Wednesday 9 August 2017

Newspapers: a family album of stories

National Family History Month in Australia

Around the country events are underway once more for National Family History Month.  Noosa Library Service has four events to celebrate NFHM starting today with Newspapers: a family album of stories.

A wealth of family related material is available through newspapers of the past and the rapid digitisation undertaken by organisations, libraries and other authorities provides unprecedented access online. Here's a limited list and some search tips for investigating those resources.

Today's presentation is available to view from this link.

In newspapers of the times one can expect to find family notices, obituaries, details of social occasions, sports teams, memberships of organisations and churches, advertisements, businesses, awards, letters, shipping news, real estate, wills and probate notices, scandal, criminal and divorce proceedings, accidents, photos and more. These pictures of everyday life and situations enrich our family history.


At the top of my list is Trove the National Library of Australia's fabulous free compilation. Use the free login to keep track of your research.

  • Make Lists - public or private, public lists are searchable, allow you to connect with others, share URL Lists for families, people, places, interests – can add related web pages to lists e.g. blog post or other research
  • Check for lists when searching
  • Add tags –  these can be public or private, single or multiple word

PapersPast provides an excellent starting point for New Zealand  and related areas research.
Ryerson index -  index to death notices appearing in current Australian newspapers and includes some funeral notices, probate notices and obituaries

A variety of other top sites

If you are an Australian resident be sure to obtain your free National Library card to gain access to the National Library of Australia eresources –   then browse by Category>Newspapers and Media>Newspapers (O’seas) for these collections
  • British Library newspapers - 17-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers and British Library Newspapers (parts I - V). The time period covered by these combined collections is 1600-1950.
  • Times digital archive – 1785-2011 
  • The Telegraph Historical Archive 1855-2000  over 1 million pages of content and includes the Sunday edition from its inception in 1961.
  • The Sunday Times Digital archive 1822-2006 - Early issues contained colourful information on murders, mysteries, theatre, sport and politics
  • The Illustrated London News Historical Archive - complete access to every issue of this illustrated newspaper for a period of 160 years
  • Irish newspaper archive  -Dates from 1763 to the present and includes a mix of out of print titles and current titles, providing word-searchable access to articles or full pages
With  your State Library of Queensland login visit the eresources
At Search databases choose News>Australia and New Zealand
  • The SMH archives - 820,000 pages  Sydney Morning Herald and The Sun-Herald,  1955 - February 2nd, 1995  All articles, captions and advertisements are fully keyword searchable  Search birth, death and marriage notices
  • The Age 2006 -2017 toggle for current issues of SMH 2006 - 2017
British Newspaper Archives $ site – also available through FindMyPast 
List of titles available  Register for 3 free views
The London Gazette, Edinburgh Gazette and Belfast Gazette  - Free 350 years good for appointments, obituaries
No longer being updated but still useful to find free Historical European newspapers 
Wikipedia List of Online newspaper archives
Family Search Wiki Digital historical newspapers
Library of Congress - Chronicling America  free site 

Learn more

Shelley at Twigs of Yore has published a useful Trove helper.
Barbara Kernos has published a free ebook Getting the most out of Trove
Kenneth Marks at Ancestor Hunter has written extensively  and provided tutorials about searching newspapers.

YouTube channels

View a variety of channels to pick up the best tips from the experts.
Enjoy National Family History month and search those newspapers for your families

Book for the next three sessions detailed below

A Brief Introduction to Family History Research

Learn what’s online, useful books to read, the benefits of joining genealogy and family history societies, and how to record and organise your research. Presented by Shauna Hicks.

Noosaville 10-11am Tuesday 15 August. Free. Bookings required. Book here.

Court Records for Family and Local History

Discover the treasures that family and local historians can find in court records including those created by the Supreme Court, Court of Petty Sessions, Licensing Court, Small Debts Court, Coroner’s Court, District Court, Circuit Court, Children’s Court. Presented by Judy Webster.

Cooroy 1-3pm Thursday 24 August Free. Bookings required. Book here

Writing Your Family History

Do you want to share the family stories you’ve found in researching your family tree? This presenatation will help with what to consider before you start developing a plan. Presented by Pauleen Cass.

Noosaville 1-3pm Wednesday 30 August Free. Bookings required. Book here.

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