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Using newspaper archives to find relatives
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This week, I want to continue talking about the free websites on my list.


It is always a smart idea to read "getting started." This website is sharing with others your family tree and to find out if others have anything in common with your tree. Try joining a mailing list or start one of your own.

Let's try our surname in the bottom box and see what we find. There is a lot of information here at rootsweb. The best advice I can give is to explore each page and see if it is useful to you.

Let's click on searches after you have read "searchy thing" which to searches the entire site. Try all of the searches listed. I got a hit from World Connect project; however, as I scroll down, there is nothing that matches. I got another hit on SS index (social security index). I found two with the same name but different birth and death dates. RSL or Rootsweb Surname List- type your surname and location. If you do get a hit, make sure that you verify that it is indeed your relative. You must prove/disprove the information you gather on the Internet. If you add your own surname, others who are also researching the surname will find you.

• is the largest free genealogy website associated but not owned by This site has a great Native American search engine if you are searching your Native American relatives. Try highlighting your corresponding state and check out the different links they offer. If you are interested in DNA, they have great sources.


Newspapers tell a story about the lives of our ancestors. Births, deaths, marriages and other events taking place at the time. Finding articles that mention our ancestors help us to understand more about what their lives were like. You need to first find out the newspaper that covers the county and state your ancestor lived in. You can find that information out through following the census back through the years. Do you know what state and county your ancestors lived in?

The first newspapers in the U.S. started back in 1704 in Boston, Mass. Can you go back to 1704 with your family tree? Remember, when searching this site to stay on the site and beware of advertisements for paid subscriptions.

Ellen ChitChats
Debbie asks: I am trying to join DAR (Daughters of American Revolution) and I need to prove son to father relation. Can you give me some tips?

Debbie, check to see if the father left a will when he passed on. Hopefully, he mentioned his son in the will. You can check with your local probate office to see if he left a will.

Also, check the census year that both the father and son would have appeared on together. Starting with the 1850 census, they list head of household plus all individuals in the household and their relation to the head of household.

You can also check military records to see if he lists his son. The name of the father and mother might also be on the son's death certificate if the informant filling out the certificate knew the answer.

We were talking about newspapers today, check and see if there are any stories related to the father and son. I hope these tips will help you with your endeavor.

This week try using one of the free websites. If you have any questions, you can email me at

Ellen Blakeslee is a professional Genealogist living in Covington. You can reach her at