31 October 2008

Free Search & View of Old Newspapers

I listen to the October 12th GenealogyGuys Podcast (a link to their blog is in the right-hand column) and heard that the old issues St. Petersburg Times were available online through Google to search and view. They were right back to about 1907.

I have found family stories, obits, wedding announcements, birthday stories, anniversaries, and things I didn't want to know.

I wondered what else was available this way. The Tampa Tribune was not. The Atlanta Constitution was, but not for free. But I did find a bunch that I could search and view for free.

This is a short list of the ones that I found (I looked in the period 1880-1920) and there are more:
St. Petersburg Times,
Evening Independent (St. Petersburg, FL),
St. Louis Globe Democrat,
St. Louis Christian Advocate,
Philadephia Press,
Sarnia Observer,
Eire Observer,
Deseret News (UT),
Arizona Journal-Miner,
Rome Tribune-Herald (GA), and
The New York Times (it views differently)

There are Canadian newspapers too:
Toronto World,
Daily Telegraph (Toronto),
St. John Daily (N.B.), and
Buckingham Post (Que.)

Here is a sample link (just click it):

Where do you start. Here: http://news.google.com/archivesearch/advanced_search,
that is the Google News Archive Search - Advanced Options (click the url link).
(Top right corner of this webpage has tips for you.)

In the fill-in area, your Find results is self-explanatory.

The Date, you can bracket a period from one date to another or just use the right-hand box to ask for all available before whenever.

Language is self-explanatory.

The Source is the name of the newspaper. It is best to just do one newspaper at a time. Examples: St Petersburg Times, Rome Tribune, Deseret News, Daily Telegraph, etc.

The Price that I choose is no price.

The list of findings is similar to other Google finding, but clicking the title sends you to a copy of the newspaper. The article title may have nothing to do with your search so look at the miniature on the right-hand side. The blue box contains what you see to the left-hand side and the yellow highlights are your find results words. Use your mouse to click & drag the blue box to the yellow spots or drag the left-hand image or the right-hand image.

The search works, but it has problems with newsprint (things are missed.) Newsprint fades, it is too dark, it bleeds through from the other side. If you leave Find results blank and you limit the Date to one day, you have that day's paper to read through.

I have just about confused myself. You should just try it with no price selected in the Price box.

22 October 2008

Message Boards

Last spring Pam & Pat presented a talk about using message boards and mailing lists. I signed up for both and soon had received a message that, although it did not break down the wall, was a start. I had some information but needed to confirm it by searching the archives in Burlington, VT. Before I got to that archives I posted a second message including some of the details I received but looking for more information. Then a few weeks later I was able to search in Burlington but could not find any positive statistics.

Several weeks later I was back in FL and I received an email from someone who had read my message. It turns out that she had the information I was looking for plus more. I was able to finally connect the fourth and fifth generations back to my tree. I also was able to talk to a relative, whom I did not know existed and received some valuable information.

If you haven't used the message board you should try it. It made a believer of me.

Ray Morris

20 October 2008

Do you think Genetic Genealogy is Hype?

There is an interesting article on the LiveScience website that suggests that.

The article is titled, "Genetic Ancestry Tests Mostly Hype, Scientists Say" by Ker Than [a staff writer] certainly suggests that.

The quality of the tests of y-DNA and m-DNA is not in question and the falling cost of the test is pointed out. The rub comes from the promised interpretations. Some are right on target while others might be referred to a historical fiction.

The commercial match up of the hard science of DNA identification and the soft science of anthropology is where the question of hype is in question. Anthropological studies are used where recorded history stops.

Do you have an opinion or comment?

17 October 2008

Google Your Family Tree

Google Your Family Tree is the name of a book by Daniel M. Lynch. It will be selling for $34.95.

In numerous Society meetings and workshops, the speakers have extolled the value of the search engines. Someone has finally written a book about using Google to kick start your genealogy.

I haven't seen the book. If you click the highlighted book's title you can learn more about the book.

Any comments?

15 October 2008

Oakside Cemetery on Zephyrhills

The Oakside Cemetery is owned and maintained by the City of Zephyrhills. The cemetery was established 1911 and later the ownership transferred to the City. The cemetery has space for the remains of over 2,500 individuals.

There is a City database listing the names and death dates of those interred, as well as the family names of those planning future interment. The highlighted word "database" is linked to www.ci.zephyrhills.fl.us/Oakside_Cemetery/cemetery.htm.

The cemetery contains the grave of those who were prominent and those who lived simpler lives. Veterans in the cemetery are from all the wars and conflicts since the Civil War.

04 October 2008

Open Collection Program at the Harvard University Library

There is an Open Collection Program at the Harvard University Library. There are a few collections there that might interest you.

One, the Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930 contains books, maps, photographs and manuscripts [varying from personal diaries to institutional forms.]

Contagion: Historical Views of Diseases and Epidemics is another that contains information about some of the more interesting historical health events [the Boston Smallpox Epidemic, the Yellow Fever Epidemic in Philadelphia, Cholera Epidemics, the Spanish Influenza and more.] It isn't likely you will find an ancestor, but you might be able to account for ancestors moving suddenly or the deaths of several family members in a year.

These are academic collections that were collected for sociological or historical purposes so they will not be as search able as the typical genealogical database. They also appear to be New England centric, but not exclusively.

Hugh Embary Library - Dade City Florida

Did You Know

The genealogical section of the Hugh Embry Branch Library
that had been moved to West Pasco a few years ago is back.

Yes it's true they have returned. Let make sure the books stay here, where they belong. Get to the library and use the books.

Hugh Embry Library

14215 Fourth Street

Dade City, FL 33523

MONDAY and TUESDAY - 12:00 Noon to 8:00PM

WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY - 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

FRIDAY and SATURDAY - 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM


While we are talking about libraries. . . Don't forget about our own Pasco County Genealogical Society Library. We have a large selection of books, access to Ancestry.com as well as other online databases. We also have knowledgeable people there to help with your genealogy problems and training on accessing the online databases.