FFHS - supporting family historians for over 40 years

Millions of Free Newspapers

Newspaper cutting

Historical newspapers can unlock a wealth of newsworthy events in our family history. Accidents, court cases, property transactions, births, marriages and deaths are only a few of the topics that journalists focus on.

If any of your ancestors or relatives lived in North America, it is worth visiting these two websites, which contain digitised images of a total of more than 38,000,000 newspaper pages:

  • Old Fulton NY Post Cards – Despite its name, also includes over 29 million newspaper pages from the USA and Canada published between 1795 and 2007. Many, but by no means all, come from journals published in New York state. “More data is added every Sunday night!”
  • Chronicling America – Features over 9 million pages taken from issues published between 1836 and 1922. The total number of different titles available for viewing is 1,642 and come from the vast majority of states within the USA. A rapidly expanding venture.

The quality of the original documents and films used is variable, so the search facilities (based on Optical Character Recognition software) will not necessarily pick up all the references you seek.

The sites can also be useful for:

  • One-name studies
  • Tracking down some of the individuals who disappear from records in the British Isles.

Both sites can be consulted are free of charge, with opportunities to download the information and stories that interest you.

Francis Howcutt
FFHS Archives Liaison

20 February 2015

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