my family directly from the internet, which includes stuff I never knew about!

  4. Thank you! I definitely understand about paying for subscriptions. I try to leverage mine as economically as possible.


All comments on this blog will be previewed by the author to prevent spammers and unkind visitors to the site. The blog is open to everyone, particularly those interested in family history and genealogy.